Protesters carried homemade signs made on recycled cardboard.

Protesters carried homemade signs made on recycled cardboard.

New group forms in Smithers to fight climate change

Members trying to reduce greenhouse gases locally

A new climate action group has formed in Smithers with some ideas on reducing greenhouse gases locally to benefit the environment.

Co-founder Greg Tamblyn came up with the idea last year while recovering from back surgery with time on his hands.

“I heard a call for action from the leading climate scientists from around the world saying that really there is only a decade left to avoid catastrophic climate change,” he said.

He made changes in his own life to help the environment but was growing frustrated by the inaction of government and society to address the issues that affect everyone.

“Even around the Bulkley Valley we have seen much warmer weather resulting in inconsistent snow for skiing— this year the ski hill didn’t open until Christmas; the pine beetle outbreak; decline in salmon stocks for fishing; and huge fires. I had some ideas but I knew I couldn’t do it alone.”

After spending a couple of months talking with friends, he met a woman named Tina Portman and they put the idea of a climate action group together. It all came together with a climate action workshop that happened in January. Now the group of about 40 members meets once a month.

“The group is about providing a space for people to come together and participate in grassroots activity to reduce greenhouse gases considering actions that will benefit others,” Tamblyn said.

Currently, they have people in the group involved with a different number of sectors. They have people working on transportation, food and gardening, political action and education. People go off into their subgroups and when they meet once a month they update each other on their progress.

They’ve taken a number of initial steps on projects that will be ongoing.

“We have made some progress related to talking with the Town about looking at new areas for community gardens, we’ve been exploring ways to compost that are bear safe, we’ve done some exploration related to using current bus services to provide better transportation for local people and have looked into ride-sharing apps,” he added.

The group is open to more members. Anyone wishing to join or would like more information can contact Greg at gctamblyn@gmail.com.

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