Why should I do something about it?
So you may be thinking "Ok, it's serious. But I just want to live my life and not get involved" Well, you're certainly entitled to think like that, but there are a couple of good reasons you might want to think differently.
Whether we like it or not, Climate Change is starting to affect us in Canada, right here, right now. Click here for examples and discussion.
There is an American Native saying "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children". In the past, to most of us "our children" meant future generations way ahead in the future. But the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change entitled "Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C" concluded that we have 12-15 years to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change. So we are literally talking about the future of our current generation of children! Unless we can limit Global Warming to 1.5°C the worst effects of climate change will arise during their lifetimes.
As parents and families we do everything we can to make our children safe, fulfilled and happy. So why would we passively sit back and ignore this existential threat to our current way of life?
A lot of the technologies required to fight climate change already exist but the main thing lacking is political will. So there is a lot we can do as individuals, both in our own lives and by pressuring our governments to adopt climate friendly policies.
At Neighbours for the Planet, we believe in individual empowerment to make whatever changes we can in our own lives while at the same time lobbying our representatives to do the right thing. We hope you do too.
As one of the relatively rich, developed nations, Canada has been emitting hundreds of megatonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for well over a hundred of years. Although Canada only has about 0.5% of the world’s population it is responsible for 2% of global emissions. So Canada has an extra responsibility for the damage it has already caused and continues to do.
Furthermore, most studies conclude that the impacts of climate change will hit poorer countries disproportionately. This is already evident in Africa where cyclone Idai hit or in the small Pacific islands. So, even though we are already being impacted at home, we have a responsibility, as a nation with a reputation as a compassionate international actor, to do our part to minimize our impact.
Lastly, we have a responsibility as stewards of the natural world. Climate change is only one of a whole host of interrelated human-induced threats to the natural world - such as habitat destruction, plastic pollution, soil erosion to name just a few. We believe that we owe it both to the other species with whom we share this planet and future generations who should be able to enjoy the beauty and diversity of the amazing natural world, to do our best to keep it intact, to the best of our abilities.