New Brunswick

This 13-year-old is teaching people about climate change through poetry

Thirteen-year-old Quinn MacAskill hopes she can motivate people to care about climate change through her poetry. "I think climate art is a very effective way to engage people."

Quinn MacAskill is the youngest of eight competitors speaking at the first TEDxYouth event in Moncton

Quinn MacAskill, 13, is speaking at the TEDxYouth event on Saturday at Northrop Frye School in Moncton. (Jonna Brewer/CBC)

Thirteen-year-old Quinn MacAskill hopes she can motivate people to care about climate change through her poetry.

"If we want to stop climate change, we need people to be engaged and informed about climate change and motivated to take action," MacAskill said.

"I think climate art is a very effective way to engage people."

MacAskill, who attends Marshview Middle School in Sackville, is the youngest of eight competitors speaking at the first TEDxYouth event at Northrop Frye School on Saturday night in Moncton.

The event is for young people to share ideas on how to live sustainably.

Not all the competitors are reading poetry about the environment, however. Others are using the stage to talk about how changing mindsets can help change the planet, the importance of educating girls, and ending the stigma around mental illness.

But MacAskill has always loved the environment and has received support and encouragement from her parents, who both work in environment-related areas. She said ever since she can remember, she and her family and friends have been talking about environmental issues.

"I'm very worried for my future and the future of the planet."

Quinn MacAskill will speak at the first TedxYouth event at Northrope Frye School on Saturday evening in Moncton. She's the youngest of the eight participants. Quinn dropped by the CBC studio to give Jonna Brewer a preview of her talk. 6:05

Last fall, she was inspired to act after watching Greta Thunberg's TED Talk. Thunberg, 16, started skipping school to protest against climate change.

A group of students in MacAskill's community came together to form the Sackville Youth Climate Change Coalition. Since forming, the group has organized several climate protests in the community.

MacAskill described the movement as "inspirational."

"When we're marching down the street, you can look at everyone around you and then go home and look at the images and videos from strikes all around the world and you know that you're part of something really big."

At the TEDxYouth event Saturday night, MacAskill will read her poem Today to Tomorrow and discuss how climate art can increase people's engagement in the climate crisis.

"I think sometimes people forget that the youth are going to be severely affected by their decisions right now," she said.

She hopes that after hearing her poem people will be motivated to create their own climate art.

With files from Information Morning Moncton

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