I want you to act like your house is on fire, because it is.Greta Thunberg
When I first saw this young woman leading climate change protest events, I was moved by the many youth activists showing leadership on environmental sustainability from around the world. Once the pandemic began, their movement was transformed and not as vocal or visible. My hope is that youth are able to rally and come back stronger than before. We need their voices and we also need to begin to take action with meaningful impact.
As we move out of isolation and lockdowns into our new “normal”, it has been a harsh lesson to realize that we haven’t dialled down the impact of climate change while we have been spending time at home. Weather events in Western Canada have been serving as a harsh reminder that we have yet to make a dent in addressing our responsibility to be good stewards of our natural environment. As I was writing this blog post, our power went out and it was frightening how quickly the heat moves into a home when there is no way to circulate air.
This unprecedented heat, termed a “dome” has blanketed much of this vast country. As the risk for forest fires becomes dangerously extreme and the heat wave extends, more people are experiencing heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even sudden death. With the climate crisis knocking at our front doors, the need to respond seems more urgent than ever.
Conditions are ripe for a summer of fire and extreme heat while we attempt to resume our normal lives. Looking out for others around us who are vulnerable or living on their own, needs to become a community priority. Indeed, keeping ourselves and those we care about safe during these unbelievable temperatures will take all of our energy and fortitude. Forest fires, drought on our farmlands, flooding and severe weather events have become a stronger aspect of our summer seasons.
We really do need to find ways to collectively take action to effect change in our climate. Before it gets worse. I hope the young people are able to gather together again and mobilize to bring back their activist leadership. It is desperately needed and definitely missed. Let’s hope it is safe for them to do so and follow their lead.
Stay safe, healthy, keep cool, and commit to as many environmentally sustainable actions as you can.