Talking Heads at QBACC’s Climate Strike

Within the last year, strikes on climate change have become increasingly widespread globally, taking place from university campuses to market squares. On Friday, September 27, hundreds of people gathered at the corner of University and Union for the Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change’s climate strike, to stand in solidarity with our ailing Mother Earth, and to urge the Queen’s administration to divest from fossil fuels. Her Campus Queen’s chatted with a few of these individuals at the event to get their perspectives on our changing climate.

Sarah, 1st Year Film

Is this the first climate strike you’ve attended?

“Yeah, I’ve never gone to one before.”

Why did you come out to the strike today?

“I think that we have to change what’s going on right now, because I want to live until old age, and I want my kids to be able to live until their old age as well. I don’t want to die from climate change.”

What makes you most anxious about climate change? Why do you feel that it’s important to fight against climate change?

“I’m most nervous about the fossil fuels; I’m nervous that my goals for my future will be taken away by people who are older than me, and people who aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing. It’s important because I want to survive!”

How are you personally helping combat climate change?

“I’ve stopped eating meat. I also bring my reusable utensils everywhere with me, and I try to buy things that aren’t packaged in plastic.”

 

Lee, 1st Year Art History

Why did you come to the Queen’s climate strike?

“I think it’s really important to support the cause. My mom and I have been trying to do a lot for helping the environment and I thought this would be good to speak out and show everyone how it important [the environment] is.”

Is this the first march that you’ve been to?

“Yeah, I’m not usually one for marches, but this is a really big issue for me and I really want to speak out.”

What makes you most anxious about climate change? Why do you feel that it’s important to fight against climate change?

“It scares me sometimes; I’ll wake up and remember that the climate is changing and the world is basically dying, which scares me a lot. I really think it’s important because I feel there’s a lot of people in power who don’t necessarily know what they are doing to the environment and acting out of greed and the pursuit of money, and they don’t understand the repercussions of how [their actions] are affecting the planet.”

How are you personally helping combat climate change?

“I don’t eat meat and I try not to buy plastic. My mom and I both go out of our way not to buy plastic. I use reusable straws and I also grow my own vegetables.”

 

Helena & Sebastien, 4th Year Philosophy & 4th Year Economics

Is this your first climate march? Why did you come to the Queen’s climate strike?

(H): “This is my first climate march. I came out today because we really need to do something. I think it’s way past time to take action, and this is a really good way to make your voice heard.”

What makes you most nervous about climate change? Why do you feel it’s important to combat climate change?

(H): “I’m most nervous about how rapid climate change has progressed, and also how many people deny the severity of the issue, and the fact that there will be an irreversible tipping point, and the fact that we keep getting closer to that is really scary. It’s really important to take action before we reach that tipping point.”

How are you personally helping combat climate change?

(H): “I’ve gone vegetarian.”

(S): “I’m studying environmental economics, and I’m learning about the policy aspect of environmental economics and doing a lot of case studies.”

 

Scott, a Queen’s Alum & Fiona, 5th Year Art History

Why did you come to the Queen’s climate strike? Is this your first climate strike?

(S): “It’s my first climate strike. I came because now is the time to act, especially with the upcoming election.”

(F): “I’ve been to a couple of climate strikes before. I was having a lot of anxiety about the climate and what we can do about it, so that’s why I came out today.”

What makes you most anxious about climate change?

(F): “The fact that the changes we are seeing are so sudden, not that we didn’t know about it beforehand, but it’s come to a climax that we need to deal with right away, or it will be too late.”

(S): “For me, it’s the positive feedback loops. So when the earth warms, the oceans warm, and they are a large carbon sink, and whenever the solvent, which is the water, heats up, it can hold less gas dissolved in it, which would be the CO2, so that would be released. Then there’s all the carbon stored in permafrost that will be released as the earth warms up. Everything is very dependent on each other, and if one system collapses, so will the rest, and that is scary.”

