On Sept. 20 the Youth Climate Strike gathered climate protesters near Hart House at the University of Toronto for a mass teach-in with 47 facilitators who answered questions about climate change and helped young people find ways to talk about climate issues to adults.
Steve Easterbrook, director of the School of the Environment at U of T, based his advice on his 15 years of studying computer models of the climate system.
“I’ve learned in the process a lot about climate science and as a result of that [learned] a lot of what we need to do about the climate change,” Easterbrook told.
He has attended marches before, but this was his first teach-in. He liked the idea of holding the class outside in the fresh air. “I’m happy to answer any questions people have about the science.”
The main theme in the afternoon teach-in was “How to talk to adults about climate change.” Easterbrook discussed how to talk about science to specially grown-ups who don’t understand the science.
Never too late to protest
Among the youngsters were also elderly people protesting for climate change. For example, 78-year-old Susan Crofts said she felt happy to join the young ones in the protest.
“If there’s anything I can do to support them, I want to do that, as a grandparent”, she told.
Crofts is also going to attend this Friday’s General Climate Strike with her grandchildren. She has been a part of an environmental association for a long time and they have had gatherings among elderly people.
“The movement has evolved,” Crofts said. “And not just evolved, I think people are more willing to act now. They are frightened about the future, and they know the other ones can make a change. And Greta has inspired so many people.”
“It’s important to show your support for young people who are sticking their necks out so much for climate issues”Tyler Bateman, student of sosiology
Two environment and sociology students, Brody Trottier and Tyler Bateman, find climate change activism as an important cause.
“These are very energizing spaces. You can come here and be inspired,” Bateman said of the strike and teach-in. “I think it’s important to show your support for young people who are sticking their necks out so much for climate issues.”
Trottier added, “It’s a very therapeutic to be around people who are interested in environment as well. I’m not that old so I feel I’ve always been aware of climate change.”
Both of them are from Alberta, so the environment issues have been very close to their lives because of the province’s dependence on the mining and oil industries.
“If you are living in Alberta, you can’t not think of climate change”, Bateman said.
The week’s actions in Toronto culminate in the global climate strike at 11 a.m. at Queen’s Park.
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Student-led climate action week starts tomorrow