– by Elizabeth May –
There comes a time when it becomes evident that society is at a turning point. The climate strikes in Canada – part of a massive global demonstration – could be that moment.
A year ago, Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg had the courage to strike and demand emergency climate action. Greta, one girl alone with a sign, sparked a global movement. And on September 27, millions joined her across the world in one of the largest demonstrations in history.
Seeing so many people organize to tell the truth, demand action and protect our planet, you can feel something has changed.
The stakes are incredibly high. We can’t wait any longer for governments to take action to preserve global security and human survival. If we fail to heed the call of our youth today, we are doomed. It is imperative that we make the right choices now. There is no time to lose.
I joined Greta and the students in Montreal to strengthen their voice in demanding better. I stand with her and all of the other young people fighting for their future. Once again, I am drawing inspiration from young people who are showing leadership when our political leaders have let us down. But as Greta points out, the time for talk is over. Greta and the students are not marching for good thoughts and admiration. They are marching because they must, for their survival.
I refuse to be yet another person looking to the kids for hope, when it is us – mentors and educators, leaders and activists, mothers and workers, who must provide hope for the younger generations.
So this is my message to Greta and all the other young people I met and marched with:
This is the last election when voters can choose. Without transformative action now, the window on holding to 1.5 degrees C will close before 2023. We have to grab the wheel and change course, and start the process of avoiding catastrophic impacts.
I’m out knocking on doors, meeting voters and proposing solutions to the climate crisis. But at this pivotal time, we have to be bigger and louder than ever before. We must accel erate our efforts to eliminate greenhouse pollution. Last week, I asked candidates and volunteers to share our message of hope on doorsteps, on social media, and at strikes across the country.
To those who joined our children in the streets today, thank you.