Hundreds came out to the B.C. legislature grounds Friday (Sept. 15) afternoon in protest of the fossil fuel industry and its role in the climate crisis on the heels of an exceptionally hot and dry summer across the province.
Put on by Climate Justice Victoria with support from the David Suzuki Foundation and joined by similar events in Vancouver and Ottawa, the message from participants and speakers was clear: more needs to be done to address the climate crisis, and it has to be big.
“We have no time left for small action,” said Suzuki. “We can’t go on getting caught up in these specific issues which are all symptomatic of something deep underneath that is impelling us on this destructive path. I am talking to you as a total failure. I have spent my life trying to find what the key is, and we have not been able to make the changes.”
He said the focus on economics and consumerism has led society to place the environment on the back burner, rather than at the forefront as it should be.
“We are all consumers, and we are all a part of the economy that is consuming the Earth to death,” he said.
“I beg every one of you, write or call your politicians at least once a week and tell those people in office what our priorities should be. If they get one or two calls it is dismissed. If they start getting 100 calls, they are going to jump up and down and pay attention.”
Suzuki said the government response to the pandemic proves real action can be taken at high levels in a very short amount of time when there is a will to take it, regardless of the financial cost.
The event, described as a climate strike by organizers, comes as the United Nations prepares to host its Climate Ambition Summit on Sept. 20.
In addition to Friday’s events, the foundation is supporting a similar protest planned for Toronto on Saturday (Sept. 16), while other organizations participating in the Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels have protests planned all weekend.