Some journalism students from MacEwan University attended the Talks to write an article about the event. Here is one of them.
The City of Edmonton is “Clearing the Air” Around Climate Change
by Emily Homeniuk
The City of Edmonton’s Change for Climate initiative is reframing eco-consciousness one speaker at a time. It hosted its second annual “Change for Climate Talks” at MacEwan University’s Triffo Theatre last October. In addition to a live jazz band, breakdancers, and refreshments, community leaders of various backgrounds – from art and business to science and fashion – took the stage and shared their stories and unique perspectives on climate change and what we can do to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“We’re hoping that we [can] find a topic that resonates with everyone, which is why we made a point [of getting] a diverse array of speakers,” said Laura De Carolis, a senior environmental project manager with the City of Edmonton’s Energy Transition team.
Among the speakers was Edmonton’s resident poet laureate, youth worker, and father, Ahmed Ali. He focused on how we can take the effects of climate change personally by educating ourselves on how things are made, where our food and water comes from, and how climate change will affect the future of our children. Ali commented on how art and creative language can be used to shift the negative haze that surrounds GHG emissions and how we can change our attitude towards fixing our climate.
“Art, what it does is it reshapes your mind [so you] look at things differently… so learn how to make language relevant to those you are speaking to...but find what connects. Challenge yourself…[and] seek out new knowledge. You can become responsible by changing what the previous generations have done.”
The Change for Climate initiative offers a wide range of programs to give individuals, homeowners, and businesses the opportunity to learn how to reduce their GHG emissions. According to De Carolis, current programs include a solar rebate and EnerGuide for Homes program, “to help homeowners reduce their energy consumptions”, as well as a Building Energy Benchmarking program and a Corporate Climate Leaders’ program which “encourages business owners to reduce their GHG emissions in their own corporate operations”.
“In the next year we will be developing some new [programs],” De Carolis added, “specifically a rebate program for the commercial sector, but stay tuned for that – we can’t really say anything yet.”
As for the live events like the speaker series, there are currently no plans for others but De Carolis said that they will have more. The best place to find details is on the Change for Climate Twitter and Facebook pages as well as on the website www.changeforclimate.ca.