Calling for action on climate change, nearly 30 people turned up outside the Yukon legislature at noon on Sept. 8.
The event was one of many held across the country aimed at showing candidates running in the Sept. 20 federal election that climate change continues to be a pressing issue.
As stated on the 350.org site about the demonstrations: “Together, we will mobilize to ensure the climate emergency is a top issue in this election.”
Speaking to reporters, Whitehorse organizer Meesha Wittkopf said the Whitehorse rally came together in just a few days.
“It’s important that politicians from all parties know climate change needs to be a priority. Any decisions need to be made with a climate lens,” she said.
“We’ve got to fight for this,” she later told the crowd.
She went on to highlight wildfires, flooding and more as a result of climate change, noting that the Arctic is warming three times faster than the rest of the planet.
“We have droughts, we have food insecurity and all of the social issues are only going to get worse if climate change isn’t immediately addressed,” she said. “It’s time to pull our socks up and get it done.”
The impacts, she said, will get worse if nothing is done to address climate change.
Over the course of the rally, a number of participants read poems and made speeches stressing the need to address climate change.
Among the readings were The Grackle by Ogden Nash, As If Hearing Heavy Furniture Moved on the Floor Above Us by Jane Hirschfield, and more.
Others spoke to the importance of protecting wildlife, ensuring industries work in a responsible way and that voters educate themselves on where candidates stand on the issue of climate change as well as parties’ histories in dealing with the issues.
“Educate yourselves and make a decision,” one of the demonstrators instructed the crowd on the election.
The group was also reminded of the upcoming environmental forum for the five candidates vying to be the Yukon’s next MP. The forum – hosted by the Yukon Conservation Society and CPAWS Yukon – will be held Sept. 15 at 6:30 online.
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