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Letter: Dr. Saxe issues a call to action

Dr. Saxe suggested two things: mitigation and adaptation
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Dianne Saxe. (Supplied)

Thank you to all who came out on Jan. 8 to listen to Dr. Dianne Saxe talk about climate change in Northern Ontario. 

Many thanks to the staff including Karen Oman, doctors John Gunn and Peter Beckett for loaning/arranging a workable space for an overflow crowd at the Vale Living with Lakes Centre.  

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario is an impartial, independent officer of the Ontario legislature. Dr Saxe is a “watchdog” on greenhouse gas emissions, energy conservation and on environmental protection. She reports facts. One shared fact from her presentation, is that climate change is here in Northern Ontario affecting us now.  

Much worse climate events lay ahead in the form of fires, wind, heat, floods and heat. It’s going to be costly.  

Dr. Saxe suggested two things: mitigation and adaptation.

Mitigation refers to decreasing greenhouse gases that worsen climate change. Adaptation refers to planning to cope with the impacts of climate change now and in the future.

Sobering messages from Dr. Saxe’s evidence based talk: Ontario is warming faster than the global average, and Northern Ontario is warming faster than the rest of Ontario.  

These messages were followed by many suggestions for action.

The current Ontario government is eliminating Dr. Saxe’s office this spring, has cancelled serious provincial programs and is retreading weak environmental targets.

We, therefore, can’t depend on the Ontario government.

As members of the public, we can all creatively decrease our carbon footprint, adapt to upcoming climate emergencies and speak up. We can support the Federal Government’s Pan Canadian Framework for Climate Change, encourage mitigation/adaptation by the City of Greater Sudbury, local businesses, investors, the universities/colleges, our health-care system. 

We can support other local groups lobbying for decreased greenhouse gases such as Citizens’ Climate Lobby, reThink Green and Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury.  

Dr Saxe has given us a call to action.

Dr. J. E. Cox