What lifestyle changes have you guys made to help combat climate change?

(S): “I’ve been plant-based for five years, I cycle as much as possible in place of driving and I also take cold showers.”

(F): “I’m also plant-based, and I have reduced travelling to just flying. I also cycle a lot and use public transit.”

 

Coleman, Zack, Bart, Hayden (1st Year Engineering) & Kate (2nd Year Engineering Physics)

Is this the first climate strike you’ve been to?

(C): “No, I did one with my high school last year.”

(Z): “Same with me.”

(B): “This is my first one.”

(H): “Yeah, it’s my first time, too.”

(K): “I was at the one in the spring here at Queen’s.”

What made you guys want to come out today?

(All): “We wanted to support the movement.”

Are you guys skipping class today to be here?

(C): “Yeah we are.”

What makes you guys the most nervous about climate change and why do you feel it’s important to combat it?

(C): “I want to have the beautiful planet I grew up in for our children to grow up in as well. I want to preserve the beauty of the planet that we have right now.”

(Z): “[Climate change] is irreversible, and once we totally ruin it, we can’t go back, which is scary.”

(B): “I personally really love nature, and I don’t want everything to be destroyed. I want our children to be able to enjoy nature as much as I do.”

(H): “The fact that it’s irreversible and so many people will be displaced, and there are already so many people starting to be displaced, which is really seriously scary.”

(K): “I think it’s something that we will have to pay for in the future, and the sooner we start acting, the less we will have to pay for all the changes.”

What changes have you guys made to your own lives to lead a more environmentally-friendly life?

(C): “I really try to recycle as much as possible, I drive a more environmentally friendly car, and I left that at home. I also try to buy products that are more responsibly packaged, like meat packaged in paper rather than packed in plastic.”

(Z): “I try to limit my motor transportation, and be mindful of what I’m eating.”

(B): “I walk as my main form of transportation.”

(H): “I do what I can to maximize my use of public transportation, and I try to avoid using plastics.”

(K): “I try to be mindful that everything I buy contributes to a greater picture. When you buy something that’s plastic, you’re just going to use that one time, and the plastic will be on Earth for longer than you are, and it’s important to understand that everything makes an impact.”

 

Brooke, Kingston Resident

Is this your first climate strike? What made you want to come out today?

“It is my first strike. I’m from Thunder Bay where I didn’t find too many resources to go out and participate in strikes like these, but when I moved here I found there was a lot more action taking place, and I’ve always wanted to participate in something like this. It’s really good that Queen’s has this.”

What changes have you made to help combat climate change?

“Small steps I’ve taken recently is cutting out red meats, as well as working towards cutting out more meat from my diet. I also shop locally instead of buying at bigger brands. I also try to bring my own bags to grocery stores.”

 

Zoey, 3rd Year Religious Studies

Is this your first climate strike?

“This is my first climate strike, and I did leave class for it.”

That’s great, what class did you end up leaving?

“Religion, Spirituality, and Non-Spirituality. I was the only one that left, I was really upset about that. I told my class that I was very upset about that.”

What made you want to come out to the Queen’s climate strike?

“It’s come to light a lot in more recent years, and it’s really shown us the impacts that climate change has been causing. It’s important to come out because it’s our future and our generation that can make the changes, and it’s our generation that will be impacted. If we don’t start making a difference now, we won’t be able to do anything about climate change in the future.”

What makes you most nervous about climate change right now?

“My future kids. I’m almost 20 years old, and I’m going to be able to live a much longer life than they will, if they get to live a life at all. I want to look out for my kids, and be able to know that there are generations after me to come.”

What are you doing personally to help combat climate change?

“My house has become a far more reusable household. We try to use less plastic, we put all our bins out for recycling, I’ve been using reusable cups and straws. These are all small things, but hopefully I’ll be able to start getting more involved and make more of an impact, and hopefully, there will be change.”

 

All photos by Roscoe Dillman (@roscoe_dillman / @peregrine_productions)