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March 2020 Newsletter

Be the Change recognizes that we are living in uncertain and exceptional times. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our community, our teachers, and our students. With staff working remotely and program offerings moving online, Be the Change is working to do its part to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve”. We encourage you all to continue following the recommendations of public health agencies and healthcare officials closely.

 

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Navigating Eco-Anxiety

Increasingly, articles are popping up in mainstream media covering the rise of eco-anxiety, particularly among young people. And it is hardly surprising. Today, for example, when I do a quick scan of The Guardian’s Climate news, the headlines read of the severe consequences a 2 degree temperature rise would have on Antarctic ice melt, that fossil fuel pollution has been behind 4 million premature deaths annually, and that the 4 biggest fossil fuel companies (Shell, Chevron, BP and Exxon) have made almost 2 Trillion dollars since 1990 exploiting the fossil fuels that have contributed dramatically to climate change. Just scanning these stories- that highlight both the impacts of climate change is already having around the world, and that our governments and systems appear in-affective to deal with it, it is hard not feeling some sort of worry or fear about the future. It is also easy to understand why psychologists are reporting that people are coming to them for help to manage their worries and fears over climate change, and that climate change is now being recognized as a mental health issue.

What exactly is eco-anxiety?

One group of psychologists define eco-anxiety as the term to: “describe various difficult emotions and mental states arising from environmental conditions and knowledge about them. EcoAnxiety can result directly from an environmental problem, but most often it is an indirect impact. For example, a person may feel anxiety and sorrow because a woodland area next to him is cut down. But even more people experience anxiety because they feel that climate change is taking away their future.”

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February 2020 Newsletter

SPECIAL EDITION NEWSLETTER:

Our newsletter this month is dedicated to supporting Wet’suwet’en land defenders and protesters, in solidarity with Indigenous rights, title and climate justice.

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January 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to 2020! 
Here’s an update of what’s been going on with Be The Change
so far this year

Youth Climate Ambassador Workshops, Youth Action Stories Video series, blog series, welcoming our new executive director

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Press Release: Youth Climate Ambassador Workshops

COLLABORATORS EMPOWER YOUTH CLIMATE AMBASSADORS!

Be the Change Earth Alliance and the UBC Climate Hub today announce a new joint project: Youth Climate Ambassador Workshops. These workshops will empower high school students to become community ‘Climate Ambassadors’ to engage peers, family, and community members in meaningful climate action.

Be the Change Earth Alliance has been presenting environmental workshops to build hope and agency among youth through a proven delivery model for ten years. This collaboration will augment their regular school programming in 2020 by providing high school classes with workshops facilitated by university students. 

“I love the dynamics of peer mentorship,” enthused Maureen Jack-LaCroix, Creative Director of Be the Change Earth Alliance. “These workshops deepen commitments for change with both the student facilitators from UBC and the adolescents they are inspiring. Our experience indicates that most youth are already well informed on the causes and impacts of climate change. These workshops will help transform their eco-anxiety into positive action. We’ll be supporting students to plan group projects and develop their voice to influence others.” 

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5 tips for navigating conversations with young people on the climate crisis

 I delivered a Pro-D workshop to BC high school teachers this past fall on BTCEA's signature educational programStudent Leadership for Change. Over the hour long workshop our conversations kept coming back to the tensions many teachers felt as to how to teach about the climate crisis; Teachers were worried about presenting the facts about climate change in a manner that does not overwhelm students, while also not downplaying the major changes required by society to turn things around.

This group of teachers are not alone in wrestling with this challenge. Indeed, this has been an ongoing struggle in the world of climate communications. And rightly so, the climate crisis brings with it a lot of devastation, particularly for young people whose futures will be most impacted if swift action is not taken.

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Announcing! New blog series: The complex world of climate change communications.

How exactly do we broach the subject of the climate crisis with students? Is there some sort of balance to be stricken between teaching the realities of the scale of the crisis while also maintaining a sense of positivity and hopefulness? How do we deal with rising eco-anxiety among youth that comes with learning and experiencing the climate crisis? These are the questions that teachers shared with me this fall.

The concerns that teachers expressed about wanting to teach students about the climate crisis without sending them all spiraling into a wave of eco-despair is well-founded. As we welcome in 2020, we enter a decade where the 2019 UNEP Report: Closing the Gap asserts greenhouse gas emissions globally have to fall 7.6% each year to maintain a chance of limiting warming to the 1.5°C Paris Target, designated as the safe limit for humanity. The scale of change and transformation that this requires is unprecedented, and can feel totally overwhelming, and even impossible. However, there is hope in that we do know the solutions, and public opinion on climate change is changing, and rapidly.  

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December 2019 Newsletter

We hope you are having a wonderful start to December! Here’s our last update for 2019

New partnerships, classroom workshops, fundraising campaign, speaking in the community, and looking towards the New Year!


 

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Donor Story: Kim and Stuart

Hi. Kim & Stuart here. We’re steadfast supporters of Be the Change Earth Alliance and Verity is  the embodiment of why we believe  bringing eco-social education to our youth is so important. We want Verity to enjoy the same rejuvenating experiences in nature as we’ve enjoyed our whole lives...not wildfires, floods and millions of starving people all over the world.

We’re constantly looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint: riding a bike to work, conserving energy and water, reducing waste, cutting way back on air travel and needless consumption. But we’re frustrated knowing this is just a drop in the bucket. We need critical mass - the population, business and industry need direction from government. Seeing politicians being non-responsive is maddening. We agree with Greta – politicians need to tell the truth to rally collective action. Seeing climate-aware youth in the street gives us renewed inspiration. This generation will soon be able to vote.

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Donor Story: Investing in our youth

My name is Andrew Davidson, I’m an Investment Advisor based in Vancouver. 

To me, meaningful investment includes investing in combating the climate crisis. There is no clearer return than a clean and healthy world.

As with tackling many pressing issues, starting with education can be transformative. I encourage you to invest in Be the Change Earth Alliance because there really is no downside to investing in climate action and students.  

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