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UBC Students Prepare for Saturday's Climate Rally

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I’m a science student and I starting thinking about climate change about five years ago. I realized the implications it had, not just for ecosystems and the things that I study and I think are really cool but for everything that we do as people. We just have to look at the typhoon we saw last weekend and see the devastating impacts of climate change. But there are also just things we love in life like skiing. That’s something we might not be able to do in Vancouver in the coastal mountains in thirty years. Those are huge things that motivate me to be engaged in the climate fight and to advocate for reducing carbon emissions.

The Enbridge pipeline is hugely significant, like all of the proposed pipelines coming out of the tar sands, because these pipelines will facilitate the expansion of the oil sands. Scientists have said that if we burn all the carbon that’s in the tar sands, that would be the nail in the coffin. We’re already headed for catastrophic climate change, so limiting and slowing the expansion of the tar sands by stopping these pipelines can reduced the amount of carbon from the oil sands and buy time until we reach a better global framework on reducing carbon emissions.

I hope the rally is really big, one of the biggest rallies we’ve had in a really long time. It’s part of a national day of climate action across the country. It will send the message that British Columbia is still very much against this project. Despite what the National Energy Board says, or if the Harper government decides to override its decision, the rally will tell them that British Columbians will fight tooth and nail to stop the Enbridge pipeline.

People need to talk more about the fact that business leaders and politicians in Canada are ignoring their responsibility to reduce the extraction and use of fossil fuel in favour of corporate profits. That’s really what is happening and it’s the reason why Canada hasn’t taken meaningful action against climate change in a decade. Citizens are being stopped by the politicians and the corporations that elected them.

Cohen Hocking, Forestry

Climate change will define our generation and define the twenty-first century. Fresh water scarcity in Africa and the Middle East threaten the lives of many millions of people. Climate change threatens the existence of the Pacific Islands. I’m studying forestry and how climate change is altering ecosystems all across the world and impacting many species.

The Enbridge pipeline highlights First Nations rights, local environmental concerns and climate change. I hope to see thousands of British Columbians come together on this issue on Saturday and for people to realize that it really is a mainstream issue that affects all British Columbians and all Canadians.

From my experience, there is great awareness on campus. I speak with a lot of people and the majority are against the Enbridge pipeline and against tar sand expansion. In my household, with my parents, their opinions have changed very quickly so I am hopeful that the broad change can happen fast.

Nicholas Curry, Political Science

The awareness of my generation is amazing. There are so many people committed to climate change. It’s hard to find people that aren’t talking about this issue. It’s the issue of our generation. But what motivates me is sort of the opposite – when people who are a lot older than me show up for rallies and show interest and demonstrate their support. It’s not another hippie movement. These protests show that there are a lot of kinds of people who recognize the significance and importance of this issue.

If the Enbridge pipeline gets puts through, that will show that government is not listening to the people of B.C. The strength of opposition to the pipeline has been demonstrated through rallies and petitions. Over a hundred First Nations have signed an agreement to not let this happen. This issue is about democracy. It’s about government listening to the people that they are supposed to be representing on an issue that people really care about.

The rally a perfect way to show Premier Clark that this issue is still on people’s minds, it wasn’t a fad that happened a year ago. The timing of the rally couldn’t be better, following her announcement that she magically solved her problems with the pipeline after talking with the premier of Alberta. Premier Clark needs to know that this issue isn’t going away. It’s time to reamp the excitement that people have about climate change.

Jessica Devlin, Environmental Studies

I’m an Environment and Sustainability student here at UBC. Climate change will be affecting all of us, especially our younger generation. We need to be acting on it now so that we don’t get into trouble later on.

The rally will be a really fun family event with live music, a kids zone and face painting. I hope everyone who cares shows up so that we send a message to the government that we aren’t happy with their plans for this pipeline. 

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