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    Actions and Vigils for Copenhagen Create Movement to Stem Climate Change

    The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pastor and anti-Nazi activist

    As the eyes of the world turn to Copenhagen, the youth of the world will make sure that world leaders are held accountable to global citizens and all future generations. Watch out – we’re here.”
-Amber Church, Canadian Youth Climate Coalition National Director in Copenhagen

    There is something fundamentally wrong with treating the earth as if it were a business in liquidation.” Herman Daly, economist

    When I visited a combined grade 12 law and biology class at Georgian Bay Secondary School last week, the Copenhagen Summit was on everyone’s mind. Young people get it: the planet is in danger of undergoing radical changes in the next few decades primarily as a result of North America’s greed and consumption patterns. Many youth feel helpless to stop the unraveling of our planet’s 11,000 year old Holocene ecological balance which includes a benign climate, flourishing biodiversity and our resulting advanced civil societies.  Students ask what they can do in the face of accelerating threats. Students were encouraged to vote for candidates in next year’s elections who show their commitment for enacting laws that support their future. Also, students must show the courage of their convictions when confronted with local problems. By joining local sustainability steering committees and by demanding that anti-idling bylaws include drive-throughs, students do make a difference.
    By using the climate movement slides and giving a brief UN treaty history going back to the Stockholm Conference of 1972 (its proclamations and  principals inspired the creation of the Earth Summit in 1992/ UN Framework Conference on Climate Change/Kyoto Protocol) students realize that there is unfinished urgent business to conclude at the Copenhagen Summit. Copenhagen youth delegates will be giving high school students daily updates through Facebook or videoconferencing for the next week.  We hope to have a link set up at the Collingwood Collegiate. Youth want to make these Summit talks more than just talk! Almost forty years of declarations, conferences, protocols and treaties have resisted being forged into a just and enforceable agreement that has solutions for humanity’s most elusive 21st century dream, namely making the Earth a climate safe haven for all species and thus creating a safe home for all humanity.
    It does not help matters when Canada refused to abide by the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets set down in the Kyoto Protocol. If Canada’s government wished to test the Protocol’s punitive capabilities, it succeeded. On October 21, 2008 Friends of the Earth lost a legal challenge that would have forced our government to respect its international obligations to adhere to the Kyoto Protocol’s greenhouse gas emission reduction schedule. An appeal is being considered.

    Now it’s your turn to make a difference! Join us in an international vigil at the Collingwood Library (705) 445-1571 on 2nd Street and Maple Avenue at 5:15 PM, Friday December 11, a day after International Day for Human Rights, to write on the Signature Climate Wall inside the library, and then come outside the doors for the start of our candle light vigil at 5:30 PM which is accompanied by music.  We’ll walk over to the MP’s constituency office and then over to the Town’s Municipal Building. We want governments, industry and individuals to act now for climate safety.  We expect the media to be present as we tell individuals and governments that climate action is climate justice, and climate justice creates climate safety for youth and future generations.  Afterwards, a visit to a local pub will allow us to discuss the events in Copenhagen and what we are doing in our communities to fulfill our ethical obligations to help youth.

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