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CarbonWise: Understanding climate change

City of Powell River council recently voted for a motion to declare a climate emergency. Many of us have known this for a long time. Some still don’t see it. Others are simply confused by an almost constant flow of opinion and facts.
Climate Action Powell River
Climate Action Powell River began to take shape at this gathering at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Powell River on November 29, 2015, one week before the historic Paris Climate Conference. Contributed image

City of Powell River council recently voted for a motion to declare a climate emergency. Many of us have known this for a long time. Some still don’t see it. Others are simply confused by an almost constant flow of opinion and facts.

It is starting to divide us in dangerous ways. How can anyone step back from it and have a balanced view of the situation and then feel like they are part of the solution?

Where are your greatest sympathies? Is it with the truckers in Ottawa, the starving in Yemen? They are climate victims of a fossil-fuel economy that degrades the foundations of human decency. Perhaps your sympathy is with nature, which is already suffering incredible losses that will continue if we don’t change.

We argue and take sides when we are confused.

Greta Thunberg has put it very simply. The 16-year-old Swedish girl caused a national school strike and started a worldwide movement to wake up the adults and say it is time to stop talking and take action. She is perhaps the most profound arbiter of this conflict of information and opinion yet to take the stage. Search for her on YouTube if you haven’t already. She says it better than we ever will.

A good perspective is hard to find. We can all be forgiven if we are confused and frustrated. Our world and hence our lives are full of distraction, daily challenges, information overload and pressures of all kinds. If you only know there is a problem, a pending disaster, a climate emergency, you aren’t even halfway there.

We are witnessing runaway extinction of biblical proportion. Can we stop it? The majority of scientists tell us it is still possible, but we must take immediate action and make unprecedented changes in our global society, most dramatically in our own habits as members of one of the major consuming nations. One step at a time, but at a pace that is unrelenting, determined and intelligent. Business as usual is death. Sorry, that is the truth.

There is a presentation on Wednesday, March 13 (7 pm in the Elm Room at Powell River Recreation Complex) about the impacts of fracking on our precious water, our earth and our future. Disagree if you must, but listen first.

Tickets for an upcoming banquet in support of tree planting in one poor region of Africa are sold out, but you can find the project at treesisters.org.

Feel the solidarity that is inherent in the climate movement. See the solutions being put into action around the world so you feel part of the journey. Look up drawdown.org, take part in Earth Day at Willingdon Beach on April 22, and talk with the people at the CAPR table in the mall all that month.

There are many ways to get involved. These events are good places to find your place in the climate change movement.

Climate Action Powell River Society is a non-profit society committed to helping the residents and businesses of Powell River to reduce their greenhouse gas.

 
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