The climate crisis is now. For inspiration this Earth Week, we met with three UBC community members – an undergraduate student, graduate student, and professor – to hear how they are stepping up to the most pressing issue of our time.
The ultimate challenge?
What do the oceans tell us about the scale of the climate crisis and how we might take collective action?
UBC professor Simon Donner engages his reverence for the ocean to address the gravity and complexity of the issues we face, and to explore opportunities for a sustainable fossil-free future. As an IPCC report author, Simon describes his role in summarising the science, the impact of assessing what is relevant to tell the world’s governments about, and the challenge ahead for his generation and his students to change the way the world gets energy.
Simon’s contributions to advancing sustainability education at UBC were supported in-part through his participation in the Sustainability Hub’s Sustainability Fellowships program.
Simon Donner, Professor, Department of Geography, Institute for Resources, the Environment and Sustainability; Sustainability Hub Fellow
"It's about the choices we make today determining what the next few centuries are going to be like on the planet and for people."
How does it feel?
“We know that youth climate anxiety is rising… especially with all the protests around the world. Youth are really trying to draw attention to their futures.”
Judy Wu, Master of Public Health; UBC Sustainability Scholar
How do we address a new form of grief for our earth?
UBC graduate student Judy Wu seeks to create greater recognition for climate grief, and better interventions to create space for healing through her work with youth, and her own experiences in navigating multiple overlapping and interconnected forms of grief. Via research and community engagement actions, Judy explores how climate change is affecting youth in BC, and what strategies might strengthen and empower a generation that is going to be ultimately facing the effects of climate change.
Judy partnered with regional organization – the Fraser Basin Council – to produce applied research on programs and interventions to address climate grief through her participation in the Sustainability Hub’s Sustainability Scholars program.
What could be?
What role do youth play in addressing the climate crisis? As a co-founder of Canadian non-profit Reimagine 17, UBC undergraduate student Anjali Mishra describes her work at the local and national level to promote student collaboration towards the Sustainable Development Goals within and across post-secondary institutions.
An optimist by nature, Anjali finds hope in youth-led communities, in the spaces where we nurture our relationships with one another, and in her connection to the earth we live on. But she also challenges us to remember – the weight of addressing the climate crisis should not be put disproportionately on young people.
Anjali’s leadership, collaboration, and peer networking skills were supported through her participation in the Sustainability Hub’s Sustainability Ambassadors program.
Anjali Mishra, Bachelor of Arts in International Relations; Co-Founder, ReImagine 17; UBC Sustainability Ambassador
"I feel deeply hopeful about our world and ability to be creative, do things differently, and provoke people to think in different ways."