Hello, Prince of Wales Secondary!

“How do we move away from fossil fuel?

How is it fair that climate change disproportionately affects developing states who did the least to cause it? What is the structure of the Paris Climate Agreement?” asked students at Prince of Wales Secondary.

Young people aren’t interested in superficial conversation on climate change. They’re interested in learning the complicated, complex, but important details.

They’ve started good sustainable initiatives including a bike shop, sustainability week, student council, and a bottle drive.

I started talking about the bike shop with the student leaders. They wanted to open up a bike shop at school to help students fix their bikes and, in turn, encourage biking over driving. But, their objectives were unclear.

I asked them: “What’s the impact? Is it to build a long term habit of biking? Is it to promote physical exercise for the community’s health benefits? Is it to reduce GHG emissions by riding a bike to school, instead of a car?

If these are the objectives, why do you need to fix bikes? Is that the best use of the school’s resources to set up a shop to achieve any of the objectives above?”

Helen, a student council representative, agreed that they hadn’t really thought about that. She’s excited to start having hard talks with her student council on how and why they do things. She wants to incorporate an impact and measure of success to their planning in the future.

And I hope they will. I hope that these passionate students launch well-researched, data-driven, impactful projects to help shape their community’s future into the kind of future they want.