Fasting for the end of climate change

With six days passed and seven pounds lost, Dante Ryel is fasting with only a water and supplement diet in support of the passing of Bill C-311, Climate Change Accountability Act.

“I’m extremely concerned about climate change and the issue is becoming more and more critical as time goes on,” said Ryel.

The 26-year-old Waterloo resident and graduate of Lakehead University believes that the planet risks becoming less fertile if climate change progresses, while also having negative impacts on food security.

To some it seems absurd to fast for such a long-fought issue. Ryel explained that “if politicians don’t pass this bill, they put billions of people at risk for starvation.”

Bill C-311, first proposed in February 2009 by NDP MP Bruce Hyer, commits Canada to ambitious greenhouse gas targets.

The goal is to ensure that the country meets previous global climate change obligations as stated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) by getting emissions to a level that is 25 per cent below the 1990 level by 2020, and 80 per cent below the 1990 level by 2050.

Ryel is willing to fast until he can get a commitment from a senator who will sponsor the bill, and in that case, he will immediately start eating again. Otherwise he will fast until March 31.

One week into his fast, Ryel said, “I’m not finding much loss of mental skills but I’m physically drained. I’m not trying to hurt myself in any way, but I do think it is important and go as far as I can.”

He said that if there are any long-term complications, he will call off the fast. Ryel is also having regular check-ups with his doctor to monitor his health.

Being busy throughout the day, Ryel explained that he doesn’t have much time to think about food but claims to dream about food every night– along with having cravings for ketchup and donair meat.

Ryel explained that his family has been supportive of his drastic action towards the Climate Change Accountability Act.

“I think they’re really concerned with this problem and they can see where I’m coming from because I don’t let the issue drop; I’m always talking about it,” said Ryel.

Ryel’s video explaining his initiative and along with footage documenting the rest of his action for change at the Youtube channel “Starving for Change”.

He also has a Facebook group with the same title to garner support.