It’s not easy being green if you’re a youth in the Alberni Valley

Green opportunities are there, but supportive attitude is not, says environment advocate.

To the Editor,

I feel for the youth of Port Alberni. Caught in a difficult squeeze, they live and learn in a town where anti-green sentiment is held onto with a militancy hard to handle, even for the most seasoned environmentalist.

Yet, climate change is a youth issue as it will affect the potential of young people’s lives most profoundly.

I bet a lot of our youth are secretly worried about it and unable to talk to anyone about that worry. This is unfair; talking is the best thing to do about worry but when you dare not talk, what then?

I feel for our youth because if they were to raise their voices about adapting to climate change, peak oil, food security and other green issues, something they need to express, they will face, as I have since coming to Port Alberni, not just opposition, but derision and patronization.

No youth can handle derision. (Definition of derision: contemptuous mockery and ridicule.)

In the midst of all this anti-green sentiment, youth are downcast because the support, enthusiasm and spirit of experimentation that is needed from the adults in their lives is just not forthcoming. There are green jobs, green co-ops and green fair trade enterprises that are waiting to be created once the anti-green sentiment gets out of the way and adults in the community accept the science of climate change, peak oil, permaculture and systems analysis and start supporting our youth entrepreneurs.

Climate change lies, purposely casting doubt on the science, are perpetuated by many layers of self-interests. Youth in Port Alberni should be getting opportunities, today, right now, that they will never get if the anti-green sentiment around them does not dissipate, making way for community that is working together, on the same page, towards resiliency and community-wide adaptations.

Jen Fisher-Bradley,

Port Alberni