Recent Angus Reid polling (June 2023) indicates that only 25% of Canadians see the environment and climate change as a top issue. I am not in disbelief of the poll results, rather, I am simply dismayed. The small percentage of Canadians that consider climate change a top issue seems to be at odds with Angus Reid poll results stating that Canadians see climate change as a serious (25%) or a very serious threat (50%) for our planet. If you are one of these 75%, it’s time to engage our political leaders at every level, but of particular importance is our municipal leaders. Municipalities have influence over nearly half the GHG emissions in a community.
Canada is in no way doing anything near enough to stave off the severe impacts of climate change and we remain one of the highest per capita GHG emitters in the world.
In the past three years, British Columbia has seen an unprecedented heat dome, drought, widespread infrastructure damage from atmospheric rivers, the worst year on record for forest fires, and unhealthy smoke-filled air. Events have drilled home the fact that global heating is threatening our way of life and our climate is changing faster than anticipated.
Our planet is hurtling ever faster towards a climate disaster and so far, our response has been at best weak. For decades warnings from politicians and climate scientists have been mostly shrugged off. Sadly, some politicians use the reality of climate change as a wedge issue for their own personal gains, rather than call for the serious action that this crisis demands.
Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady, warned of the perils of global warming and climate change over three decades ago. In his recent book publication, Value(s), Mark Carney, the former governor of both the Bank of Canada, and the Bank of England states, “…once the physical effects of climate change become the defining issue for a critical mass of decision makers, it could be too late to stop their catastrophic effects.” I don’t think that either Margaret Thatcher or Mark Carney represent what some may call ‘tree huggers”. They were thoughtful policymakers with access to the data and information required to make sound decisions.
There is not a single credible scientific organization that is not sounding the alarm when it comes to climate change. From the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society to NASA, 99 percent of scientists agree that earth (the only one we have) is in trouble.
We have 88 months to reduce our GHG emissions by 40% to meet this target. There is no time to lose. Take two minutes to email our mayor and council that climate change mitigation and adaptation are a priority: email@example.com
Dave Crawford/Kelowna Climate Coalition