“Students need climate action; our future depends on it”
Georgia Saleski, ASU VP of student life
As of 2021, we have just 9 years until the damage from climate change is completely irreversible. The government, however, does not feel the urgency that we as students of Acadia and residents of Wolfville do.
The response that Acadia students have to this issue has been to take to the streets and raise awareness.
On Friday, September 25th, both students and Wolfville residents alike took part in the international climate movement, “Fridays For Future”. Founded in 2018 by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, the movement was created in response to the government’s inaction towards the climate crisis. Hundreds, if not thousands of protests and climate strikes are held worldwide for “Fridays For Future”, many completely student-led.
The climate strike began at 12pm and took place on Main Street, where they walked from Clock Park to Willow Park, waving signs and shouting chants, as passersby honked and cheered in support.
I had the pleasure of being able to interview Georgia Saleski, one of the main organizers of this event, as well as the Acadia Students Union Vice President for student life, and she responded with some powerful statements and responses, which are included below.
Q: What do you hope to achieve with this climate strike?
A: “This climate strike is really just an outlet for people to be able to come out and show their support for climate action. Not necessarily to result in any big decisions or outcomes, but to have students’ come together with the townspeople to show that we believe that this really matters, and to hopefully see some change. Both in our community and as well as on a bigger scale, like in the government.”
Q: What got you into activism/ climate activism?
A: “I got into general activism when I got to university. I really got exposed to a bunch of social and political issues through a law and politics class that I took in my second year of university. I really quickly became absorbed in it all and just infatuated with all the different political issues that are across the world and what different people are going through, as well as what affects my local community and the folks around me here in Wolfville. I guess that’s why I’ve taken a hand towards more local issues and just showing up at events in both Wolfville and at Acadia.“
Q: If you were able to say one thing concerning the climate crisis to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, what would it be?
A: “Giving land back to Indigenous Peoples is a big one, as well as reversing the climate crisis and really seeing the action that we need taken. We have had our chance, so it is time to give the land back and acknowledge the calls to truth and reconciliation. We need to be moving towards allowing the Indigenous Peoples to restart and gain back everything that was taken from them.”
Q: What direct action do you believe needs to be taken by the Canadian government concerning the climate crisis?
A: “A few things; They need to stop putting pipelines through Indigenous land, as well as pay attention to what the youth and students are saying. The government needs to acknowledge that their action is inaction, and the population that is growing up is going to have to deal with the repercussions.”
Q: What can we as the general Canadian public do to try and help combat the climate crisis?
A: “I would say reach out to your local government, reach out to your MPs, show up to events like this where there are people with similar interests trying to make a change. Because getting connected is really important, and helps keep the fight alive in yourself.”