Students join global wave on climate change
Environmentalists are urging the community to take to the streets on Friday to join the global strike on climate change.
The student-led Fridays for Future Bermuda, a spin-off from the global pressure group, will stage a rally in Hamilton focused on the detrimental effects of climate change.
Hours earlier, Warwick Academy students will set the tone with a demonstration outside school grounds before joining the expected greater masses in the city.
The events coincide with the first day of a weeklong climate strike organised by Fridays for Future, which was founded by Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl activist on climate change, who came to international prominence in August last year when she took time off from school to demonstrate outside Parliament.
Millions worldwide are expected to demonstrate, while banks and businesses are set to close their doors in support of the effort.
The strike centres around the United Nations Climate Summit being held on September 23 in New York.
The summit aims to accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Katarina Rance and Salayah Stange, students from Bermuda High School, launched Fridays for Future Bermuda this summer, in association with the youth council for the environmental charity Greenrock.
They have been joined by students from other schools in their efforts to raise awareness of climate issues and to demand change from the Bermuda Government. Among their demands are the banning of single-use plastics, switching from fossil-fuel use to renewable energy, and the declaration of a “climate emergency”.
While previous rallies have been predominantly student-led, Fridays for Future Bermuda is encouraging adults to join the movement.
Eugene Dean, the Greenrock chairman, said: “It is important for everyone to realise that climate change is a critical issue.
“The more support that we can get from the community, the better position we are to influence Government, which, at this point, has a very key role to play in terms of raising the consciousness of the general public.
“Government needs to step in, make statements and put policies in place.”
The Fridays for Future Bermuda rally will run from 11.30am to 1.30pm, beginning at the front of City Hall, making its way to the grounds of Cabinet.
The Warwick Academy demonstration will run from 7.45am to 8.30am.
Rosalind Wingate, a science lab technician at Warwick Academy, told The Royal Gazette: “We will hold a visible demonstration outside of the school on Middle Road during rush hour, as we want as many people to see the demonstration as possible.
“We will then go inside and have an assembly focused on climate-change facts. Some of the students will be permitted to go to town later in the day, with their parents’ permission, to take part in the Hamilton rally.”
Ms Wingate’s natural history club at Warwick Academy “want to make a difference” and demand Government make awareness a priority “of what the future may bring if we don’t act now”.
Ninety-seven per cent of scientists are in agreement that this is caused by human activity, fossil-fuel activity, and that the effects will be drastic
• For more information about the Friday for Future Bermuda organisation and events, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a Facebook page run by Rosalind Wingate called Fridays For Bermuda Supporters. For information about the larger movement, visit www.fridaysforfuture.org
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