Funeral for the Future - Saturday November 20th, 2021 - Dr. David Suzuki and Extinction Rebellion in Victoria

Victoria, BC - 17th November 2021

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Don Goodeve - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Saturday, November 20th, 2021

Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island and Dr. David Suzuki host a Funeral for the Future

On the unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples: the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ.

Event Starts - 12:30pm at Centennial Square; Welcome and Grounding.

Funeral Procession - 1:00-1:30pm - down Douglas St. to Belleville St.

Speakers - 1:30pm on Belleville St. opposite Legislature

Symbolic Funeral Action - 2:10pm on Belleville St

The COP26 Climate Talks were billed as the last chance for governments to rise to the challenge to address the Climate Emergency — and avert catastrophe.

Just in the last few days the impacts of a rapidly changing climate have been brought home to the people of Vancouver Island and across southern BC. A summer of heat and wildfire followed by historic rainfall and catastrophic flooding. All of this has been predicted — and we know it is going to get worse.

There was never much prospect of a true breakthrough at COP26. 196 nations working to protect their own political and economic agendas are not putting the survival of future generations first. Politics-as-usual is in full-on denial of the scale, scope and urgency of the rapidly escalating climate emergency. The science is clear. By 2030 we must cut emissions to half of 2010 levels to stand a chance of averting catastrophe. Net-zero by 2050 is far too little, far too late[1]. Every level of government is complicit in the genocide of future generations.

Dr. David Suzuki - The renowned broadcaster, academic, environmental activist and grandfather is joining with Extinction Rebellion for this event as a pall-bearer and speaker. He states: “Many around the world have looked on in impotent horror at the farce of COP26. It is clear that the goal of limiting global heating to 1.5ºC and even 2ºC is slipping from our grasp — and with it the chance for a survivable future for those alive today. I am here because I have to be here.” “The scientific basis of the crisis has been clear for more than three decades. When will we acknowledge this and listen to what scientists tell us we have to do?

We call for all those who share our concern for the future of our species, our children, our planet, our forests, and all life to join with us and demand urgent change from the BC government — a government who is claiming to lead the way in addressing the rapidly unfolding climate catastrophe, and yet who is continuing the policies of the past, failing to protect our ecology and ramping up support for new destructive fossil-fuel infrastructure. This is insanity. As responsible citizens we cannot stand by while this blatant disregard for the future is trumpeted as leadership.

A decade ago, British Columbians saw the impact of climate change when our forests turned red and billions of trees were lost with the death of the pine forests. This was followed by floods, droughts and massive fires. In June 2021, as has been widely reported, the BC Coroners Service recorded 569 deaths due to the extreme heat at the end of that month [4]. This makes the unprecedented and record-breaking heat-dome event the deadliest weather event in Canadian history. And yet the BC government did not declare an emergency then, and has still refused to declare a climate emergency now. What will it take to call it an emergency? Perhaps the record-breaking flooding of the last few days; washing away roads, lives, livelihoods, livestock will show BC just how vulnerable we are to a changing climate? To the BC government: Are you ready to call this the emergency that it is and act now to safeguard the future and be on the right side of history?

Dr. Don Goodeve, an organizer with Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) states: “We are here to put our demands in front of the public and the BC government as powerfully as we can. We demand that the BC government immediately declare a Climate Emergency, that they commit to end all subsidies for fossil fuel extraction in BC ($1.3 billion in 2020), that they implement the recommendations of their own strategic review [6] and commit to the full protection of old-growth forest in BC. The future is what gets supported and funded NOW — and now is almost too late. It is time for them to tell the truth, and act on the reality of that truth.”

The BC government recently relaunched their ‘Clean BC’ plan, which would have been a good plan 20 years ago, but is now woefully inadequate to the task at hand [2]. The government continues to facilitate the destruction of the last of the old-growth temperate rainforest. Far from being a possible solution to the climate emergency, BC’s forests are now known to be a net carbon source. Catastrophically the BC government is still committed to the creation of a destructive LNG industry in northern BC, trampling over the rights of First Nations and other residents both in the Peace River area and along pipeline routes. The brutal treatment of Indigenous title-holders in the pursuit of resource extraction in BC has been internationally condemned [3] — including the forced access into Wet’suwet’en traditional territories to facilitate building the Coastal Gas Link pipeline. This in turn is to facilitate a massive and ecologically catastrophic expansion of fracked gas extraction in the Peace River area.

The Funeral for the Future event is intended to send an unmistakable message to the BC government that we, the people, will not allow the future to be determined by narrow interests. The age of Extractivist Colonialism is over and must be brought to a swift conclusion if we and our children are to stand a chance.


International Energy Agency: “Beyond projects already committed as of 2021, there are no new oil and gas fields approved for development in our pathway...” [5]. BC Government Strategic Review: ‘A New Future for Old Forests’ key recommendation “2. Declare conservation of ecosystem health and biodiversity of British Columbia’s forests as an overarching priority and enact legislation that legally establishes this priority for all sectors” [6].









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