pkc–david suzuki reminds us, ‘we are better than this’

The Kyoto Protocol was not perfect, but it was leading to progressive action on climate change (Credit: D Sharon Pruitt via Flickr).

  • excerpts:
  • resolve—or indifference—of the world leaders…to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change.
  • …decades
  • …the growing evidence of our warming biosphere, and its increasingly catastrophic impacts, are now the daily fodder of newscasts and weather reports
  • [even the minimum we failed to do…] Canada’s emissions have risen by 30 per cent over 1990 levels, leaving us way above our target of reducing levels by six per cent by 2012 [unlike the eu–okay, we don’t have the eu’s financial mess, but what do you want to be short of: money or oxygen? besides the usa did not ratify kyoto, yet they too have financial worries; that’s because this global depression is caused by sub-prime mortgages, not climate change.]
  • And, make no mistake, the world has been watching. … That our government would be willing to sacrifice human lives and our future for the sake of short-term profits from a polluting and non-renewable resource is a slap in the face not only to Canadians but to people everywhere.
  • This is not hyperbole. Climate change and its disastrous effects … are already killing 300,000 people a year and driving many more into poverty. … Many plants and animals—crucial to our own health and well-being—are going extinct as climate change wreaks havoc on their habitat.
  • [but…]
  • Canada is much more than its federal government. And our economy is much more than just the oil industry. Canada is you and me and provincial and municipal government leaders. It is businesspeople and union members and retired people and children. It is all of us. And we are making a difference.
  • Some provincial governments have implemented plans to reduce emissions, spur economic activity in the green energy sector and slow climate change.
    • B.C. and Quebec have implemented carbon taxes
    • Quebec is planning to cap and reduce industrial emissions
    • Ontario has its Green Energy Act, a game-changing piece of legislation.
  • Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan includes policies to increase the number of people who cycle or use transit rather than cars and to make homes and buildings more energy efficient.
  • And you have worked with organizations like the David Suzuki Foundation to put the focus on knowledge and solutions. With your support, we’ve encouraged governments at the municipal and provincial levels to take action, and we’ve worked with opposition parties to speak up for the majority who want a cleaner and healthier future.
  • ….the Trottier Energy Futures Project—an extraordinary initiative to analyze Canada’s energy sources and options and identify ways to slash emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, through wiser energy choices.
  • …a wide range of Canadians, including young people and new Canadians, reaching out in different languages to share new ideas and discuss solutions.
  • …You’ve written letters, signed petitions, taken part in forums, volunteered, talked to each other, and donated money. Equally important, you’ve walked the talk—taking transit, insulating your homes, buying local, and modelling other behaviour attuned to a sustainable future.
  • Please stay the course with us. Canada’s government may be turning its back on the global fight against climate change, but that makes it all the more important for us to take up the slack….
  • In the coming days and weeks, please take action to affirm your convictions. This will embolden others to express their views and act as well. For example, you could:
    • add your comments
    • ask your elected representatives ‘why?’
    • talk to your friends and family about the Canada we envisage: one that acts on the understanding that we are interconnected and interdependent with nature
  • Together, we can mobilize many more Canadians in defence of our biosphere, and once again be proud of our country.

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