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Two of them could just be seen above the podium, but the voices of the young women who made the case for a climate change emergency resolution at West Grey Council on July 30 were strong, and their message was clear. The text of their comments is here:

My name is Athens Batten and I'm 13 years old. And climate change has had a profound impact on me. And I feel strongly that athenssomething needs to be done.
West Grey has the ability to take action. And it's to West Grey benefit to do so.

For example, the increased flooding that is being caused by climate change has been damaging all the bridges locally. It not only effects my parents ability to get around, it also effects me. I wasn't able to get across the foot bridge to get my ice cream. And the cost to repair it goes to the West Grey citizens, meaning my parents. Now we have less money to buy ice cream.

I'm also an avid outdoors person and my ability to see and experience wild life and vegetation is very much effected by climate change. For example the snapping turtle that my father helped across the road a few years ago from the wet land that you are currently plowing over right beside this building. You can now look out your office window and watch biodiversity disappearing from West Grey. We need more wet lands not less.

Something I particularly enjoy about wet lands (other than the fact that they support biodiversity and help prevent flooding) is that they don't set off my allergies or asthma.

This past spring there was one of the biggest spikes in airborne allergens on record. These allergens make it hard for me to breathe and function on a day to day basis. This spike is because of climate change and it is only going to get worse.

We can and should do something about climate change and be an example to all the other municipalities across Canada.

lydiaGood morning everyone, Mayor Robinson and Councillors

I am Lydia Dyck. I am studying sustainability at college, so naturally, agreeing to move forward on enviroment action is right up my alley. It's exciting to think about a municipality that considers decisions from all angles, including environmental. To me it's really important to remember that our world is based on cycles and interconnected systems. In other words, adding environmental considerations into decision making isn't bringing in a new set of issues, it's recognizing a piece of the whole that has always been there. However, even though the environment isn't a new issue, the process of linking it into our current systems in a serious way is, and that's why it's so important to commit to action on a municipal level.

Residents of West Grey need a strong motivator to get over their climate change paralysis, which is real - I've been researching it this summer. So who better to be a leader than their municipality?

I encourage you to look at addressing our crisis from a positive perspective and see it as a challenge of creativity. To me this declaration isn't a cry of panic or even a done victory, rather it can be a springboard of solutions that will create a sustainable West Grey.

Hello, my name is Amalia Stoltzfus Forand, I am here to talk to you about climate change and how urgent it is to change the situationamalia that we have put ourselves into.

Fun Fact (that is not very fun): Every 20 minutes we lose a species. During this meeting about 3 species will disappear from our planet. If we lose pollinating species, we will also lose a lot of fruits and veggies that get pollinated. Remember, farmers feed cities No rain or too much rain ... no growth ... no food.

I like skiing and building forts in the winter. With all the rain everything turns into ice and you cannot do these activities. For these reasons and a lot more it is urgent that West Grey acts now.

 

 More on the West Grey Declaration for Climate Change Emergency Resolution


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