Kelowna joins in Global Climate Strikes

It began last year with a single student taking time off school to demonstrate outside of the Sweedish Parliament for government policy that would start to address climate change .

It became a movement, with students from all over skipping class on Fridays to rally for change.

This week, Fridays for Future has gone global.

Students and their supporters in Kelowna are joining millions of others in 150 countries around the world in public rallies.

“Worldwide, there have been mass protests. In Melbourne we had over 100,000 people show up to the climate strikes,” a co-organizer of the Kelowna rally who prefers to go only by Ana said. “We had strikes even in Karachi and Islamabad in Pakistan. We’ve had strikes in London and now we’re seeing, in Berlin I think we had 40,000 or so people show up just to march and chant.”

The first event was held Friday at noon in front of City Hall.

“Because our earth is dying and we have to do something about it,” one student from Arrowleaf Outdoor Education said. “If we don’t do something now, it’s not going to be great later.

“Ya for our kids,” a classmate chimed in.  “Just generations after us.”

It’s not just students taking part in these events. Adults are standing alongside the young protesters, also walking away from thier jobs to participate.

Dr. Alan Ruddiman from Oliver is one of them.  He said he’s concerned about how climate change is affecting global and individual health.

“I’m very much aware that the intensity of the fires that we’re seeing, the way they burn, they’re burning hotter and harder than ever before, and they’re producing particulate matter in the air that we breathe,” he said. “It circulates globally, and so we’re starting to see the health effects of particulate matter in the air.  It’s not going away. People with asthma, people with chronic lung conditions, people with heart disease are really starting to stuggle.”

On Thursday, September 26th, UBCO will be hosting a Climate Strike from 1p.m. to 3p.m. in the Central Courtyard.

Another Global Climate Strike will be held on Friday, September 27 from noon until 2p.m. in front of Kelowna City Hall.

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