June 2, 2023

“Sixteen million acres have burned,” said Tenille Bonoguore, of the massive bush fires that terrorized Australia in January. .

“Millions of animals and twenty-nine people have died; 2,500 homes have been destroyed, and half of the country’s population has been directly impacted by the heat and smoke of the megafires.”

The Ward 7 Waterloo City Counsellor, activist and Australian citizen spoke out to an assembled crowd of activists, students and curious onlookers as part of the vigil and fundraiser for Australia in January.

Spearheaded by the Kitchener-Waterloo chapter of the Climate Save Movement, the event brought awareness to the tragedy and sought out funds to aid Australia with part of the recovery process.

“This vigil was organized to remember all the plants and animals that have been killed, to honour them” said Mo Markham, one of the event’s organizers and long-time member of the KW Climate Save Movement.

“We hope to raise awareness about what humanity is doing to the planet, just how fast the environment is changing and how drastic action needs to be taken at this stage in the game,” said Markham.

Featuring live music, chants and enthusiastic participants dressed up like Australian animals, KW Climate Save peacefully highlighted an immanent need for environmental change via sustainable plant-based eating habits and the elimination of fossil fuels, with an emphasis on the immediate disaster facing Australia.

The Kitchener-Waterloo branch of the Climate Save Movement is one of over two hundred groups around the world holding similar vigils and rallies, all with the collective intent of dousing the flames of the destructive fires.  

KW Climate Save has no intention of slowing down, where future events are concerned. With the Feb. 25 screening of the Jane Goodall film Hope: What You Eat Matters, and for the third year in a row, downtown Kitchener’s Vegfest on July 15, the Climate Save Movement hopes to bring about continuous action and understanding to the minds and diets of the KW area.   

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