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LETTER - Government must stop ignoring those ringing the alarm bell about our climate emergency

Dear editor,

Dear editor,

On Earth Day, my partner and I marched with others in support of the Comox Youth Climate Council’s (CYCC) Climate Strike in downtown Courtenay.

As longtime social justice and environmental activists we advocate a vegan lifestyle for those with the privilege of choice.

We also fasted on Friday in solidarity with Nanaimo-based hunger strikers for old growth, Howard Breen and Brent Eichler.

These are men of great conscience who may very soon become martyrs for a cause that truly involves us all. We urge others to also let Premier John Horgan and Minister of Forests Katrine Conroy know that it is not acceptable to ignore, criminalize or otherwise punish environmental activists ringing the alarm bell about our climate emergency over shocking apathy at the political level.

Scientific consensus has made it abundantly clear that we must commit to preserving old growth and other vulnerable ecosystems here in B.C. and beyond much more quickly. The present pace is exacerbating social unrest and inequity, climate chaos and the catastrophic biodiversity loss that accompanies habitat destruction. Today, in correspondence with my friend Foussney Traore from Mali, I was reminded of the profound despair climate activists hailing from the global south are also experiencing. Traore’s community in Africa knows hunger and starvation not by choice, but because climate chaos is furthering drought and food insecurity. Our failure to preserve vital carbon sinks right here in B.C. has far reaching implications. We stand with Breen, Eichler, Traore, the CYCC and countless others calling for bold, conscientious leadership from elected officials. Not in some hypothetical future, but right now!

Fireweed and Mike Nestor,

Denman Island