It would have been a remarkable accomplishment for any group to summon a throng the size of the multitude that enthusiastically greeted 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg in Edmonton yesterday afternoon.
To do it on three days’ notice in the capital city of Canada’s fossil fuel heartland where everyone supposedly holds the same rosy view of pipelines and petroleum extraction is not only a tribute to the incredible organizing skills of the young people who run Edmonton Climate Justice, but a barometer of the true level of concern about global warming in this province, country and world.
Especially with a federal election hours away, Alberta’s United Conservative Party and the federal party it supports arguably should take note of the potential long-term impact of denying climate change and stalling efforts to reduce its impact. Yesterday, however, the UCP mostly took a powder.
That included Premier Jason Kenney who seized the opportunity to re-announce a natural gas pipeline 70 kilometres out of town.
In addition to widespread concern about the environment, part of the explanation for the huge mid-day crowd was doubtless the star power exerted by Ms. Thunberg, who came here despite the threats of a group of Yellow Vesty truckers to disrupt the march and climate strike.
Ms. Thunberg addresses a crowd estimated at 10,000 people…