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Channel your tears to the revolution

This was a post on my Facebook page ----
Yesterday was Earth day! I was feeling pretty confused and frustrated so I wrote something for other young folks trying to figure out this wild time we're in. Yesterday, my instagram feed heralded the passage of Earth Day with an endless stream of gorgeous nature pictures. Don’t get me wrong - I’m overjoyed that folks have such wonderful relationships with this magical, unimaginably complex system called Earth. It gives me hope that you recognize her value in a way that the overwhelming majority of adults obviously don’t. But please know that if you are serious about wanting to protect our mama, it is going to take a lot more than posting nice pictures. It’s going to take some serious discomfort. And not the kind of cold-showering-turnip-eating eco-puritan discomfort like that guy in The Good Place. It’s going to take the kind of emotional discomfort that comes with knowing that our entire way of life is violently at odds with the physical …
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PRESS RELEASE: School striking Vancouver Teens Support Declaration of Climate Emergency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Contact: Rebecca Hamilton 778-321-8526
School striking Vancouver Teens Support Declaration of Climate Emergency They stage creative action at City Hall to support OneCity motion
[VANCOUVER, BC, January 16] - Today, students from across Metro Vancouver walked out of school in support of Councillor Christine Boyle’s motion to declare climate emergency. Their creative action at City Hall steps emphasized the choice city councillors are making when they vote on the motion later today.
“We are at a crossroads. We can continue failing to reduce emissions, resulting in accelerating climate catastrophe. Or, we can take dramatic action now, creating a safe future for our generation.” says 16 year old organizer Rebecca Hamilton. “We are demanding our leaders choose the latter path."
Around 50 teens participated, along with around 30 adult allies. The action was supported by local organizations Force of Nature Alliance and Extinction Rebellion Van…

I'm Skipping School for Climate Emergency!

I'm in grade 11, and for one day a month, I skip school. Such action would normally be considered a petty teenage rebellion. However, with the threat of climate catastrophe hurtling towards us, we are not living in normal times. There is nothing radical about my desire for a livable future.
As teenagers, we want to be excited about our future, not scared for impending climate catastrophe. Skipping school to sit in the office of my Minister for the Environment, as I did last month, or to support a Climate Emergency proposal at City Hall, as I will next week, is a sacrifice, but it is one we had no choice but to make. How can I go to school when older generations do not abide by the lessons I am supposed to be learning?
In school, I'm taught to live by deadlines. Taking too long to complete a project will result in a significant drop in my grade. Climate scientists write the report cards on climate action, and they are telling us our governments are failing. The recent IPCC repor…

A Question of Survival!

Five years ago, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. This means that eating gluten kills my villi so that I can’t absorb nutrients, which heightens my risk of cancer and shortens my life. When I learned this, I immediately stopped eating gluten. This is probably not surprising - why would I continue to consume something that was scientifically proven to wreak havoc on my future?
I’m not going to pretend it was an easy transition. Cutting a major food group out of my diet certainly came with a steep learning curve. I’m still figuring out exactly what I can and can’t eat, and the most effective ways of avoiding these things. But instead of waiting until I had all of the answers, I did what I could to limit the damage to my body.
Yes, gluten free products can be a bit more expensive, but it is a question of my health, and what better things could my money go towards than literally keeping me alive? It can be hard to avoid temporary pleasures in order to prevent far off suffering. However, …

Rise for Climate

On September 8, over 250 000 people participated in 900 Rise for Climate actions in 95 countries on 7 continents. I gave a speech at my local Vancouver rally, representing the perspectives of youth. What follows is the text of that speech, which can also be viewed on Youtube here.
When you were 16 and had your whole life ahead of you, what were your dreams for your future? I I am 16, and there is so much that I am excited for, but growing up in the 21st century means that I have always known about climate change, always seen it as a dark cloud sitting over the horizon.
Ilove being in nature. I love feeling the kiss of the breeze on my skin, love the strength I feel standing under a towering douglas fir. But one day last summer, I went for a hike while wildfires raged across the province. The breeze carried smoke, which I knew was the ashes of trees that other people had found peace standing beneath. My friend and I were talking of the hiking trips that we dreamed of doing in our future,…

This Changes Everything

In our world of click-bait articles and alarmist news, I think it is easy to forget the transformative power a book can have on a person's life (I would say that our attention span is wearth saving, but that's another post). Earlier this year, I read This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein, which really changed how I looked at the climate crisis and its solutions. Here is a book talk I wrote for school about it (I love my school!). 

Is there some problem in this world which you dream of solving? Maybe achieving gender parity, ending hunger, or stoping racism. What if there was something that mobilized people everywhere with goals like this to unite in order to create the world they wished for? This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein, is about an issue with the potential to do just this - to recreate society. It is about the climate crisis. 

We all know this is the biggest problem humanity has ever faced. For us to have an opportunity for any sort of decent future, developed coun…

All One!

Last post, I wrote about how frustrated I am that we aren’t adequately addressing the environmental crises our planet is facing. But how do we do this? We need to take dramatic climate action this second, but we can’t just flip a switch and stop all greenhouse gas emissions immediately. The conclusion I tend to come back to is that we need to identify the root causes of our numerous sprouts of planetary destruction, and to address them in as holistic a way as possible.
If you had a fever, no appetite, and were throwing up, you would not treat all of these symptoms separately. Doing so might provide temporary relief, but you would be stuck indefinitely whacking the moles as they popped up unless you identified the underlying illness causing these ailments and found a way to heal that. I believe that one reason attempts to “save the earth” are largely ineffective is that they are attempts to ice the fever, instead of steps to procure and take the medicine.

In my opinion, one of these “bac…