There’s nothing certain about our ability to shape the future, as much as we’d like to believe that we alone control our destinies. And yet, there are moments where we have the opportunity to create history – if not with certainty, at least with confidence that we will make a difference.
We seem to be in one of those moments when it comes to climate change. There is an opportunity now in Poland, and over the next year leading up to Copenhagen, to reverse the course of our destructive behaviours and stop the trends of increasing global warming.
There is also the chance that we will ignore the necessity of urgent action, and fail to meet one of the greatest challenges of our era.
The choice is in our hands. It will take political will, changes in economic patterns, new ways of thinking and a commitment to cooperation as global citizens, but we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
Unfortunately, Canada seems to be choosing the other path: lacking political will, stalling global agreements, and creating arguments for Canadian exceptionalism based on our destructive behaviours.
Environment Minister Jim Prentice has argued this week in Poznan that Canada should receive a break in its targets because the tar sands are our biggest contribution to greenhouse gases, our winters are cold, and because Canadians will have to downgrade their greenhouse-gas-heavy lifestyles.
If we were truly committed to progress on climate change, those would be precisely the reasons Canada should be taking strong and forceful action.
Clearly, we have a long way to go in convincing our government on the importance of serious action. It now falls to us as citizens to press our governments to do better on Canada’s behalf. If our government chooses not to make history, it’s up to us.
We don’t know that our actions will save the world, but we know that we’ll have prevented its certain destruction. This is a moment of history.
Chandra Pasma is a former CPJ Public Justice Policy Analyst.
- Paul on Doing Better Together for the Environment
- Mehmood on New Study Highlights Employment Barriers for Immigrants
- DONALD DAINES on Affordable housing in Canada: federal investments on the decline
- Harrison56 on The Depth of the Global Economic Crisis: Peeling the Onion
- Visitor on "Treating people the same won't create equality..."
Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) and our work of faith, justice and politics: