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Think globally, act locally on climate change

It is a fact we have the technological and economic solutions to avert climate catastrophe. It is also a fact the only things standing in the way of acting on the climate crisis are social and political barriers.
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It is a fact we have the technological and economic solutions to avert climate catastrophe. It is also a fact the only things standing in the way of acting on the climate crisis are social and political barriers.

Here are is another fact ponder: unlike in the United States, Environment Canada reports released in April indicated Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2011.

Canada’s emissions are projected to continue to rise and not decline, as we promised in the Copenhagen Accord.

If you watch parliamentary debates, you might be familiar with the ongoing rallying cry of the Harper government that a carbon tax will be a job killer.

This is very dangerous rhetoric. It is disingenuous to make such a claim, and it is paralysing our member of parliament’s capacity to act appropriately on the climate crisis.

It is becoming blatantly obvious that it will be up to the people to lead on the climate crisis. How can we lead? With our votes.

Every four years, MPs have to come back to their ridings and ask for the privilege to return to Ottawa and represent the people. Ergo, it is logical to assume public education in our communities on climate change will vastly help our cause to create the political will for a fair, effective and explicit price on carbon pollution in Canada.

Citizen climate lobbyists across Canada have been asked to contact their local municipal governments and ask their local representatives to consider an initiative from Our Horizon.

Our Horizon’s first campaign is a low-cost, high-impact, globally unprecedented approach to climate change. They want municipalities to use their licensing powers to require gasoline retailers to place warning labels on gas pump nozzles similar to those on cigarette packages.

Just imagine what it would be like for an MP candidate to run a campaign with lame climate policies in communities that have warning signs about climate change on their gas pumps.

Making personal changes such eating sustainable food, increasing the energy efficiency of your home and using sustainable transportation are good solutions, but they will not reduce our collective carbon emissions sufficiently.

Sudbury, how was the acid rain problem solved? What lifestyle changes did you make to reduce your personal sulphur dioxide emissions?

As Sudburians, we know that education plus sweeping federal and international legislation was required to mitigate sulphur dioxide pollution globally.

The lesson learned from the acid rain problem is that we need public education in conjunction with strong legislation to avert climate catastrophe.

Once enough people have been educated, they will demand our politicians enact federal and international legislation to avert climate catastrophe.

Since climate change is such an abstract problem, it is advisable that we put the education of carbon dioxide pollution directly in the hands of all citizens every time they pull the trigger at the gas pump.

Municipal leaders that enact legislation to require labelling gas nozzles similarly to how we label cigarette packages, will show foresight, big-picture thinking and courage.

We are happy to report that in Sudbury, within a half a day of submitting our letter asking our municipal leaders to consider the Our Horizon Initiative, we received confirmation that they received our request, and our city leaders are making inquiries about the legal aspects of putting warning labels on gas pumps.

Sudbury, you are inspiring our belief that we are becoming too connected to fail.
Connect with us on the evening of June 12 at St. Andrew’s Place for an event called 400 ppms, to learn more about how we can create the political will for a liveable world.

Cathy Orlando works as the national manager for Canada’s Citizens Climate Lobby, an international, not-for-profit, non-partisan volunteer climate education and lobbying organization.



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