This week, September 21 to 27, is Global Climate Strike Week. This initiative, led by young people and students around the world, challenges governments, corporations, and citizens to address the severity of the climate change crisis with their future in mind. They demand that politicians, decision-makers, and the public at large take seriously the enormous threat to their future. Speaking to their lack of concrete and substantial action, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg told world leaders at the United Nations on September 23: “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
Hundreds of organizations in Canada are now organizing to push for forceful action, focusing on the need to put this issue front and centre and above partisan differences during the federal election. They point to the incontrovertible evidence that unprecedented human-caused growth in greenhouse gas emissions is warming our planet at an alarming rate, Canada faster than anywhere else. As a result, we are experiencing more severe weather and environmental disasters--flooding, heat waves, hurricanes, wild fires, melting ice, rising sea levels, eroding coastal lines, with millions of people already suffering the consequences. All sectors of society must take drastic action to reduce greenhouse emissions.
YUFA recently announced the creation of a YUFA Climate Emergency Committee (YCEC), which will educate and mobilize faculty for a climate-crisis-ready university; shape our demands for climate action from the York administration; ensure that York University’s resource use and investments align with climate goals; shape YUFA’s public position; and help decarbonize YUFA’s internal operations. You can see the statement and call for nominations on our website. Nominations for joining the Committee are open until October 2, 2019.
In advance of the Climate Strike in Toronto, YUFA members have received a communication from the Provost on the Climate Day of Action. YUFA applauds the administration’s recognition of the compelling imperative to mitigate climate change and its harmful effects on people and nature worldwide; placing sustainability as a core value of York University; as well as action to promote the Climate Day of Action and its encouragement and accommodation of faculty, staff, and students who want to participate in Friday’s action.
In her message, the Provost states that YUFA members are expected to inform their Dean's/Principal's Office of their absence from class, should they choose to attend the Climate Day of Action. However, there is no such requirement to notify the Dean/Principal.
During this federal election, we should all be calling on politicians to take action on climate change. We urge our members to talk to your family, friends, and colleagues about climate change, participate in the action, and make your voice heard. Please see the information below about events in Toronto and elsewhere.
For more information about the Climate Strike, or any issues related to YUFA members’ participation in it, please email [email protected].
Information about the #ClimateStrike happening in Canadian cities
When is it? The Global Climate Strike takes place Friday, September 27, between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Where is it? The rally will begin at Queen's Park at 11:00 a.m. The strike will begin marching down University Avenue around 12:00 p.m., heading toward Bay Street, then back up to Queen's Park.
Many other cities are holding action on Friday, September 27. For details on other Canadian cities, please visit this website and find an event in the location nearest you.