On September 20th, I found myself at the front of the climate march in Nelson. Beside me stood 5 amazing youth who I had worked with for the past months to organize the climate strike. Behind me, almost 1500 people chanted “System change not climate change.” At that moment, I had no doubt that we could change the world and create a sustainable future.

That was the first day of the global week of climate action. The rest of the week was filled with local events, strikes in Rossland, Trail, Grand Forks and Revelstoke. My social media feed was filled with pictures from the strikes happening around the world. 3.5% of New Zealand struck, 500,000 Strong in Montreal, 150 different cities held strikes in Canada, 150 different countries. This is huge. Never before have this many people from all over the world stood together with one common message, “We need climate action”.

This is just the beginning. There is a lot of work ahead of us. A strike alone is not going to make a difference. This is just the warning bell; the students are telling the world we need to act: “Go big or no home.” If there was ever a time in the course of history to get involved it’s now. We need to change on all levels locally and globally if we want to stop ecological destruction and save humanity. I encourage you to volunteer with the EcoSociety to be part of the solution, the transition to renewable energy, host or attend an upcoming strike, and to think about the future of the climate and the young people you know when you vote on October 21st.

Alyssa Taburiaux is the Trail & Area Outreach Coordinator with the West Kootenay EcoSociety. Alyssa also organizes with the youth group, Fridays for Future Nelson, who organized the Climate Strike in Nelson, BC. 

[photo courtesy of Sam Creasey]