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Entries in climate change (9)


Weekly Pause &  Ponder

We are all paying the price for climate change.  Some of us though, are bearing a greater burden.  It’s a scary commentary on inequity writ large, and it points to an urgent need for all of us to work harder to advance environmental justice everywhere.

 - Rhea Suh, NRDC President.



Walk On, Walk On, With Hope in Your Heart

…and you’ll never walk alone. These lyrics, popularly known and sung by various artists express the sentiments embodied by a large gathering at Victoria Park on Sunday, November 29 for the Climate Change Rally. There we heard speakers from various organizations urging us ALL to effect the change in caring for earth. NOW is the moment for urgent action. Individuals and groups gathered because we all have hope that we can be the change we want to see.

It was very inspiring to see little children carrying placards …one in particular caught my eye:”Grown ups, please remember us”. Other strong messages were visible like, "Respect Your Mother" and "We Want Climate Action", "The Earth Deserves to be Preserved".

Earlier this month, the Council of Canadians issued a challenge, an invitation to join the rally for the climate. The invitation said, “This is our moment London, to come together and fight for our future. We need everyone's voice to make the message loud and clear to all our politicians. This is a global rally with more than 2500 communities around the world gathering on the day before the historic talks at COP21 in Paris begin on Monday November 30th. Please consider joining us and bringing your friends and family. This affects every global citizen on the planet and we must unite to create a renewable future!!” And turn out we did!

“Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible.” Cherie Carter Scott

And so, we walk on, walk on, with hope in our hearts, because we never need to walk alone.

Kathleen Lichti, CSJ



Alberta’s Climate Plan: Game Changed

Ever have one of those days when all the assumptions you had about an issue turned upside down? Today (November 22nd) is one of those days.

Addressing climate change in Canada has long been an intractable problem. This is because, despite the slowly transforming economies and declining carbon pollution emissions in Ontario, Quebec and B.C., Alberta’s emissions were growing at a breakneck pace and wiping out the reductions happening everywhere else. As a result Canadian governments were left with two options: deny or avoid the problem, or force change on Alberta.

Needless to say previous federal governments have consistently chosen door one.

But today’s climate change announcement in Alberta could change all that forever. The new plan will:

  • Cap the carbon emissions from the tar sands at 100 MT and eventually force them to decline
  • Close the fleet of coal electricity plants by 2030, drastically reducing both deadly local air pollution and also massive amounts of carbon emissions
  • Increase the amount of renewable electricity on the grid to 30% by the same year
  • See Alberta join with Ontario, Quebec and B.C. in putting a price on carbon pollution. Alberta’s price will start at $20/year in 2017, rise to $30 in 2018 and then rise annually. Money from the fee will be invested in programs to further reduce carbon emissions and help to ensure that price increases don’t harm citizens with limited income
  • Significantly reduce waste methane emissions from oil and gas wells that are also important causes of climate change

This is a historic moment for Alberta and Canada. This is a commitment to tangible and aggressive climate action and we all should applaud Alberta for this huge change in direction.

Based on this announcement, Alberta’s carbon pollution should soon peak and start to decline. This is a fundamental pivot after years of uncontrolled carbon emissions growth and it removes one of the largest barriers to developing a meaningful Canadian climate strategy.

This announcement also sets Alberta on a path toward diversifying its economy and recognizing that a global transition away from fossil fuels is essential if the world as we know it is to survive. The money collected from a new price on carbon pollution can be invested in more energy efficient homes and businesses, new clean technology and renewable energy jobs.

With this move from Alberta, there is now nothing standing in the federal government’s way of developing a credible climate strategy and following Alberta’s lead by setting a limit on carbon pollution in Canada. Canada can now move ahead and fulfill its promise to cut carbon pollution in line with global science-based targets. 

Today’s announcement is very good news for Albertans and Canadians. It will help protect us all from dangerous climate change, set the scene for Canada to restore our good name, and places the country and the province in a solid position to harness the opportunities for growth in a clean economy.

This is the beginning of something new, folks. I am looking forward to a new Canada on the stage in Paris at the U.N. climate negotiations.

Guest blogger, Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environment Defence www.environmentaldefence.ca/


Another Messenger Came…..Will We Listen?

Another Messenger Came…..Will We Listen?

...David Suzuki came, a voice crying in the wilderness; we laughed and barely listened as the smog increased.

...The First Nations came, beating drums for Mother Earth; we polluted the water and raped the land.

...The scientists came, with unquestionable evidence – the sea is rising, the earth is warming, the ozone is disappearing; we silenced them and destroyed their research.

...The poor came, unable to till the barren soil now becoming deserts; we turned away and continued our destructive ways.

...The hurricanes, fires, tsunamis and blizzards came; we rebuilt and carried on as usual.

...Pope Francis came carrying peace and Laudato Si.  Will we listen and mend our destructive path to end it all?

Will We Listen?

Jean Moylan, CSJ


Suzuki Tells Elders to “Speak the truth from our hearts”

Sarnia, a city also known as the ‘Chemical Valley’, has once again benefitted by the presence, insight and eloquence of David Suzuki. The Imperial Theatre was entirely sold out for his book promo/speaking engagement on June 22nd. Bursts of applause broke out several times during Suzuki’s presentation and a standing ovation happened at the end. The proceeds from ticket sales went 50/50 to the David Suzuki Foundation and to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Sarnia/Lambton.

Two things in Suzuki’s presentation especially resonated with me:

  1. If we do not recognize that climate change is real and do not make change happen around this issue then we, as a human species, as well as many other species, will soon be extinct while the Earth will continue.
  2. Those of us who are the ‘elders’, who no longer have to “play the game” can now “speak the truth from our hearts”.

Suzuki presented as a very humble person. He interchanged comments with the reading of excerpts from his latest book, LETTERS TO MY GRANDCHILDREN.  It seemed to me that both the writing and reading were from the heart. Suzuki, despite the recent challenges that ‘environmentalists’ have experienced, remains committed to making change happen for his grandchildren and for all further generations who live on our planet Earth.  

Suzuki also talked about his “last campaign”, Blue Dot , (awesome stuff here). The vision is to start with communities, to get them to sign on, one by one, through municipal declarations in support of the right to a healthy environment ...  clean air, water and soil as basic rights.  So far from Victoria to Montreal to Yellowknife, some 30 municipalities have made such declarations. Why not your community too?

I do recommend the book as well as David’s comments on Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, LAUDATO SI’, on Care For Our Common Home.

Ann Steadman, CSJ Associate





Copyright 2013. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.