Touring climate change exhibit makes a stop in Thunder Bay

Science North is bringing an exhibit with an important message about climate change to Thunder Bay. The exhibit is called “Our Climate Quest: Small Steps to Big Change!” and it’s at the Thunder Bay Museum until Tuesday. Thunder Bay is one of its several stops in smaller rural and remote communities in a more flexible version of a larger initiative traveling nationwide that aims to engage one million Canadian youth to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and help Canada achieve its net-zero emissions goal by 2050.”It’s exhibitions like this that help me have that hope because when you can spark that interest and that curiosity in kids, it doesn’t just end with the kid,” said Ashley Larose, the CEO of Superior North and Dynamic Earth, who attended the exhibition’s first viewing in the city on Friday. “They bring it home and they talk about it around the dinner table with their families,” she said. “Through the kids were able to influence in a positive way families to make better choices toward the fight against climate change.”Addressing climate change for future health and wellnessPatty Hajdu, the MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North has been involved in conversations on addressing climate change and within the federal government and said she has worked to ensure that smaller pieces of this work are well-funded and thoughtfully supported through her work as minister responsible for FedNor. She said she visited the West Coast and witnessed many communities in the interior of B.C. deeply scarred by forest fires which demolished, homes, communities and the surrounding landscapes. Those experiences taught her it is essential to empower those frightened about what’s coming next, especially youth, she said. “Exhibits like this help us to feel empowered as individuals that we are not at the mercy of what will happen next,” Hajdu said. “That there are things that we can do to become more resilient, to reduce our emissions, and we can be political about this work.” Scott Bradley, Executive Director with the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, Ken Boshcoff, Mayor of Thunder Bay, Jenna Kirker, Vice President of the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, Ashley Larose, CEO of Superior North and Dynamic Earth, and Patty Hajdu, MP of Thunder Bay-Superior North, left to right, speak on behalf of the exhibition’s importance to boost climate action in the city. (Nicky Shaw)Decision-makers from all parties and levels of government are responsible not just for making the decisions for the here and now, but making them for the next generation as well, said Hajdu.”Times are difficult and climate change is a big part of that, but if we pull together we will have the tools that we need,” she said. Supporting healthy and diverse environmentsThunder Bay Mayor Ken Boshcoff also attended the special viewing Friday. He said the city has the legislation in place to recognize issues contributing to climate change, but there is still much to do. “I’m convinced that by seeing other countries, the solution is that they first of all have a culture where the youth don’t throw their wrappers, cans and stuff on the street. Everybody puts it in recycling,” said Boshcoff. “So if other countries can get their students to do that, I’m hoping that our educational system can really inspire its students to be the leaders.”Larose uses “Sheepy,” the 18-year-old sheep that helps engage children about climate change at Science North, to discuss the importance of the exhibit. He also plays a role in the Climate Quest action theatre for a short film on greenhouse gasses. (Nicky Shaw)The city should issue a challenge to become one of the cleanest cities in Canada or have our high schools and elementary schools challenge students in other communities to have the cleanest schoolyards or cleanest neighbourhoods, added Boshcoff.”The earth is not only our home, this is our city, so every time you toss something you are tossing it into your home,” he said. Michelle St.Onge and her son Arlo Hannahs, who enjoys getting outside in nature, were among the families that participated in the exhibit. She said that it was a fun opportunity for him to learn while his school had a PA day and hoped getting him engaged in climate action would help improve his future.Theordore Blenkinsopp, a science communicator with Superior North, aids in the three workshops set up to teach the basics of climate change for the climate quest tour: the Working With Worms Workshop, the Habitat & Biodiversity Workshop, and the Wind Turbine Workshop. (Nicky Shaw)”Growing up in the 90s, you didn’t hear too much about any climate concerns, and so I still get to learn a lot as well,” said St.Onge. “I hope for change and that he learns, cares and wants to make a difference. And I think their generation will, I’m sure of it.”The expedition will soon head to the Collingwood Arena before continuing to Guelph and through Quebec until it hits the East Coast. While in town, Laroses encourages the public to come out or check out the exhibit online to learn more about all the small steps of climate action people can take together daily.”We want people to understand that collectively if we all make small choices, all of those choices add up and help toward the fight against climate change,” said Larose.

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