George Monbiot states in a recent column for the Guardian, "So here I am, watching the astonishing spectacle of a beautiful, cultured nation turning itself into a corrupt petro-state."
So here I am asking, begging, and yelling at all Canadians to send our government a message - preferably this message, written by my lovely spouse:
(just copy and paste into an email and send it off to Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dear Prime Minister Harper:
There was a time not long ago when Canada was well-respected for being environmentally friendly. We were a country that prided itself on environmental awareness. Unfortunately, Canada has squandered this reputation, and is now regarded by much of the world as part of the climate change problem instead of being part of the solution.
Global warming is the greatest threat to life on earth. Entire populations and ecosystems are threatened by the devastating impacts of droughts, heat waves, fires, floods, storms and rising sea levels. Two key examples illustrate these dangers:
- The president of the Maldives Islands has announced that he would begin searching for a new homeland for his people because his country may soon entirely disappear due to rising sea levels;
- Australia has been experiencing a prolonged, severe drought that is resulting in a shortage of drinking water for its population.
There are many more examples of such crises. Climate science tells us that, to avoid worsening patterns of dangerous climate change, the world’s greenhouse gas emissions must peak in just a few years – mostly likely by 2015 – then drop off drastically. The new agreement to be reached in Copenhagen will likely last until 2020.
The developed world – of which Canada is a vital part – has created 75% of all carbon pollution since 1850. It only makes sense that richer countries like Canada should take a leadership role in coming up with solutions to this global crisis.
Battles in history have not been won by quitting. I call on the Canadian government to restore our country’s fallen reputation. Seize Copenhagen as an historical opportunity to create the following positive, meaningful changes for everyone:
- Set a national target to cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 25% from 1990 levels by 2020 (China, Norway and Scotland have already pledged 40% cuts)
- Implement an effective national plan to reach this target and help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change;
- Adopt a bold, strengthened second phase of the Kyoto Protocol at the pivotal United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen;
- Provide subsidies for green technologies like wind and solar power, which will create skilled jobs and fuel our national economy.
The Government of Canada must act NOW to make climate change our highest priority.