CLIMATE CHANGE: Rightwing Politicians Like Canada’s Conservatives Are Not Serious About a Dying Earth – TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW!

By Dave Bains

Whether you know anything about climate change, you are a denier or even if you don’t care, it would have been hard to miss the spectre of young people in hundreds of thousands marching around the world. The marches were to protest the lack of sufficient action by the leaders to combat global warming. World leaders have been meeting and charting the course ahead. Seeing what is actually happening, I had reached the conclusion that our grandchildren and their grandchildren are doomed to an inhospitable world.

Some countries, States and cities have made great progress to curtail the production of earth warming greenhouse gases. But most are not meeting their targets. What’s worse we have the world’s # 1 and # 2 climate criminals – one each in North & South America who are poking all humanity in the eye with their contrary actions. This is not just a regular warming, cooling cycle of the earth. No time in earth history 100 million barrels of oil was being burned daily and forests were not denuded as now.  Fundamental changes in the way we live are necessary. Just spending some money on spiral and LED bulbs will not do it.

Seeing the children of the world taking to the streets demanding climate change action gives me HOPE. Half a million marched in Montreal while over a 100,000 took to the streets in Vancouver last Friday. It is their future politicians (5 Premiers in Canada – all Conservative) who are not taking seriously. Words are not matching action.

The young have been awakened by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. She started skipping school on Fridays and sit outside the Swedish Parliament. I am awed by her insight and determination. Soon the young marchers will be of voting age and will elect like-minded politicians.

I want to make a sobering point about the task mankind faces. It is easy to turn a small boat around. But a large cruise ship is another matter. It wants to keep going in the direction it is going. That is inertia. Earth is a 8,000 mile long ship. Even if we stopped adding to heat trapping greenhouse gases completely today, the deterioration of earth systems will continue for a very long time. Carbon dioxide has a life of 100 years. Corals in the oceans are dying. Eco systems are dying. Droughts, severe floods, forest fires seem to be the new normal -just as the scientists have been warning us. Failure of crops, shortage of food and water are already showing their effects. Africa, India and middle east are running out of water. Along with it comes huge migrations and conflict.

The injustice here is that that the poor on low lying lands who have not contributed to the greenhouse gas problem are least able to fend against the effects of a warming earth. They will be, rather are, the first to suffer the consequences. I sincerely hope that the young people realizing what is at stake will hold the leaders and politicians accountable. Last year Greta said “in 60 years time when she is 75, my grandchildren will ask why the adults didn’t do anything”.

Dave Bains is a Surrey-based writer.

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