We are not alone in our concern about climate change. Climate groups are popping up across the country in an effort to address climate issues that most affect them. Our network members represent people—often seniors—who want to have a clear answer when their families ask them “what did you do about the climate crisis?” In the examples below people used their skills, with the help of others, to make real change in their communities.
Spotlight On: Neale Adams and Suzuki Elders
Neale Adams is used to the heat, having grown up in Texas. But the Suzuki Elder member admits he wasn’t acclimatized to the heat wave that swept B.C. in June 2021.
“I had not stayed acclimatized to it,” said Neale.
Neale has been working with the Suzuki Elders since 2000 and has watched the group change and grow into an organization focused on environmental issues, and good intergenerational and Indigenous relations.
“Climate change is the most important issue facing us. We’re not exclusively in climate change, we’re also interested in conserving nature…but I think we all tend to agree that this is an existential danger at the moment and we’ve got to solve it or things are going to get really hot.”
During the pandemic, the Suzuki Elders have continued to hold meetings and have organized a few movie nights and presentations.
More recently, they’ve been working on sessions with other seniors on staying hopeful and on a project with young people.
“At the moment we’re working with [young people] to develop a series of videos. They’ll appear in them talking about the climate crisis but are also helping us figure out the video thing,” said Neale.
“We know quite a few young people now and it’s very heartening for us. Obviously, part of our legacy has to be that people continue to be interested in environmental matters and climate change. But I think young people are pretty interested.”
For those seniors who are interested in climate activism and conservation, Neale invites them to come join the Suzuki Elders, wherever they are.
“One of the things Zoom has done is we’ve got a lot of people across the country more involved. We have folks from Ontario, the Maritimes, we’d be happy to talk to anybody.”
But, Neale adds, “you have to get together with other folks to encourage each other and also just enjoy it. I mean I don’t think you can keep up your energy unless you enjoy the people you’re doing action with.”
Get Together with the Suzuki Elders
- Join the Suzuki Elders and work with like-minded elders dedicated to environmental conservation.
- Check out conservation projects in your own community and see what you can contribute.
- Dedicate your skills to youth groups and experience intergenerational activism.
Dedicate Your Skills to a Climate Organization Near You
- Register your community (church/synagogue, school, religious order, neighbourhood) to join the For the Love of Creation Campaign, a faith-based initiative for climate justice hosted by Citizen’s for Public Justice.
- Webinars have become the forum for gatherings and discussions during the pandemic and so many groups are taking advantage. Check out Climate Legacy’s webinars on pensions, greening your portfolio and public funding for fossil fuels.
- Climate Action Waterloo Region has contributed to an ambitious climate action plan called the TransformWR Strategy that would see their community reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Live in the Waterloo area? Check out their opportunities to volunteer and help get Waterloo region to that 80% goal.