Why are we marching in New York?

Why are we marching in New York?

Why? Because our grandchildren’s future is at stake and thousands of people from all over North America are sending a message to world leaders. At least five chartered buses are travelling  from Toronto alone. The March starts at Central Park and world leaders in the General Assembly of the nearby United Nations headquarters will, we hope, take note of this outpouring over the climate crisis. We know that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will urge leaders to take greater action than we did to defeat the Nazis in World War II.

We will be joined in New York by James Hansen, former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute, and author of Storms of My Grandchildren, along with a dozen of our grandparent friends from Norway. Bill McKibben, who started  <350.org>  (the organizers of the march) and James Hansen have been champions of the battle to bring about clean energy. And battle it has been. The Bush Administration even cut out parts of Hansen’s early report before releasing it !

Nonetheless, like other grandparents, my wife and I are looking forward to a positive future for all grandchildren. And the march on Sept. 21st could be the start of a quiet revolution as all of us begin to comprehend what the space travellers have told us for years: there is only one fragile, jewel of a planet and we have the responsibility to care for it, not poison it or exploit it.

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Democracy Slipping Away?

A series of new national surveys suggest record numbers of Canadians are fed up with the state of our democracy.  Elizabeth May warns that “we are on a slippery slope to the loss of our democracy.” A Toronto Star article quotes Canada’s most eminent political scientist, Peter Russell, stating that a Harper majority is “an indication that parliamentary crime pays.”

In preparation for the next election, Canadians who value democracy need to devote all their energies to reversing the frightening cascade of anti-democratic measures which Elizabeth May, Joe Clark and so many others have catalogued.

Climate Change: Understanding the Reality

In the Toronto Star on June 28th Christopher Hume says that while many argue we can’t afford to deal with climate change we need to face reality and realize that we cannot get back to ‘business as usual’.
The Alberta floods, not to mention global droughts, wildfires, ocean acidification … are a pre-catastrophe warning from an over-heated planet. If we continue expanding the tar sands, our grandchildren will face runaway climate change and an unliveable planet.
The world’s most highly qualified climate scientists (James Hansen), economists (Nicholas Stern) and statesmen and women have been warning us for years. Why don’t we act?

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