Neighbours for the Planet
Tackling Climate Change, One Action at a Time
CHIN 1540 Radio Interview about #Global Climate Strike in Richmond Hill
Wing Wu from Neighbours for the Planet was interviewed by James Yeng on CHIN 1540 Radio on his A1 Newsbeat program on September 20, 2019. This interview was conducted to raise awareness in the Chinese Community about Climate Change and an upcoming Global Climate Strike being held in Richmond Hill.
Following is the translated transcript from the interview conducted in Cantonese, with the actual audio interview included at the end.
James Yeng: From today, (September) 20th until the 27th, over 150 countries and regions worldwide will be participating in the Global Climate Strike in response to climate change. There is also a climate strike being held in Richmond Hill and Wing Wu, who took part in organizing of the strike, is on the line. Wing, why do you want to organize this event?
Wing-Shun Wu: Hi James, hello everyone.
Yeng: Why do you want to organize this event?
Wu: I am actually a volunteer for Neighbours for the Planet. There's a few of us in this group in Richmond Hill and like you said, there are strikes being held worldwide today, in 150 countries.
Yeng: These events were originated by a Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg. She will be attending a rally at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, so why do you want to organize an event as well?
Wu: Actually back in July, we also held an event in Richmond Hill and had a great turnout given that we only had a week to prepare for it so it was great that about 50 people came out. Following this event, we felt that there are people in Richmond Hill that are concerned about the environment so the strike in Richmond Hill is to make it more convenient for people in Richmond Hill and Markham to attend. Most importantly, it's to raise awareness regarding these concerns for those who are not on social media or less familiar with this topic.
Yeng: When we say "strike" in English, we mean to not go to work or school for the sake of the Earth and the climate. This sounds a little bit intimidating in Chinese. How about this event? Is it going to be violent?
Wu: Yes, we are calling it a "strike" but we won't be doing anything radical.
Yeng: So what will you be doing?
Wu: This will be a peaceful march being held in Richmond Hill on September 27th.
Yeng: So that's in one week.
Wu: That's right, in one week from now. We don't intend to block the traffic. We will march west from the intersection of Bayview and Major Mackenzie to the Yonge and Major Mackenzie area. We will be holding some signs and we will march to the church in that area. We will start at around lunch time at 12 and march from Bayview and Major Mackenzie to a church just north of the intersection at Yonge and Major Mackenzie and we will gather there at 2:00 PM.
Yeng: So that means walking along Major Mackenzie from the east towards west until Yonge Street, right?
Wu: That's right.
Yeng: What are the messages that you trying to convey to the public?
Wu: As I mentioned, if you follow social media or the news, you will see issues related to global warming such as the corals in the Great Barrier Reef starting to die off, the heat waves in Europe, the recent fires in the Amazon Rainforest, and most recently, the hurricane in the Bahamas. When you are follow these issues, you realize how common they are.
Yeng: In the past, hundred-year events, events that occur once every hundred years, are happening more often these days, correct?
Wu: That's correct. When you see that these events are happening more often, the youth and people across generations worldwide want to tell the politicians that they should focus more on the environment and climate issues.
Yeng: Some politicians are supportive of climate strikes while others are not. An example of someone who is against climate strikes is the acting prime minister of Australia. He feels that students should not go to a strike and remain in the classroom. The government is now taking actions. Why are you encouraging students to leave the classroom to rally in the streets?
Wu: I think that this is a real emergency and the media is now calling this a "climate crisis" or "climate emergency". Going to class is obviously really important, but this issue will affect the next generation, in particular youths and children. However, I am not encouraging anyone to do anything radical and most importantly we will be peaceful. We want everyone to understand why we are using our lunch time to come out to express our concerns.
Yeng: So you are using your lunch time to express yourselves.
Wu: Correct, for those of you who are available, there's more that you can do.
Yeng: So let's talk about yourself. You started participating in these actions early this year?
Wu: Correct, I started not too long ago and I have been following news related to the planet and the environment because I went to school for environmental science so I am particularly interested in these topics. I feel that I saw the effects of global warming with my own eyes. A lot of us live in cities and we don't really feel the effects as much because you can just turn on the air conditioner when it gets hot, right? When I went to Iceland last year, I saw lots and lots of ice. There was so much ice that it was extending as far as the eye can see and you just cannot imagine how many glaciers there are. My tour guide at the time told me that these two glaciers that were side by side had joint together when he was a child but when I was there to see it, they were completely separated. Also, if you have been following recent news, scientists are predicting that all glaciers on Iceland will melt away within 200 years. So when you are there to see how much ice there is and so much that you can't even imagine how much, and to think that they will all melt away, it makes you start wondering if climate change is a real concern.
Yeng: Right, the Earth is sick and it doesn't have an air conditioner. At first, you have mentioned that you are a volunteer, contributing your time and money. My last question is, why are you doing this?
Wu: Because I feel this is really meaningful. With Neighbours for the Planet, even though I feel really tired after work sometimes, I am still going to the meetings and we are now planning for next week's Global Climate Strike.
Yeng: For those that want to participate in the strike, where can you get more information?
Wu: Actually we have a website. It's Neighbours for the Planet. www.neighboursfortheplanet.ca
Yeng: Thank you Wing for the interview and I wish you success. Bye.
Wu: Thank you. Bye.