Jade Osecki (left), Michael Penner (middle), and Daniel Reilly (right) made a presentation to the RDCK last week. “We always listen to our parents when they ask us to clean up our mess,” said Michael Penner, 15, a student at Mount Sentinel Secondary. “But when we ask adults to fix the climate mess, they don’t seem to listen to us.” Photo submitted

Youth climate strikers present to regional district

Next continent-wide school strike for climate planned for Nelson May 3


Three local high school students who participated in last month’s school climate strike presented to the RDCK’s Community Sustainable Living Advisory Committee recently.

This is another aspect of the Fridays for Future movement, where youth around the world are having meetings with elected representatives to learn what is being done about the climate crisis and push for more action.

“We appreciated the opportunity to present,” said Daniel Reilly, 14, a student at L.V. Rogers Secondary. “The process was very interesting. It gave me a deeper look into politics and how decisions are made.”

In their presentation, they each talked about why they are concerned about climate change. They discussed, among other things, the unfairness of older generations leaving them with an uncertain future, the fear of directly experiencing climate change impacts, and being inspired by 16-year old Greta Thunberg of Sweden and the school climate strike movement.

“We always listen to our parents when they ask us to clean up our mess,” said Michael Penner, 15, a student at Mount Sentinel Secondary. “But when we ask adults to fix the climate mess, they don’t seem to listen to us.”

“Climate change is a threat to humankind,” continued Penner. “We need to get the word out that if nothing is done in the next 11 years, we will face unpredicted threats that will severely challenge human kind.”

The group had several specific asks of the RDCK. One of those was for the RDCK to declare a climate emergency. It was a timely request, as the committee was debating a climate emergency declaration at that same meeting (see related story, page 12).

Ultimately the majority of committee members preferred “climate action imperative” over “climate emergency” to avoid what some were concerned might be polarizing language. Not everyone agreed, and several directors spoke strongly about the emergency situation we are in, as floods, wildfires, and extreme weather are becoming more commonplace.

The declaration of climate action imperative subsequently passed without dissent at the RDCK board meeting. A summer intern, who is already funded, will determine how this imperative might impact future programming.

“It was a great opportunity to hear the opinions of those representing our whole region, and their support of a climate change imperative,” said Jade Osecki, 15, also at L.V. Rogers. “It was also fantastic to hear their support for youth activism, with some directors sharing that they were also youth activists.”

“We appreciated that they provided us with reports, and offered that youth could be more involved in some of their committees,” continued Osecki. “We look forward to getting involved.”

The next school strike for the climate is planned for Nelson and other communities in the regional district on May 3, corresponding to a continent-wide strike day. The Nelson strike starts at noon at City Hall.

Just Posted

Buddhist monument to be dedicated in Slocan cemetery

A new post has been created to mark the site where at least nine Japanese Canadians were cremated

COLUMN: 1919 – Forest fire threatens Rosemont

From the files of the Nelson Daily News

LETTER: A good news story

From reader Lonnie Snyder

School District 8 names new international principal

Jann Schmidt has been an educator for 26 years

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

Most Read