About 1,000 people gathered and marched at the youth climate strike and march in September. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

About 1,000 people gathered and marched at the youth climate strike and march in September. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

YEAR IN REVIEW: Nelson youth and city council don’t deny climate change

Our #2 story of 2019

On Sept. 20 about 1,000 people, mostly children and teenagers, left their classrooms, gathered outside city hall, and marched downtown, demanding that Canadian governments and businesses provide international leadership in fighting climate change.

On the sidewalk outside city hall, kids chanted and waved signs at passing vehicles.

“If you don’t start acting like adults, we will!”

“We only have one Earth so don’t mess it up!”

The march was one of hundreds around the globe on the same day, the last day of Global Climate Strike Week, coinciding with Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s trip to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City.

The young members of the Fridays for the Future group in Nelson conducted several smaller versions of these vigils and marches throughout this year.

There were few if any climate strikes or marches organized by the over 25 crowd in Nelson, some of whom lashed out at the kids on the Nelson Star website and Facebook page, calling them naive and their (many) adult supporters hypocrites.

Meanwhile, according to the World Meteorological Association, 2019 ended the warmest decade on record and concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a record level of 407.8 parts per million in 2018 and continued to rise in 2019.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that the speed of the loss of Greenland and Antarctic sea ice were unprecedented, the Arctic is warming at twice the speed of the rest of the globe, and melting Arctic permafrost has become a carbon emitter.

Nelson city council made a number of decisions this year aimed at either reducing greenhouse gases or mitigating the effects of climate change, as part of a worldwide trend that sees many city governments more active than national governments on this front.

It declared climate change a strategic priority, hired a climate change co-ordinator, and required electric vehicle charging stations in all new buildings.

Councillor Rik Logtenberg founded a national climate caucus of municipal elected officials that now has 200 members, and the city formally intervened in a Supreme Court of Canada case on carbon pricing.

They limited the number of motorized boats allowed if a future developer builds on the former Kutenai Landing site, gave priority to providing more infrastructure for walking and biking, and created new rules for wildfire-resistant landscaping.

By the end of this year, Warfield, Castlegar, Silverton, New Denver, Rossland, Slocan, Nelson, Kaslo and the Regional District of Central Kootenay had all pledged to transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 in a campaign run by the West Kootenay EcoSociety.

Related:

• Nelson youth group demonstrates and marches for climate action

• PHOTOS: Nelson climate strike packs downtown to demand action

• Nelson climate change strike set for Sept. 20

• PHOTOS: students walk out on climate change

• Nelson students skip classes for climate action

• Youth climate strikers present to regional district

• Nelson to require electric vehicle charging outlets in all new buildings

• Nelson council ponders bike and walking routes

• Nelson hires climate change co-ordinator

• Nelson creates rules for wildfire resistant landscaping and building

• Started locally, expanded nationally: Climate Caucus gains new members at national conference

• RDCK passes climate change ‘call to arms’

• Nelson city hall to help staff buy electric bikes

• Nelson councillor starts national municipal climate group

• Climate change to be part of Nelson council strategic priority session

• Nelson energy retrofit program will expand to rural areas

• Nelson and Rossland accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon pricing case



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Former owner and new manager Cole Johnston holds up the Reo’s sign outside its new location on Hall Street. The video rental store will reopen March 17. Photo: Submitted
Civic Theatre to reopen Reo’s at new location

The theatre has purchased the video rental store

Simon Robbie and Aimee Andrews and their daughters took possession of their new home in Nelson on March 1. Photo: Submitted
Nelson family finds home thanks to Habitat for Humanity

Simon Robbie and Aimee Andrews moved their family in March 1

Nelson's Diana Morita Cole is the keynote speaker of the KDocsFF film festival. Photo: Submitted
Nelson author Diana Morita Cole to speak at film festival

She will share a virtual stage with actor George Takei

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

Most Read