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December 20, 2006

Creating a Climate for Change

I've been thinking a lot this week about that moment in the film An Inconvenient Truth when Al Gore talks about how he had trusted in democracy to solve the problems of climate change. In the end, of course, forces more powerful than democracy in its purest form have prevented nations that should be playing a stewardship role in taking care of the earth from doing so. It will probably be generations before we understand everything that went on during this critical time period -- when what's left of government records becomes available to future historians and they're able to start piecing together the best version we're likely to have of "the truth."

The media is talking about the effects of climate change. I caught part of this morning's episode of Sounds Like Canada. Shelagh Rogers was broadcasting live from Stanley Park -- a place where hundreds of trees have been tumbled by the recent wind storms in BC. She was talking about what it feels like to have your personal landscape forever changed by powerful forces of nature -- forces of nature more powerful than you've ever seen in your part of the world. (I remember experiencing a bit of that shock when Peterborough experienced its massive flood in July of 2004 -- a flood that was as sudden and unpredicable as it was devastating to many people in my community.)

Environment Canada is telling people in coastal communities to prepare for the effects of climate change.

And yet, when it comes to taking substantive actions, the Canadian government is fiddling while the Earth is warming.

And when the next election rolls around, some of those very same politicans in Ottawa will shake their heads and say how terrible it is that voter turnout is so low -- and then look mystified as to the cause.

Of course, it's not a mystery at all. If Al Gore can feel let down by democracy, is it any wonder that other people who put their faith in the system to work on behalf of the environment and other important issues are sharing those feelings these days? But rather than giving in to the temptation of apathy, the best response is to follow in the footsteps of Al Gore by taking action. Talk to everyone you meet about issues that matter to you. (I've been doing this lately and it's amazing how many people feel the same way that I do about the issues that are nearest and dearest to my heart.) Offer to support the campaign of a candidate who will work for the issues you believe in. Make change in some way. You'll feel energized by becoming part of the solution.

Background: CBC News environment page; The Citizen's Handbook: A Guide to Building Community.


Original comments from Blogger:

2 Comments:

Andrea said...
This isnt' really on topic--I mean, I can write pages on climate change, and I won't do that to your shiny new comments section--but I wanted to say how much I've been enjoying your new blog. It's lovely to see all of these diverse subjects and the slightly different voice you use here.

December 20, 2006 1:16 PM

Ann D said...
Thanks, Andrea. I've been getting angrier and angrier and angrier about all the things that need to be said and done to fix the world -- and that aren't being done by the people who are in power. So I decided that I needed to start speaking up and creating a community with like-minded souls. That reminds me: I've got to add you to my links. You are one of my heros.

December 20, 2006 2:44 PM

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