The Climate Crisis Demands Power in Numbers

The state of the world isn’t a hopeless case, but it’s up to us to make it a hopeful place
A protester holds a sign that reads, “We need everyone,” at a climate march in St. John’s in 2014. File photo.

“Climate breakdown has begun.”

Those are not the words of a climate activist, but of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gueterres last week.

From the time we wake up each morning to the moment we put our heads on the pillow, we live our waking lives knowing that the world is not so slowly crumbling around us. Things often feel hopeless. But they aren’t when we band together and demand climate action.

On September 15, we are bringing the Fridays For Future climate strike back to St. John’s.

Will you stand with us?

Your support is essential to making journalism like this possible.

We want an end to fossil finance. According to the United Nations, fossil fuels account for more than 75 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions globally, and almost 90 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions. Greenhouse gasses are creating a blanket over the planet that traps in warmth and heats the Earth to unprecedented temperatures, throwing off its natural cycle and melting the polar ice caps. 

Not only are fossil fuels bad for the environment, they are equally as bad for us. A 2021 report from Harvard University’s School of Public Health found that air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels is responsible for an estimated one-in-five deaths worldwide. Despite the warnings of thousands of scientists and the knowledge that fossil fuels are endangering the lives of people all across the province—and the world—the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador continues to invest in fossil fuel and exploration  projects for its own financial gain. This is not acceptable.

We need massive investments in community-owned renewable energy projects, like wind and solar.

Despite an interest among Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to move away from car culture to decrease emissions on an individual scale, this isn’t currently possible for many. Our public transportation system is severely lacking. Bus routes don’t have the resources to take people outside of the greater St. John’s area. While Metrobus has potential, a lot of improvements  need to be made before it is fully accessible to the general public. People are spending hours getting to work on poorly planned routes and roads. 

Memorial University of Newfoundland, which is owned by the people of this province, must divest from fossil fuels. According to University Affairs, 10 Canadian Universities have already divested, or have plans in place to divest. Memorial University has no such plan as of right now. On top of the obvious danger for the environment that this causes, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis advises that the fossil fuel industry is a poor investment plan and the university would be earning more in the long term if they invested in fossil-free funds.

Not all hope is lost. You have a voice. We all do. When we work together, our voices are louder than greed. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador may have jurisdiction, but we have power in numbers, and that gives us the chance to fix what’s broken.

Come to the Fridays For Future St. John’s Climate Strike from 1-3 p.m. on Sept. 15 because you deserve to be heard. We’ll meet at the Memorial University clocktower and march to Confederation Building. 

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