Vote As If Our Whole Future Is At Stake – Because It Is!
“This election, who we vote for matters more than ever before. It matters not only for our country, but also for our children’s future and the health of our planet.” – Sierra Club Canada
A New Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted September 11th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
As of this September 11th, 2019, a federal election in Canada is officially on and for Canadians from coast to coast, this may very well be the most important election in our lives.
This federal election is of critical importance because as many of the best scientists and climate experts around the world have been warning us over and over again, we are facing a full-blown climate catastrophe and breakdown of the systems that support life on this planet if we don’t take strong action now to stave it off.
We now have possibly a dozen or so years left before we reach a perilous tipping point – a point of no return – some of the most recent scientific models tell us, and the rate of melting ice, rising waters, severe winds, droughts and wildfires is escalating beyond almost any and all predictions made 10 or 20 years ago.
As that remarkable young climate activist from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, put it during a presentation she made to some of the world’s financial leaders at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this past January; “I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”
Greta’s call to them must be the call we Canadians make to ourselves and everyone around us in the 40 or so days we have leading up to an October 21st vote. If we do not make that call our own, if we don’t go to war now on this over-arching threat to our planet, then nothing else – what we do on health care, on education, on job creation and on a host of other issues – will matter because there will be no ground left to build a life on.
So follow this federal elections and the candidates and parties running in it closely, and make it clear to the candidates every chance you get that any support you give them is fully dependent on them making a commitment to move our country away from carbon and other pollutants that wreak havoc on the climate and to make the shift – 100 per cent – to a green economy before the end of the coming decade.
If a former U.S. president, John F. Kennedy, could take a nation that was still trying to figure out how to successfully put un-manned satellites in orbit in the early 1960s, and successfully land people on the moon and bring them home safely before the end of the decade, surely we can do this!
So for the sake your future and that of everyone else get involved in this federal election – especially all of you young people under the age of 30, an age group that has been notorious in the past for not going out to vote.
This writer is in his 60s and probably won’t be alive to see the worst of what will happen if we do too little or nothing. It is your future on the line, here.
This writer also has no partisan ties. To paraphrase the late, great Groucho Marx; ‘I would never want to belong to any political party that would have a person like me for a member.’
But I will say this at the start of an election where one hopes the environment will be taken seriously as an issue.
Those of us who care about the environment and are concerned about the climate emergency we face, can begin this election by writing off the guy below in the cowboy hat because there is no genuine sign or reason to believe that federal Conservative leader Andrew Sheer and his party give a fig about protecting the environment.
Some of them may try to say they care but there is every reason to believe that modern-day Conservatives or Tories in Canada, just like modern-day Republicans in the United States, do not have it in their DNA to give environmental issues the serious attention they need. For proof of that on the Canadian side of the border, look no further than Mr. Scheer’s friend and fellow traveller, Ontario’s Tory premier Doug Ford.
You literally have to go back at least two or three generations now to find Conservatives or Tories in Canada, and Republicans in the United States who backed measures that were good for the environment.
Modern-day Conservatives and Republicans treat environmental protection as if it is a communist plot – some kind of infestation or conspiracy of “fake news” or “face science” – an enemy of their “Open For Business” propaganda.
As for the other parties and leaders in the race, do not shy away from confronting them with the tough demand and questions. We are so close to the tipping point now that we can no longer afford political leaders who shovel out climate laggard crap like; “We have to compromise,” or “We have to balance this against that,” or “We need to do more studies, first,” for an answer.
As Greta Thunberg told representatives of that World Economic Forum; “We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change – and it has to start today.”
Niagara At Large will have more news and commentary on this federal election and where the candidates and parties stand on environmental issues in the days and weeks ahead.
In the meantime, here is an important message from the Sierra Club of Canada on why environmental issues must be a priority in this federal election, along with information on how you can contact the federal party leaders with your concerns. Just click on this link – https://www.sierraclub.ca/en/letter-to-party-leaders-put-the-environment-first
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“A politician thinks of the next election. a leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders