A crowd of 50 people ranging in age from two years old to seventy years old gather at the Port Perry fairgrounds on a sunny fall Friday to march to town hall and back in support of the climate action started by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg.
Locally, 16-year-old Jordyn Hooker organized a climate strike for Port Perry.
“I saw what Thunberg was doing and that made me want to make a change too,” says Hooker.
On Sept. 28, the day of the climate strike in Port Perry, more than 7.6 million people took part in global strikes in 185 countries.
“When it comes to the environment it doesn’t stop at any border,” Ginny Colling says. “Things are happening faster than projected.” She explains that everyone plays a part when it comes to climate change.
Colling, 67, is a retired journalism professor and climate change activist who returned to Durham College to present on climate change and told students 97 per cent of scientists say climate change is caused by humans.
People tend to not realize how much pollution humans make, and how big of an impact they have on the world, says Colling, who cited 110 million tons of man-made global warming pollution made daily.
“We may see fewer storms happening, but when they do, they bring down more rain in a shorter period of time,” Colling says.
Lucy Benham, Water Resources Engineer at the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA), agrees.
“The weather is getting warmer, wetter, and wilder,” says Benham.
CLOCA is a local and community-based environmental organization responsible for managing watershed resources. The organization has seen budget cuts by Premier Doug Ford.
During a talk with Durham College journalism students in September, Chris Jones, who is the director of planning and regulation at CLOCA, made it known he doesn’t like what Ford is doing with the budget. CLOCA has tried making claims and taking a stand when it comes to the affects of climate change, such as flooding, but people still don’t believe it.
“We don’t like to hear things that conflict with our vision,” says Jones.
Colling, who took a three-day workshop with American environmentalist Al Gore in 2017, says rain bombs can bring down a crazy amount of rain in short periods of time. In 2013, 126 mm of rain fell in Toronto in three hours says Colling.
With that, CLOCA has produced a video of just how much flooding would be caused if there was a large enough rain bomb.
When looking at climate change on a larger scale, different parts of the world are struggling in different ways.
During a Faculty-Led Classroom Abroad to Guatemala, students were able to see how locals in Guatemala are struggling with climate change daily.
One woman, whose family grows different goods says that climate change is having a large impact on how much food they are able to grow. Not only does it affect her family making money, it causes her family to not have as much food to eat.
Global warming affects how families like this live their day-to-day lives. There are many farmers in Guatemala who can’t produce goods anymore because of how dry it is.
Even though there are many politicians and governments who don’t believe in climate change, there are people who are taking a stand and fighting for what they believe in.
In 1992, 12-year-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki gave a speech at the Rio Summit about climate change. In the speech she said how we need to change what’s happening to the world.
“I am here to speak for the countless animals dying across this planet, because they have nowhere left to go. I am afraid to go out in the sun now, because of the holes in our ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air, because I don’t know what chemicals are in it.”
At 12 years old, in 1992, Cullis-Suzuki had the same message 16-year-old Hooker and Thunberg have in 2019.
Almost three decades after Cullis-Suzuki addressed the UN in Rio, the younger generation continues to lead the fight to save the planet.