(Gazette file photo)
When Councillor Kate McNaughton introduced a motion to have Prince Edward Council declare a climate emergency (like 30 other communities across Canada) Council changed the motion to officially declaring a climate urgency. But changing the name does not change the game.
At present we are gobsmacked with profound environmental and technological changes. Change is not an option. We can either opt for business-as-usual and ignore the existential threat posed by climate disruption or we can choose to move towards life-affirming commitments for Prince Edward.
The Picton Gazette reported,
“Councillor Bill Roberts urged council to be mindful of using language that would help to unite the community, rather than divide, questioning the degree to which council would be involved in mitigating climate change on a municipal level, citing his doubts they would urge farmers to adopt oxen as opposed to tractors, close the cement plant and stifle the tourism industry if the matter was a full blown emergency.”
Councillor Roberts has a point. After all, change can be disastrous if the wrong choices are made. Choices can either enhance life or bad choices can destroy the very society we are trying to protect.
The solution, of course, is to make life-affirming choices that enhance life and protect the air, water, and land on which we all depend. That should be the litmus test.
“By declaring a climate emergency, we pivot with hopefulness and positivity towards our survival or we take no action and declare a point of no return.” — Page Wentworth
Declaring an emergency (by any name) presupposes that actions will follow . David Suzuki writes, “Decision-makers who care about the people they represent and understand science, social trends and technological potential know that a low-carbon future offers better health, livability and economic resilience.”
The motion will come up for further debate and potential ratification at the May 28 regular Council meeting. MORE