Viewpoint: March highlights climate change danger

by Cynthia Barnes Powell River citizens are invited to a gathering and march on Sunday, November 29, at 12:30 pm to draw attention to the dangers of climate change and to send a message to politicians.

According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Climate change occurs when long-term weather patterns are altered: for example, through human activity. Global warming is one measure of climate change, and is a rise in the average global temperature.”

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We apparently have released so much carbon dioxide that our planet’s atmosphere is now like “a thick, heat-trapping blanket,” according to the foundation.

By disrupting the atmosphere’s balance that keeps climate stable we are now seeing extreme effects and weather events worldwide.

The gathering and march will start at Willingdon Beach and proceed to the cenotaph in Townsite, and from there to the Patricia Theatre. This Changes Everything, a film based on the must-read book by Naomi Klein, will start at 2:30 pm.

On the same day, thousands of similar events will take place around the world, as well as a huge demonstration in Paris. All of this is to draw attention to the ravaging effects of climate change for which experts agree there is hope for change if definitive action begins in earnest.

For the month of December, climate change experts, including Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May, will be gathered to hopefully hammer out new climate change targets. It has been stated by developing countries that a new and improved agreement like the Kyoto Accord must include measures to bring developing countries out of poverty.

According to May, Canada and the Liberal government need to increase a commitment to improved climate change targets and hopefully provide courageous leadership to other countries with regard to their targets.

According to May, at this point in time the current climate change targets are insufficient to prevent an increase in temperatures to 3.7 degrees Celsius. Temperatures at this level have the potential to destabilize countries and create havoc.

May also says Canada needs to restore legitimate environmental assessments that were abandoned by the previous government and take responsibility for environmental assessments away from the National Energy Board that oversees international and inter-provincial aspects of the oil, gas and electric utility industries. Its head office is located in Calgary, Alberta.

This board would obviously have a bias to act on the interest of its members and certainly not be inclined to support environmental interventions or actions that contravene its own interests.

We can also reduce our carbon footprint by eating less meat (the film Cowspiracy offers an eye-opening look at how animals raised for meat  contribute to climate change) and by buying local and organic food.

We can also choose energy-efficient appliances, decrease our use of electricity, and walk, carpool, or take transit to our usual destinations.

Cynthia Barnes is a member of Powell River’s Global Climate March committee.

Copyright © Powell River Peak

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