Climate Emergency Draws Youth Leaders to Pugwash
The Thinkers Lodge in Pugwash will once again play host to a Climate Change Retreat, but this time with a compelling difference.
This year's retreat is open exclusively to youth. Twenty young thinkers from across Atlantic Canada will gather at the famous lodge, a national historic site, from July 25 to 28.
The youth delegates have already made it clear that they will be discussing an ‘emergency’. While there are still people in the world who question climate change, the young people who will attend this event are looking for solutions to what they see as the greatest crisis facing the world today.
There is a certain irony in having the retreat at Thinkers Lodge which was home to an international conference in 1957 when delegates grappled with the threat of nuclear weaponry, an event that earned a Nobel Prize for Peace.
Many believe climate change is today’s existential threat.
This issue has been dumped in their collective lap and they will have to live with the worst of consequences. Recent scientific studies suggest that Canada will be disproportionately affected by the crisis as rising sea levels will impact our country more dramatically than elsewhere.
In many ways, there is a question of social justice tied the crisis as the youth who will attend have inherited the problem. They had little or nothing to do with creating the circumstances that now threaten their future.
As one of the youth organizers, Lily Barraclough, says, “When I think about my future, all I see is climate catastrophe.”
Following their retreat, the group will plant a red oak tree as a symbol of their commitment to fighting climate change and protecting the planet. The public is invited to that ceremony at noon on Sunday the 28th, where details of their private discussions will be revealed.
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