The People’s Climate March

“We can no longer continue feeding our addiction to fossil fuels as if there were no tomorrow. For there will be no tomorrow.” – Desmond Tutu

The People’s Climate March on September 21st was more than a protest. The World Council of Churches, individuals and many universities are now divesting from fossil fuels. If the heirs to the John D. Rockefeller oil fortune are now committed to getting rid of over $800,000,000 in oil and gas stocks, what’s next? Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Network, had this to say: “The People’s Climate March made it clear that while some may choose to retreat from the inevitability of change, many more are embracing that change with passion, creativity and an unstoppable force.”

That the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, came to the People’s Climate Rally in New York and walked with conservationists such as Jane Goodall is unprecedented. (Please see www.peoplesclimate.org and https://vimeo.com/106898420) Although the walk I attended consisted of just 20 people in a small town, those same people vowed to meet regularly, and the next gathering was held just a week later to discuss how to engage the people who are most vulnerable to climate instability: those aged under 30.

The Climate Summit at the UN on September 23rd brought world ‘leaders’ to the table in order to establish a renewed action plan to combat climate instability. Only a few heads of state did not show up. On September 22nd Parliament’s Question Period was spent trying to find out why Stephen Harper was not going to attend the UN Climate Summit. Instead of giving a direct answer to the opposition party’s request, a government MP read out prepared bureaucratic statements that gave false accounts of Canada’s current scientific efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This was on the day after more than 600,000 people, including many First Nations Canadians, marched for climate action. Please see http://thetyee.ca/Video/2014/09/25/Idle-No-More-Organizers-At-NYC-Climate-March/. The closest march to Collingwood and Meaford took place in Owen Sound.

This Canadian government is the only one in the world that has withdrawn from its treaty obligations described in the Kyoto Protocol. Recent scientific analysis shows that CO2 is rising faster than it has in nearly 40 years, but of course this prime minister was not going to appear at a summit that calls for fundamental reductions in CO2 emissions. He and his caucus are completely blinded by oil revenue.

Climate change will ravage this nation’s economy, our biodiversity and the people of Canada within less than 100 years. The largest climate march in history was meant to finally kick-start the world’s rebuff of fossil-fuel usage. Be part of that solution and divest your fossil energy stocks.

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