Have you heard? No, I’m not campaigning for the Green Party. They did not initiate this!
A growing number of people are becoming aware of, and fearful, of the rapidly progressing climate crisis. Calls have gone out in the US and Canada for an initiative called the Green New Deal, defined as a comprehensive shift in our economy and government policy to simultaneously address the climate crisis, economic inequality, and the sweeping economic changes that come with automation and Artificial Intelligence. It’s also a call for inclusiveness. It’s been recognized that the only way we’re going to get through this crisis is together, as in non-partisan.
I heard about this a few weeks ago and, being one of those people who understand that there is a real crisis, I signed up to become involved. Last evening Jim and I drove to a small community a half hour south of us, to the first of several Town Hall Meetings being held throughout our area. As I mentioned, it was held in a small rural town, in a small town hall so I didn’t know what to expect. Would very many people show up? We were a little late arriving, but so were others. By the time the meeting got started, there were forty-five people filling all of the available tables and chairs!
There were some politicians there – the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Township; the Green Party Candidate for our federal riding, Jeff Wheeldon; and the Liberal Candidate for our riding, Kim Ludd (also our current MP) – but none of them were there to campaign. They all were interested in the same thing, to find ways to solve these crises together.
After a Welcome and introductions from the two women who organized it, we were all given a challenge to write down as many things we’d like to see happen to save our country’s environment and general well-being, and create another list of things that we wouldn’t want to see happen as a result of some of the possible efforts. After discussion among us, grouped by table, one person from each group presented a summary of what we agreed were the most important points. It was amazing to hear all of the suggestions. Many had similar ideas, but there were others who had really done a lot of thinking. In fact there were representatives from a chapter of another movement that I hadn’t heard about before, The Blue Dot Movement, who came up with some excellent and in- depth necessities to fight this crisis.
Summary from Lists (in no particular order)
- Reduce/eventually ban single-use plastics (did you know that most dark coloured plastic bottles, such as those used for laundry detergents and rinses are not often recyclable?)
- Development of more efficient electric vehicles, and wider provision of charging stations for them
- Banning all dangerous chemicals used in pesticides and weed killers, such as Round-up
- Encourage composting by providing municipal pick-up
- EDUCATE about the need for changes and how to make them, through schools, adult workshops, etc.
- Work toward the end of fossil fuel use, and replace with sustainable energy sources
- Retraining for those workers whose jobs would be eliminated
- Reforestation – bring back annual tree-planting days in schools
- Create more (electric) public transportation
- Fight for the Carbon Pricing and Tap and Trade legislation to remain in place
- Fight for clean-energy strategies
- Stop the continued decline of our natural plant species
- Create community gardens, and buy locally
On the other list it was agreed that any of these changes needs to be accomplished without causing personal hardships to the public because of job layoffs or unaffordability.
Two Best Quotes of the Night
- There is no limit to what we can accomplish (together) if we don’t care about being the “winner”
- You can’t have a good economy without a good environment
What I Came Away With
- It’s time that we started focusing on the first of the Three R’s, REDUCE. Recycling hasn’t been enough for a very long time, but it was the easiest.
- There are plenty of like-minded people out there with many options for making reducing less stressful
- We need to talk about the issue; we need to listen to others; we absolutely need to LEARN.
- If we work together to accomplish these goals, we will All be WINNERS!
Let’s get involved to save our planet for our children and grandchildren! Let me know what you think is important and how you plan to make changes.