The United Nations Conference on Climate Change is happening in Cancun, from November 29 to December 10. There seems to be little hope in the global community that any real progress will be achieved in agreements to fight climate change at this conference. However, the number and severity of extreme and record breaking weather events all over the world this past year, makes real progress much more urgent. There seams to be a belief that fighting global warming will risk our economic recovery. Yet all over the world, especially this year, severe economic costs have resulted due to the environmental disasters due to weather. In addition if we place any significant value on the accompanying human suffering then surly it costs us more to continue on our present course.
I am not saying that if we start tomorrow to reduce greenhouse gases that these catastrophic weather events will stop. It will take decades for changes made today to significantly affect the climate. In fact even more extreme weather events can be expected in the near future. This only strengthens the need to make changes now.
As more and more countries are investing in the green economy, their industries are becoming more efficient and better able to compete in the global economy. Countries that do not change will have to play catch-up and their economies will suffer. Many changes that we can make that have already been tested and proven in other countries, will help both our economy and the environment.
If Canada continues to resist real action on climate it will become isolated in the global community. We can expect significant criticism and possibly boycotts of our exports due to their carbon footprint. This type of economic sanctions are happening now for products that involve child labor, unfair trade practices, and perceived animal cruelty. As the consequences of climate change become more severe the likely hood of this kind of economic sanction will increase especially if economies in other countries fail to recover.
I have the good fortune to be able to attend this conference as an observer. By talking with as many other observers as possible I hope to learn a lot and demonstrate to them that many Canadians are well aware of environmental problems and are working hard to do their part to correct them. Although I have talked to as many people as opportunity has allowed in forming my opinions, I would like to here more from others. If you have any ideas that you would like to share please join me at our open house on Nov. 16, 6:30pm at 176 Larch in the Rethink Green Sudbury meeting room #101. Notes will be taken and I will bring these with me to show that Canadians are engaged in finding solutions. If you cannot attend and would like to share your thoughts send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will bring your e-mails with me.
Nominated Green Party of Canada Candidate,