Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks at Challenger’s trucking hub in Cambridge on March 13, 2019. Photo by Fatima Syed
Ontario Premier Doug Ford revved up his rhetoric about carbon taxes Wednesday, claiming without evidence that his government would protect the public from rising prices.
Ford delivered the partisan message at a staged event in a suburban community west of the Greater Toronto Area, launching into a full-frontal assault on the federal government’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, without acknowledging the science underpinning global efforts to stabilize the planet’s atmosphere and prevent dangerous climate change.
Instead, Ford portrayed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government as a job-killing machine intent on pushing prices up and his provincial government as protector of working Ontarians in remarks at a trucking facility in Cambridge, adding that a price on pollution was incompatible with keeping well-paying trucking and manufacturing jobs in the province.
He also sought to pitch the environment and the economy as two mutually exclusive entities in a fight in which his Progressive Conservative government, along with like-minded New Brunswick, have lent their support to Saskatchewan in its legal challenge to the federal government’s constitutional right to impose the price on carbon, which is known to cause adverse environmental effects. MORE
If human-generated greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the planet will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels as soon as 2030. That threshold is critical.
Global warming at that temperature would put the planet at a greater risk of events like extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people, according to the IPCC report.
What they want: The common demand among students, although they vary country-to-country, is for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Here’s what that agenda includes for kids in the US, according to the Youth Climate Strike website:
a national embrace of the Green New Deal
an end to fossil fuel infrastructure projects
a national emergency declaration on climate change
mandatory education on climate change and its effects from K-8
a clean water supply
preservation of public lands and wildlife
all government decisions to be tied to scientific research
Greta Thunberg addressed Finland’s largest ever (at the time) climate demonstration on Oct. 20, 2018. Photo by Svante Thunberg/Twitter
March 15, the Ides of March. Hundreds of thousands of youth and allies are in the streets, marching for a healthier planet: the pictures bring tears to my eyes.
“The scale of the climate crisis and the threat to human life has just been made clear in the starkest possible terms by youthful truth-tellers. There is tremendous value in stating a diagnosis out loud,” writes ER Doc @courtghoward
There is a sense of a diagnosis being made, en masse. The children of the world have shunned the system created by adults—the schools, as being inadequate to the moment. They are looking into each other’s eyes, confirming that climate change is an existential threat to their health and well-being, and that their elders have failed to protect them. The leadership of adults is being questioned on an unprecedented global scale.
There is comfort (and inaction) in the feeling that someone, somewhere is probably taking care of things. There is silence and loneliness, particularly for young people who are just feeling their way into adult spaces, in the thought, “this seems horribly off to me, but no one else is saying anything, so maybe I’m wrong.”
That has been stripped away. The scale of the climate crisis and the threat it poses to human life has just been made clear in the starkest possible terms by youthful truth-tellers.
There is tremendous value in stating a diagnosis out loud. In the Emergency Department trauma room, it gets the team on the same page and is the beginning of an adequate plan. MORE
Students walked out of school to gather on the south lawn of Queens Park in Toronto to rally for climate change on March 15, 2019. Photo by Carlos Osorio
Twelve-year-old Roy Bateman already knows what he’d say if he met Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
“I wouldn’t go up and scream in his face,” he says matter-of-factually. “I would ask him why he’s not taking climate action. Why he cancelled cap and trade and why he thinks this is good.”
Bateman pauses. “If he replies with ‘economy’ as the reason, I’d ask if he was thinking short-term or long-term. Because I think his answer would be short- term.”
“He just doesn’t get it. There are no jobs on a dead planet.”
Batemen was one of thousands of Canadian students striking Friday with a global call for action on climate change. They join thousands of their peers in more than 100 countries, led by the now Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Greta Thunberg.
Many of them had been preparing for weeks, doing their own research so that they could understand and speak to the rest of the population about specific topics such as carbon pricing and the UN’s recent dire warnings in a scientific assessment that said the world had less than 12 years to take action needed to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change. MORE
Advocates for 100 percent renewable energy often compare the effort needed to meet that goal to efforts to put a person on the moon.
The truth is this: We’re closer to 100 percent renewable energy today than we were to the moon in 1961, when President Kennedy made his famous pledge to land there by the end of the decade.
Here’s another truth: It’s not going to be pretty. We have unleashed powerful climactic forces that can’t just be shut off like a dirty, obsolete coal plant. Every day those forces are intensifying and interacting in ways that profoundly affect people right now. We can no longer afford to debate whether we should or can’t pull off this monumental task. We must focus on how to achieve it – and on that front, there’s more reason for optimism than you might think.
JFK didn’t have the blueprints for the Apollo landing craft in his pocket when he said: “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” But within a remarkably short time, we have developed the technologies that can free us from the dirty, dangerous and expensive energy sources of the past.
At a campaign event in Keokuk, Iowa on the morning he officially announced his run for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke strongly endorsed the Green New Deal, saying: “Not to be dramatic, but literally, the future of the world depends on us right now here where we are.”
“This is the final chance,” O’Rourke said. “The scientists are unanimous on this. We have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis.” SOURCE
School and university students continue Friday protests to call for political action on crisis
From Australia to America, children put down their books on Friday to march for change in the first global climate strike.
The event was embraced in the developing nations of India and Uganda and in the Philippines and Nepal – countries acutely impacted by climate change – as tens of thousands of schoolchildren and students in more than 100 countries went on “strike”, demanding the political elite urgently address what they say is a climate emergency.
In Sydney, where about 30,000 children and young people marched from the Town Hall Square to Hyde Park, university student Xander De Vries, 20, said: “It’s our time to rise up. We don’t have a lot of time left; it’s us who have to make a change so I thought it would be important to be here and show support to our generation.”
Coordinated via social media by volunteers in 125 countries and regions, the action spread across more than 2,000 events under the banner of Fridays for Future. MORE