Environment

Making a stand against climate change

  • Rallying cry: student-led Fridays for Future Bermuda, a spin-off from the global pressure group, stage a rally in Hamilton yesterday focused on the detrimental effects of climate change. The group marched along Reid Street and Front Street (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Photograph by Sarah Lagan
  • Student-led Fridays for Future Bermuda, a spin-off from the global pressure group, stage a rally in Hamilton focused on the detrimental effects of climate change (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Student-led Fridays for Future Bermuda, a spin-off from the global pressure group, stage a rally in Hamilton focused on the detrimental effects of climate change (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Student-led Fridays for Future Bermuda, a spin-off from the global pressure group, stage a rally in Hamilton focused on the detrimental effects of climate change (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Student-led Fridays for Future Bermuda, a spin-off from the global pressure group, stage a rally in Hamilton focused on the detrimental effects of climate change (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

About 60 people turned out to demand action on climate change as part of a global environmental effort yesterday. The group, mostly made up of schoolchildren, gathered at City Hall for the rally organised by Fridays for Future Bermuda, before marching along Reid Street and Front Street to Cabinet. They held up placards and chanted slogans including “our planet, our future” and “there’s no planet B, save the earth, save the sea”.

It was in support of the global climate strike, sparked by Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, which involved millions of young people all over the world.

Luke Foster, 12, said: “I am here so that people realise that climate change isn’t just a hoax. It is a real thing that we need to address and that the Government needs to focus on in declaring a climate emergency.”

Roxy Crockwell-Laurent, 14, said: “It means a lot to me that I can have a future one day and be able to do the things that I want to do.

“If climate change isn’t addressed that might not even be possible.”

Roxy, the granddaughter of conservationist David Wingate, added: “I have been interested in these issues for a long time. We have a lot of naturalists in my family. I would say to other young people that this issue is serious. I hope that the politicians can hear us and what we are trying to say.”

Jolie Davis, 13, said: “This is our world and we have to fight for our world because in a few years climate change will be irreversible. Come and support us because this is our world and we have to make a change.”

Fridays for Future Bermuda was launched by Bermuda High School students Salayah Stange, 15, and Katarina Rance, 15.

Salayah said: “A lot of civilians in Bermuda are less aware of the climate situation that is occurring. We hadn’t seen much change from our government. Even though we are small, it is important that Bermuda does its part to fix this climate crisis.

“We want to declare a climate state of emergency, ban single use plastics and styrofoam.”

The group met with Cabinet minister Jamahl Simmons in early August and “told him our demands”.

Salayah said: “They are still trying to get back to us and we have followed up a few times.

“We were really happy about the Integrated Resource Plan and we are again waiting for a follow upon that.”

Mr Wingate said: “There is a huge generation gap in society as a result of the rapid changes in the world. We have lost the connection between children and adults in a crisis.

“The children can see more clearly because it is their future that is at stake. The adults don’t really grasp it.

“We have got so far to go and so little time to do it. The worst thing is to give up hope.”

A small group of students from Warwick Academy also staged a demonstration outside the school from 7.30am to 9am.

Protesters also carried out a clean-up at Church Bay later in the day.