I am borrowing this title from a conference hosted by KAIROS Canada a few years ago, where one of the key messages that I remember is that we must pay attention to the impact of climate change and how our human behaviours are contributing to life on the planet. For Canadians this is particularly important given the development of the tar sands and the transport of that fuel.
Although in his message below Bill McKibben of 350.org speaks about the US concerning the impact on the planet of the fossil fuel industry Canada also needs to pay attention to and take seriously the warnings about climate change. In the last couple of days a debate has been unfolding between Alberta and British Columbia concerning the Northern Gateway Pipeline. It seems some of the debate centres around guarantees about environmental protections in British Columbia, but even stronger differences concern the sharing of profits. The federal government has weighed in saying how disappointed it is and that this could affect development and the prosperity of all Canadians. Of course the prosperity of all Canadians is important, but not at the expense of the future of our planet.
More importantly, for all of us planet dwellers, we need to wake up to the fast progression of climate change and how it is going to affect each of us. It can no longer be disputed—our dependence on fossil fuel is affecting our climate. I encourage you to read Bill McKibben’s message and learn how many others are taking notice. Join your voice with so many others from around the world because the future is in our hands.
Joan Atkinson csj
A message from Bill McKibben:
Last week, Rolling Stone magazine published a piece of mine that I think may be the most important writing I've done since The End of Nature, way back in 1989. (And no, it's not the profile of Justin Bieber.)
Warning: it’s pretty long, and it’s not entirely cheerful. Indeed, it shows that the business plans of the fossil fuel industry will wreck the planet -- that they’ve already got enough carbon in their reserves to drive the heat past anyone’s definition of okay.
If you read it, you’ll get a sense of the direction that the climate movement (and 350.org) is headed.
In the United States, we've got iconic battles underway in every part of the country and against all forms of fossil fuel. We're fighting the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas and in Congress, coal exports in the Pacific Northwest, mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia, and fracking all across the country. We're pushing US politicians hard to withdraw their support for wasteful and dangerous fossil fuel subsidies, and we're just getting started.
Across the globe, we're holding workshops to train the next generation of climate activists. Every day we're watching the number of energized, self-organized local groups tick up. We're inspired by the brave organizing work being done around the world to confront the fossil fuel industry, from Borneo to Kosovo. And we're excited about what's to come.
All this is beginning to coalesce into a true movement against the heart of this most dangerous industry. I'm awfully glad you're a part of it, and I hope you're managing to stay cool and safe.
On we go,
P.S. And if you have reactions to and thoughts about that Rolling Stone piece please send them in to "firstname.lastname@example.org". The analysis – the math – the that's in there is going to form the basis of a lot of our work going forward, and it would be useful to hear how it strikes you.