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by Doug Harvey
A Climate Emergency

On Monday, October 28th, 2019 Central Elgin Council supported a resolution declaring a Climate Emergency. The idea of joining this growing National and International movement came from Mayor Sally Martyn who has been attending Fridays for Future Climate Strike activities in St. Thomas. Before supporting the vote Deputy Mayor Marks questioned whether supporting this resolution would add to staff's workload or to the cost of Central Elgin doing business. Mr. Leitch's answer was that he thought measuring the impact of any additional costs that considered a State of a Climate Emergency would have to be done on a case by case basis.

The resolution was moved by Councillor Fehr and seconded by Deputy Mayor Marks that the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin officially declare a Climate Emergency for the purposes of joining a National and International movement and to provide a lens by which all policies and opportunities can be reviewed; And that staff Environmental Advisory Committee be directed to find and identify target areas in Municipal policies in which specific changes can have the greatest impact to reduce our carbon footprint and therefore our impact on climate change. The motion was carried by a majority of Council with only Deputy Mayor Marks opposing the resolution.

Are these Climate Emergency Declarations just plenty of hot air or is this a subtle positive step towards action in fighting Climate Change? Only time will tell! But if we take into consideration Deputy Mayor Marks concerns for additional costs being added to Central Elgin's day to day business dealings, the usual results of any additional costs is to raise the amount of charges and taxes that taxpayers will have to pay.

There's no doubt that dealing with Climate Change will cost more than just money, it will cost jobs, create violence, hatred, discrimination, and everything else in-between because in order to meet the challenge of reducing our impact on climate change a radical systems shift in energy, agricultural, urban, and industrial practices and land use, and finally population growth controls will have to take place in order to reduce emissions to effect enough change.

Our future at this moment looks undecided, and could be bleak and barren if support for action on Climate Change falters. So, is it time to clean up our mess and make a difference in the battle against Climate Change for our future generations or does life just carry on living today with no concerns for tomorrow? Your choice, after all it's all up to you!

The reasons for a Climate Emergency

On 8th October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a vital report on the state of climate science. They warned that if the planet warmed by 1.5C there would be some devastating consequences, such as the loss of most coral reefs, and increased extreme weather such as heat waves and floods. Yet the consequences of allowing 2C warming would be truly catastrophic. Given that the planet is currently heading for 3-4C warming, keeping to 1.5C requires a radical shift across energy, land, industrial, urban and other systems to reduce emissions, unprecedented in history for its speed.


Last Updated: Wednesday, 06 November 2019 13:41:42 PM EST

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