We are mothers and grandmothers who have lived in the Western Communities most of our lives. Our kids grew up here, ‘free range,’ connected to nature. We’ve been lucky.
Lately, though, we’ve become deeply concerned: What kind of world will we leave our children, and their children? They might inherit ‘high-priced real estate’ — but what good will that be on an unlivable planet?
As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says, “We are on a highway to hell with our foot on the accelerator. Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing, global temperatures keep rising, and our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible.”
What can we do? Studies show most people want to do something, but are not sure where to start. Individually, the biggest impacts we can make are to focus on a plant-based diet, reduce travel (especially air travel), ensure our homes are energy efficient (better insulation, windows, install electric heat pumps), join environmental organizations, and educate ourselves (through your library, the internet, and public education groups like RegenerateBC).
Another key thing we can do as citizens (i.e., voters) is demand action from our elected representatives. Our federal and provincial (and some municipal) governments have officially declared we are in a “climate emergency;” but none are demonstrating an emergency response.
That is why the BC Climate Emergency Campaign, a coalition of over a dozen B.C. climate action organizations, has issued a ‘report card’ on the provincial government’s progress (rather lack thereof) towards a sustainable future, including drastically cutting our greenhouse gas emissions and protecting biodiversity. More than 540 organizations (from agriculture to tourism) have signed on to the ‘call to action.’ You can, too! (go to: https://bcclimateemergency.ca)
As this report card clearly shows, we are nowhere near the targets we must hit before the end of this decade to avoid irreversible tipping points. But there’s still time, if we act quickly. Climate solutions exist. Political will is lagging.
We need elected representatives with the courage and determination needed to take our foot off the accelerator and build the just transition to the future we desperately need. The time is now.
Janet Gray, Metchosin; Jane Devonshire, View Royal; Karyn Woodland, Colwood; Cindy Moyer; Colwood