It has been a summer of: record hot temperatures (and a winter of record high temperatures in the global south), record droughts, record forest fires, record heat waves, record rainfall and flooding, ocean heat waves, and record hurricanes and storms. These records have not been simply broken, but shattered, and occurred on every continent.
Once again we had water crises of major rivers and the Panama Canal being too low to support normal commercial traffic, or to cool nuclear plants. Glaciers melting in Switzerland, the Andes, the Himalayas and more, affected tourism, agriculture and caused floods and landslides.
Record melting in Antarctica has scientists worried that they have underestimated both the rate and amount of sea-level rise, and questioning if, indeed, a tipping point was approaching. Ditto for Greenland and the Arctic.
Other concerns in the ocean were that climate-controlling currents were being altered by high ocean temperatures, and on land that the large carbon sinks of rainforest in the tropics, and the boreal forest in Canada, were becoming CO2 producers rather than sinks.
Along with these records, the earth’s atmosphere now contains the highest amounts in human history of CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide, the 3 main greenhouse gases, all of which are the influenced by human activity.
The costs of all this is in thousands of lost lives, hundreds of billions of dollars of damage, ruined crops, food shortages and starvation, mass migrations and unimaginable human misery.
Given the plethora of stories on these topics – even in some mainstream media – it didn’t seem necessary to refer you to specific articles. And certainly, one would assume that the powers-that-be would be aware of these situations and events, particularly as a report prepared for the next big climate conference (on how we are progressing on our commitments toward addressing climate change under the Paris conference), concluded that our responses thus far are inadequate.
But one’s assumptions would be wrong. The G20 summit of the world’s largest economies, that just concluded this week, could not bring itself to address the issue of the burning of fossil fuels, the main contributor to all the above catastrophes. Instead we have police using water cannons on 10,000 peaceful climate protesters in the Netherlands.
The hold that fossil fuels have on our culture, civilization, politics and economies is apparently stronger than even we activists imagine. No sane person, or one with eyes to see, or ears to hear, or the ability to read could possibly remain in denial of the threat posed by climate change, unless they were paid in money or power to be willfully ignorant.
Such greed and ignorance can only be addressed by people power. So between Sept. 15 and 17 there will be demonstrations around the world calling for ending approval of any new fossil fuel projects, and for carbon emission caps and cuts.
In New Brunswick, one such demonstration will take place in Moncton on the 16th – see below for details. It is difficult to do demonstrations in our largely rural and spread out province, but if you can take part in this action, please do. If you cannot, please do as much as you can through participating in the many online campaigns that are available.
GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE
Moncton City Hall
655 Main Street, Moncton NB
Sept. 16, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Antonio Gutierrez, Head of the United Nations, says climate change is “spiraling out of control”. Yet our governments continue to fund fossil fuel extraction and its use, postpone emission caps and fail to meet any of their climate targets. Canadians have had enough and we demand strong enforceable legislation with severe penalties, no excuses and no delays, no empty gestures and token declarations. We demand drastic emission cuts now, not in 2030 or 2050, and we want an immediate moratorium on all fossil fuel development.
Together, we are unstoppable as we imagine and build a fossil fuel-free world.
Join us at City Hall, 655 Main St., Moncton, NB. Sept. 16, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Moncton Climate Justice Coalition
Extinction Rebellion NB