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Shared Story - Bring Your Boomers: Dialogues on Climate Change Policy in BC

Since the Enbridge pipeline was proposed a few years ago, I have been trying to figure out what the best strategy is to protect our earth from more harm. “It is horrifying when we have to fight our government to protect our environment” said Ansel Adams.   And yet, with provincial elections happening in a month I find myself questioning which party is really willing to take that leap and stand up for the environment that provides for us so unconditionally. As much as I despise politics, I decided it was time to take action. It was time to see if political action can actually create positive change. What do our upcoming leaders understand about ecology, climate change and resource extraction?  What are their long term plans? Are they really willing to transition away from oil dependency and become bold leaders for BC, Canada and the rest of the world

Fortunately, there are many organizations that are making it possible for a dialogue on these questions to happen. GenWhy put on a super event on April 2nd called “Bring your Boomers”. Here candidates and youth were able to sit down and discuss the direction of BC’s climate change policy in front of an audience. I attended the dialogue to help answer some of my questions. To my surprise, the theater was packed full of Baby Boomers and young people interested in participating in this cross generational dialogue. Five candidates were present including: David Eby (NDP), Jane Sterk (Green Party), Gabby Kalaw (Liberals), Bob Simpson  (Independent), Duane Nickull (BC Conservatives) and 3 young voters: Caleb Behn (from documentary Fractured Land), Andrea  Curtis (from Transformation Projects) and Sam Harrison (from Kids for Climate Action).  I was really impressed by the forward thinking views held by all the youth and candidates except the Liberal candidate (our current government). He was not well versed in the current energy issues and had no concrete plan on how to reduce carbon emissions. Money seemed to be the bottom line. I found this quite concerning. Having studied ecology, I know enough to see that our current economic system is quite out of touch with the environmental one.  There was heckling from the crowd and tweets were projected on the back screen, making for a lively debate.

By taking action to become politically engaged, I learned that our political leaders don’t have all the answers. They need our help and our expertise to guide them through this climate crisis. Through events like this one we can put our heads together, share ideas and come up with some really powerful solutions to protect our earth and all who live from her. We can also make more informed decisions come election time, feel more ownership over where we live and build a stronger network in which to shape positive change.

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