COP15: Why I’m going to Copenhagen

I am just one of over four million grandparents in Canada. I’m going to Copenhagen because I believe that we in the developed world are guilty of crimes against future generations.

Grandparents my age have memories covering many decades. My uncle left the University of Toronto to enlist, only to die in France in WW1. My godfather died in WW2 – along with 60 million others. I am overwhelmed by the sacrifices which were made so that my generation, born in the 1930’s, could live in freedom from tyranny, aggression, and want. For me to help preserve the planet by making painless sacrifices is nothing compared to the sacrifices of earlier generations.

My journey to the “Conference of the Parties”  (15th since Kyoto)  really began in 2006. A small group of grandparents sat around a kitchen table once a month discussing what could be helpful to our grandchildren’s lives in the face of the climate change crises. We wrote individual letters to every M.P., Senator and M.P.P.

Challenged as we are by the electronic world, we built one website, replaced it with a better one, created a logo, and set up a bank account – all the while attending to baby-sitting duties.  Some talented young people helped us, other grandparents made donations, we took our grandchildren to the 350 rally, held up a banner and distributed leaflets and cards. Now it’s my job to represent our group at Copenhagen.

Most of us realize that we humans have been hard-wired for the short term. If a coal-fired generation plant will give us electricity quickly and cheaply, we’ll build it without regard for the acid rain and greenhouse gases which will poison our grandchildren’s fragile atmosphere.

Copenhagen is all about trying to make up for our past profligacy and doing the right thing for the future – and helping those 3rd and 4th world  citizens who had no part in causing the problems. Whatever happens at COP15, I want to be there.

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