blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Raising politicians' awareness (I hope)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the Climate Summit to engage leaders and advance climate action [...] to reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political will for an ambitious global agreement by 2015 that limits the world to a less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature.
That is a quotation from the Climate Change Summit website. The preliminary meetings will take place in New York next week, and although I'm not travelling to New York to take part in the People's Climate March there tomorrow (100,000 people expected), I did get on my bike(!) last Thursday, to participate in a demonstration in Ottawa. A photograph of this, our local demo, is going to be projected in New York by Avaaz, one of many such photos from all over the world. The idea is to impress upon the politicians that they must act now to restore the health of our beloved planet, recently so jeopardized by man-made pollution. As I write this 2,100,976 people have signed a petition calling on our "national, local and international" leaders
... to keep global temperature rise under the unacceptably dangerous level of 2 degrees C, by phasing out carbon pollution to zero. To achieve this, you must urgently forge realistic global, national and local agreements, to shift our societies and economies to 100% clean energy by 2050...
"The Elders" and their spokesman Kofi Annan are passionate supporters of this cause and beg us to vote in our elections accordingly:
Let us send a clear and unequivocal signal that failure to act will have consequences at the ballot box for politicians and for the bottom line of businesses. If leaders are unwilling to lead when leadership is required, people must.
Going up the steps
The people who turned up on Parliament Hill in Ottawa were a predictably left-wing bunch, the most prominent being the people with banners or the ones (some of them children) carrying symbolic green hearts. All the generations were represented. Ottawa's "Raging Grannies"––of whom more below––looked very colourful. A pretty girl in a green T-shirt leading the team of organisers rallied the supporters through a megaphone and told us all to "Go up on the steps and look like as many people as possible!" for our photo opportunity. A couple standing behind me were talking in Mandarin Chinese. As we stood on the parliament steps in the warm sunshine, a young man took possession of the megaphone and told us that as he had crossed Canada on a unicycle to promote the message, he'd been greatly encouraged. Everywhere, people are supportive, he said; all it takes is will power. At least that was the gist of what he said. He spoke in English, very fluently.
Ending subsidies to oil and gas corporations is, I think, something that’s supported on paper across partisans lines, and hasn’t happened. Same thing with regulations on oilsands. We don’t have a national energy plan. There’s a couple key pillars that are pretty simple policies, but without those we can expect emissions to keep rising and rising.
Then five of the Raging Grannies came forward to sing a protest song and we were all encouraged to join in the chorus:
Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my planet to me!
Another choir of activists sang another couple of protest songs. Then after the group photo we came down from the steps and marched around the Eternal Flame in its ornamental pond. After that we could disperse.

The bottom line of all this is that some of us are willing to pay more taxes if that's what it takes to save the world.

There was a pertinent article about the threat to climate change action in the Guardian this week
The right-wing denialists [...] often call themselves conservatives. They are not. At the heart of true conservatism is the belief that each new generation forms the vital bridge between past and future, and is charged with the responsibility of passing the earth and its cultural treasures to their children and grandchildren in sound order. History will condemn the climate change denialists, here and elsewhere, for their contribution to the coming catastrophe that their cupidity, their arrogance, their myopia and their selfishness have bequeathed to the young and the generations still unborn.

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