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Ava Lyall

Climate Change Activist

From a young age, I have always been captivated by environmentalism and innovation. I must have been around 7, but I still remember one specific page in a children’s National Geographic magazine. The graphic showed a house with passive solar, rooftop gardens, an electric car in the driveway, efficient appliances and even had a little dog walking around the yard. That was ten years ago.

Since then I’ve seen sustainability represented and idealized in many more graphics, multiple blueprints and even more ideas (for sectors beyond just housing). However, there seems to be a discrepancy between ideas and the adoption of new environmental policy and subsequent groundwork. Within my decently short lifetime I have witnessed entire political parties disregard the climate crisis and through inaction, push the responsibility back on future generations. I have seen pollution on the streets of Ontario, on the coasts of Vancouver and PEI as well as in the rivers of Chiapas.

I participate in Fridays for Future because I see no other choice. I do not have the luxury to be paralyzed in the face of this crisis or be ignorant of it. I believe that democracy is not democratic if it does not take into account the past, present and future. Youth must have their voices heard. Canadian politicians must start taking a leadership role, and we must demand that they stick to their promises.

In my activism I refuse to settle. I see that to have a chance at a life I want to live, I am going to have to fight for it. I hope that in sharing our individual perspectives we grow in our empathy and ability to care for each other and the planet. I will continue to fight for our future and urge everyone to stand with each other and do the same.