IRES Graduate Students on the Global Climate Strike

On September 27th, 2019, students, staff, and faculty members from the UBC Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) participated in the Global Climate Strike. The department’s Statement of Support for the Global Climate Strike can be found here. UBC IRES Students began the day by making posters out of reused pizza boxes, attending the UBC Climate Strike and then marched in the Vancouver Climate Strike downtown.


Photo Credit: Rocio Lopez de la Lama


Photo Credit: Bri Della Savia


IRES students share their thoughts on the Global Climate Strike:

Stephen Chignell (PhD student) Erika Gavenus (PhD student) Narayan Gopinathan (MA student)

What does the climate strike mean to you?

Stephen: It’s embarrassing for me to admit, but the climate strike was the first time I’ve participated in a big public march for something I really care about.  I have strong opinions about a lot of issues, but I wasn’t raised to voice them in an overtly political way, so going out there with a sign and chanting demands for action was a new experience for me.  I found it very empowering to walk around the city with so many people, and I’m excited to do more things like that.

Erika: For me the Climate Strike was a demonstration of our collective understanding that the path we are on now isn’t tenable, and was a commitment to disrupt business as usual.

Narayan: The climate strike means that citizens around the world are uniting to speak up for climate action, and demand an end to business as usual.

What message are you hoping to share with others by participating in the climate strike?

Stephen: The world feels very heavy these days, and climate change looms over all of the other issues in a way that makes me feel very powerless at times.  I guess I want people–myself included–to feel like they have some agency to change things for the better.

Erika: Participating made me think about the many processes, like land dispossession and oppression, and systems, like patriarchy, that are all tied up together in “business as usual”. In marching I wanted to highlight the need to disrupt these aspects of the system as much as we need to transform our energy system.

Narayan: I am hoping to share with the world the message that we must unite in favor of climate solutions. We must phase out fossil fuels and decarbonize our energy systems as rapidly as possible, and we must do so in a way that brings everyone along.


Photo Credit: Rocio Lopez de la Lama


Photo Credit: Alejandra Echeverri