Last Friday massive numbers of people around the world took to the streets to call for action on climate change. In Canada almost 800,000 protested, including an estimated 2,000 in Saskatoon, 4,000 in Edmonton and 12,000 in Winnipeg. It is rare to see so many people standing together. They rose up because of how serious this is and how desperately we need change.
The science is clear and overwhelming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change brings together climate scientists from around the world to produce the most objective and scientific assessment possible. They have said: “Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. … Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.”
Hopefully people are finally ready to give climate change and the ecological crisis the attention they truly deserve. The task before us is incredibly difficult. Our economy in its current form is deeply dependent on fossil fuels. However, failing to act would be unacceptable. I know I cannot accept giving up on the children I know and love. If we do not transform the system, they will face the consequences.
Many have already suffered consequences. Climate scientists have predicted increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events — hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires, droughts and floods. We have begun to see those predictions come true, but what we have seen so far pales in comparison to what could come.
So what do we do? Everything that we can. We can take actions in our personal lives to burn less fossil fuels, but in our current system that is hard to do, and individual action will only take us so far. We need collective action to transform the system. We need to build communities and movements that will push for the systemic changes that are needed and elect leaders prepared to act in proportion to the magnitude of the crisis. We need everyone. That means you and me.
I hope you will join us at Battlefords Climate Action. We are a brand new group – local people coming together to look seriously at this issue and how to protect the ones we love and the planet we depend on. Find us on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RM of Meota