Why we are cautiously optimistic!

A previous blog pointed out the obstacles to a successful outcome at COP 21, but ended on a note of cautious optimism.  Here is the explanation of our optimism. Times have changed since the Copenhagen Conference, which some commentators now consider to be a failure. Here are the main factors that will push the Parties … Read more

People’s Climate March

People everywhere!

People on Central Park Avenue, a broad street on the West Side of New York’s Central Park. People on side streets where organizations participating in the March were forming up. People on the Avenue sidewalks, moving slowly among the throngs trying to make their way north or south to join up with their organization.

A mass of people walking slowly shoulder-to-shoulder as the parade moved off.  The large video screen at Columbus Circle showing people everywhere, including many miles to the North where the crowd was densest.

People of all ages: 9 months to 90 years, happy to be participating!  Happy to be showing where they stood for the benefit of country leaders gathering at the UN Climate Change Summit the following Tuesday.

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Where is Canada’s leader?

The United Nations Climate Summit starts today. How will our political leaders react to the message of the PCM?

Some, like Canada’s Stephen Harper, will not show up at the UN Summit – a simple but effective strategy that avoids awkward questions from the media at this politically sensitive time.

One excuse that will be advanced for Harper’s absence is that other heads of state, representing countries such as India and China, are not attending. These countries will be represented at the summit: the Chinese Deputy Premier will attend while India will be represented by its Minister of the Environment. A spokesperson for the US Government observed that these individuals are the most influential figures on climate change issues in their country.

Contrast that situation with Canada, which will be represented by its Minister of the Environment,  Leona Aglukkaq. Nothing this Minister has said suggests she regards climate change as a problem. Nothing she has said confirms Canada will take new measures to curb GHG emissions.

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4RG Reports from Climate March

The media report the number of marchers at more than 300,000. The marchers stretched for 24 blocks, generally filling the street between police barricades. It took over 4 hours to pass a given point! Marg Anne and I sported the 4RG logo. We were stopped by quite a number of people who asked what that … Read more

Peter Jones reports in from New York

We (Anthony and Mary Ketchum and Marg Anne and I) met with the representatives of the Norwegian Grandparents Climate Campaign at supper tonight.  James Hansen attended and spoke of the need for citizens to march in the streets in large numbers.  In his view without  demonstrations of that size and nature politicians will not recognize … Read more

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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THE March

On the 20-21st September, hundreds of thousands of people will take to the streets in support of a world safe from the ravages of climate change with good jobs, clean air, clean water, and healthy communities, powered by renewable energy.

The largest People’s Climate March is taking place in New York City with parallel rallies taking place in cities like Delhi, Jakarta, London, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, Berlin and Paris. People are joining together because they know that to change everything, we need everyone.

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