Copenhagen “Primer”: A must watch!! **

<November 13/09>

** Please skip straight ahead to the P.S.’s at the end if you think there’s no point in even trying to wrestle with climate change, or that “People aren’t ready to change,” so why bother? (Thoughts/sentiments I myself have entertained at times, admittedly.) Elizabeth May spoke to this very eloquently at the event I describe here… Start with that, if need be, hmm?

I’m sort of writing this item backward…  I’m going to tell you upfront what I recommend that you do – then explain why, afterward. That way, you can skip all my unnecessary “chat” if you prefer (I know I’m inclined to be too wordy) & just cut to the chase.

So – please go here & watch this YouTube of Elizabeth May’s November 9th [2009] talk at City Hall in Toronto about climate change/peak oil/the importance of the upcoming Copenhagen meetings.

It will tell you:

  • how it is youth – from all over the globe – who are leading the way on the need for climate action – not our so-called “leaders” (i.e., the elected politicians – particularly the ones in Canada!?!?!?);
  • why the upcoming December Copenhagen meetings are so absolutely pivotal;
  • how awesome the October 24th International Day of Climate Action – sponsored by the group – turned out to be (especially in Canada!!);
  • how successful (& strategic) the use of the number 350 in the group name is – & why it has played out so well all over the world;
  • the long history behind global climate meetings & how the Copenhagen meetings have been coming for years now & present a challenge & opportunity that must not be missed (the very first time an emissions “target” was set was in June 1988, in Toronto, at an early climate conference. Who knew??)(1);
  • why we need to stop thinking of ourselves as “consumers” & think (& behave) instead as CITIZENS;
  • why the simple act of voting bears huge consequences & why not voting as a “protest” has absolutely the opposite effect to that we desire;
  • why climate “criminals” must be stopped & why there is a need for us to respond repeatedly to the endless (& yes, criminal) drivel the climate crisis denial industry puts out on Web sites, blogs & in letters to the editor;
  • about the failure of our national news media to keep us informed about what is really going on;
  • specific, simple things you can do to help make our own local Canadian climate laggard/criminal, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, clean up his act & behave responsibly vis-à-vis the climate crisis.

Okay, now for the background chat…

Elizabeth May is leader of the Green Party in Canada. Her talk at Toronto’s City Hall last Monday night (November 9th – the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, btw) was sponsored by Post Carbon Toronto, the Toronto peak oil action group.

I’ve heard Ms. May speak many times now. She is one of the most intelligent, articulate, capable & committed activists I’ve ever had the great privilege to meet.

She speaks well, without prepared notes, & does so with passion, energy & humour. She can run rings around any of her fellow politicians.

(An older woman I know, one who is not, shall we say, by any stretch of the imagination, a “Greenie,” once said to me she thinks Elizabeth is smarter than all her political opponents put together. I also know an 88-year old woman who told me she would “deliver” 50 votes to the Green Party in her north-of-Toronto town of Newmarket, Ontario. One feisty & intelligent woman who recognizes & supports another… Hurray for feisty, strong, passionate women, say I!!!!)

Elizabeth also has “the common touch.” She’s not the slightest bit snooty, distant or superior.

She’s an awesome woman & politician who “gets” that if we all begin to behave like citizens instead of “consumers” – & pressure our politicians to serve us the way they ought to be doing (that is to say, on our behalf; what a concept, hmm??) – this sucker could maybe still be turned around.

Did you know that in Canada we hosted the largest # of events for the October 24th/International Day of Climate Action? And that our global news media failed to inform Canadians of this proud distinction?

Did you know that the first time an international group of scientists met to discuss “Our Changing Atmosphere: Implications on Global Security” – & the need to set targets on global C02 emissions – was in Toronto, in June 1988?

Maybe not, hmmm?

So take an hour & watch the YouTube, alright?

Turn off the TV, tune in your brain, & allow Elizabeth May to inspire you.

Canadians are invited to go to the following link to get the name of their local Member of Parliament (MP) – & then to call/write/e-mail (or all of the above!) her/him & say it’s time for climate action.

Find your MP here

And/or specifically, pressure our Liberal MP’s to enact Bill C-311 now – not delay it.

For an update on this critical Bill, go here

If you haven't already signed the KyotoPlus petition, please learn about it & do so here

If you Facebook, you can go here

for plenty more information about Elizabeth May’s Green Party activities/policies.

Even if we were all to exert a tiny fraction of the energy Elizabeth May expends routinely in every hour of the day, we could move mountains! I’m not kidding!!


P.S. Regular readers of my blog (if there are any!?) know I myself have written recently about a growing lack of hope.

I really like the way Elizabeth dealt with this in her talk.

She said, for one thing, that our parents didn’t know ahead of time what the outcome of the war on Hitler was going to be…did they? They knew he had to be defeated – or, at the very least, fought – so off they went, risking their lives, in so many cases losing their lives – & here we all are now. This resonates rather hugely for me, being the daughter of a man who was a bomber pilot in World War II. Not a nice man, & that’s another story altogether. Fact is, he did “go to war” & he did survive, & I’m here living my cushy little life because of this. So…

Point # 2, as regards “People not being ready” to make the necessary changes to deal effectively with climate change & the risks of “runaway” climate change. One word. Lead. Were people “ready” to have lead removed from gasoline? Of course not; it wasn’t a question of individual, personal readiness. Legislators acted, lead was taken out of gasoline, & on we all went.

What is required is political action. We need laws, & we will adapt. End of story. Except to add that “political will” does not emanate from politicians. It is we citizens who must speak up & create it. We must make our so-called “leaders” lead. We need to get very noisy with them!!

(1) “Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to a global nuclear war. The Earth’s atmosphere is being changed at an unprecedented rate by pollutants resulting from human activities, inefficient and wasteful fossil fuel use, and the effects of rapid population growth in many regions. These changes represent a major threat to international security and are already having harmful consequences over many parts of the globe.” Statement by WMO, UNEP, and Environment Canada at ‘The Changing Atmosphere: Implications for Global Security’ conference, Toronto, June 1988.