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Climate Change is the Defining Issue of our Time

We are right now deciding the kind of future our grandchildren will inherit. We have to make careful, meaningful, decisions.

Photo by Luanne Armstrong

The publication of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made it very clear that humans need to make better decisions about how to live in this world. These decisions are political but they are also scientific, sociological, psychological, socio-economic, deeply human decisions.

The IPCC has sounded an urgent warning. As its new special report shows, the need for immediate action is clearer than ever. Already, Canadians are coping with the devastation wrought by a disrupted climate—from crops failing on the prairies, storms ravaging our coastline cities and towns to fires taking lives and destroying homes. This kind of damage will get worse if we do not start cutting emissions without delay. Proposals for things like new pipelines, or subsidies to oil and gas companies, or new coal projects, must be phased out. We need a rapid ramping up of renewable energy—in particular solar and wind—which are now both technically possible and economically feasible.

The IPCC Summary for Policy Makers says:” Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.”

It continues: Warming from anthropogenic emissions from the pre-industrial period to the present will persist for centuries to millennia and will continue to cause further long-term changes in the climate system, such as sea-level rise, with associated impacts (high confidence), but these emissions alone are unlikely to cause global warming of 1.5°C

Fire in the Selkirk Mountains above Kootenay Lake. Photo by Luanne Armstrong

Conservatives may continue to deny this climate emergency. Liberals may continue to invest in the last gasps of carbon-producing industries. But the New Democratic Party will lead the way, standing up for climate action through stronger laws and regulations, and investments in new clean technology rather than yesterday's ideas.

Understanding and addressing climate change isn’t a matter of political expediency; it is about the survival of our planet. We cannot afford to wait for someone else to fix the problem. The federal NDP will set new policy directions for protecting our air, land, and water, securing our future:

  • Move our economy to carbon-free renewable energy,

  • Create science-based sustainable jobs in all regions of Canada,

  • Retrofit public buildings for energy efficiency,

  • Develop affordable public transportation networks,

  • Enforce strict emission standards that protect our essentials of life: our land, water, and air.

The NDP has created specific answers to help mitigate climate change. For example, they

will: “eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and redirect these funds to low carbon initiatives,”

implement the purchase by the government of made-in-Canada electric vehicles, and most importantly, they will: “appoint a Climate Emergency Committee of Cabinet and establish a strong Climate Emergency Secretariat in the PMO to ensure a whole-of-government approach to responding to the climate emergency.”

Voting for Wayne Stetski means that your concerns about climate change and the future will be taken seriously, will be carried to Ottawa, and will be acted on.

We can’t afford to waste any more time making empty promises and sprouting airy rhetoric about change when nothing is actually changed. The time to act is upon us. The time is now.

Luanne Armstrong MFA Ph.D

August 16, 2021

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