How can a green economy be part of building good jobs and economic recovery?
The Harper government is arguing that we can’t afford to be green—we are saying we can’t afford not to.On November 7th, hundreds of people are coming together for the Good Green Jobs for All conference to build a movement to push for the Canada we want to win both in Toronto and in Copenhagen. Be a part of this movement by joining our community.
As we head towards Copenhagen, we are at a crossroads, do we want a Canada that rates global warming and environmental concern as high priorities; or do we want to continue on the road paved by Stephen Harper which “boasts” one of the worst environmental records in the developed world. Be a part of shaping Canada’s environmental future, share your ideas with us.
2 thoughts on “Think Globally, Fight Locally!”
“No Political Will” are the words I was presented with at a meeting in Ottawa a few months back. The opening words of Good Green Jobs for All includes the statement “hundreds of people are coming together for (etc.)”; this should be 10’s of thousands, not hundreds. I have just returned from Europe in September, where virtually almost everyone is involved, privately or industrially, in correcting climate change, going eco-friendly, cleaning out toxic chemicals from products… and so on. Following Europe, I visited India and China, the bi-annual gathering of 140,000 buyers world-wide to the largest product fair in the world, where, earth friendly products are scarcely to be found. And when you do find them, it often turns out that manufacturers are just using the buzzwords “Green”, “Eco-Friendly” etc., in ridiculous spins, such as coloring their Poly-styrene products green. Folks, for the most part, in Canada, we are, despite the best efforts of some valiant few, deep in a collective “Ostrich” quagmire, ignoring the realities of the urgent needs of this endangered world, and if we don’t succeed in waking up our fellow travelers soon, it will be too late. I realize I am “preaching to the converted” here, so my point needs to be, that everyone here needs to work harder to find ways to educate and motivate more people to get involved. Sooner than later !!!
As the world heads to the next, crucial round of climate change treaty negotiations, we are confronted by two Canadas: first there is the majority of the population that consistently rates global warming and environmental concern as high priorities; second there is the government of Stephen Harper which “boasts” one of the worst environmental records in the developed world.
In October, a Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll found that two thirds of Canadians believe that rich western nations should face stiffer greenhouse gas emission standards than developing nations like China and India. Those who have caused and profited from creating the climate crisis should lead the way to address the problem. It is this hunger for positive environmental change and economic justice that has led to the Good Green Jobs For All conference, to be held in Toronto on November 7.
The Harper government has dragged its feet and blocked consensus at the two previous annual summits. In 2007 at Bali, and again in 2008 at Poznan, Canada was voted the “Colossal Fossil” – the nation combining the worst environmental record with the worst government policies. Just weeks ago, at pre-Copenhagen talks being held in Bangkok, delegates from about 170 nations walked out in protest during the Canadian presentation. Our country is rapidly gaining a reputation as a global climate outlaw.
At the heart of the problem is the Alberta Tar Sands. At home, Harper and his Alberta counterparts are proposing that the rest of Canada should face tougher greenhouse gas emission reductions so that Tar Sands emissions can continue to rise. Internationally, they are heading to Copenhagen stubbornly insisting that Canada should be granted lower emission caps than other developed nations. Their “do as we say, not as we do” approach trades off economic hardship for most Canadians and environmental crisis for the planet against petroprofits and perceived strategic advantage for an increasingly militarized state. And they pretend to be taking climate action by dumping billions into developing technology (Carbon Capture and Storage – CCS) that is decades away from implementation and may never be practical.
There are alternatives. The Good Green Jobs For All conference will examine how we can shift our economy away from fossil fuel addiction toward sustainable, renewable energy sources. Unlike CCS, wind, solar, tidal and geothermal technology exists now, and it works. Instead of spending billions on CCS, and billions more in tax breaks and subsidies for Tar Sands corporations, we’ll examine how wise infrastructure investment can create new, green industry and the good jobs that go with them. We’ll examine how addressing local issues (local procurement, training for green jobs, retrofitting our building stock, etc.) can impact the future of our planet.
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