ClimateFast is holding our second fast and vigil on Parliament Hill (Sept 21 to Oct 2, 2013). We are hungry for climate leadership!
Our purpose is to draw attention to the misery we are unleashing on our children and on this living world. We appeal to our policy makers to take aggressive steps to reduce our emissions. We ask you to contact your government representatives and demand urgent action on these goals:
We encourage you to join in our fast for a day or more, on Parliament Hill, or organize an event in your community.
Our action is a peaceful and hopeful one. We aim to inspire people and decision makers in Canada to find the courage and wisdom to press for, and put into action, the urgent measures needed to assure a safe climate.
We suggest that you write letters to the editor of your local newspapers with the same demands.
As the Earth warms and extreme weather events become increasingly common, over a hundred thousand people perish each year. Humans and many other species will feel the deadly effects of the carbon we pump into the atmosphere. In the second half of this century, the vast majority of humanity may perish from the droughts, floods and diseases that climate change is expected to bring. Experts estimate that by 2100 the Earth may only be able to support one billion people (PDF).
Climate science informs us that we must keep our global temperature rise below 2ºC (3.6ºF) and consider the safe level of CO2 to be not more than 350 parts per million (ppm). We are in a crisis because CO2 levels are nearing 400 ppm and are rising rapidly.
Our federal government, rather than protecting our climate and future by meeting the greenhouse gas reduction targets as outlined in the Kyoto accord, has forsaken its Kyoto commitments. This government has deliberately diminished our reduction target and withdrawn altogether from the accord.
As reported in Reality Check (2012) a National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) report “Despite making progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Canada is not on track to achieve the federal government’s 2020 reduction target of 17% below 2005 levels.” and “Canada will not achieve its 2020 GHG emission reductions target unless significant new, additional measures are taken. More will have to be done. No other conclusion is possible." (You can download a PDF of Chapter 6 of the report here)
In March 2013, our government eliminated the NRTEE. It is not in the public interest to eliminate such a vital body whose "advice remains independent and non-partisan, offered as a public contribution to all Canadians interested and engaged in sustainable development issues." It is in the public interest, in the national interest, in the interest of civilization, to protect our climate.
In July 2013, former NRTEE President and CEO, David McLaughlin wrote in “Canada’s Climate Challenge: How Getting to 2020 will be Tough, Very Tough” that "(p)rojections now show Canada with a striking increase in carbon emissions in the years ahead, principally due to growth in the oil and gas sector led by oil sands."
David McLaughlin also wrote that "debate over a Canadian energy strategy and the future of pipelines has become so central to making progress on an effective climate policy not just in Canada but in the United States as well. Right now, provincial governments are doing the heavy lifting in meeting the climate challenge but it’s still not enough. If we are serious about achieving our climate policy goals, a new approach across Canada is needed. Now." (You can download a PDF of David McLaughlin's article here)
Canada must eliminate subsidies of over $1billion each year (about $40 for each Canadian) to coal, oil, and gas companies. In 2009, Canada agreed to eliminate these subsidies. We have not done this. We give our public money to hugely profitable industries which further accelerates the damage to our climate. This shows a reckless disregard for the climate crisis. We should not promote destruction of the climate with public funds.
Canada's role has been very damaging to international efforts to curb carbon emissions. Instead, our federal government has obstructed international negotiations. It bases its “economic development action plan” on massively escalating oil production from the tar sands and offshore oil, with reckless disregard for the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the mining, moving and burning of this oil. The most devastating effects are being felt by those who have benefited the least from industrial development spurred by fossil fuels including those in front-line communities here in Canada and in other countries around the world.
Because this crisis demands urgent action, we decided that we had to hold our first fast in the Fall of 2012. By fasting on Parliament Hill we raised public awareness of the climate crisis, and successfully engaged 103 MPs and 13 Senators. See the list of pledge signatories in the scrolling list on the right. These MPs and Senators pledged to work towards implementing our goals. This year we want to convince more Members of Parliament of the importance of our targets.
Canada must develop and implement a real plan to emphasize conservation and renewable energy. In 2009, , in an article in Scientific American, wrote that there is enough renewable energy from wind, water and sun to convert the planet to 100% renewable energy in 20 years. All we need is the political courage and will.
We must all work together to build a popular movement for change. We can have wonderful lives while transforming to a new, sustainable, culture, together.