With news of unprecedented floods and storms, arctic ice melting, and climate scientists warning that urgent and dramatic action is needed, are you asking “What can I do?”
Since the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report was released last fall, it appears the seriousness of climate change is hitting home more and more.
In the report, 91 scientists from 40 countries stated that the worst impacts of the planet’s rising temperature could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.
Youth climate strike in Stratford, May 29, 2019
Photo Credit: Simon Brothers
The IPCC Co-Chair noted that “we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes.” Limiting warming below 2 degrees will likely avoid some of the most significant human suffering and ecological destruction.
But time is short. The report says “rapid and far-reaching” transitions are needed in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. The scientific consensus is that we need global carbon emissions to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by as soon as 2030 — that’s less than 11 years from now. And global annual greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise since 2010.
So, what can we do? Individual efforts to reduce carbon emissions, our individual “carbon footprints,” are important. They give us the opportunity to live our values and to expand the conversation about the climate crisis to friends and family. But we know that individual action is not enough.
For a big enough impact — quickly enough — collective action is needed locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally.
Youth around the world are calling for just that kind of urgent collective action. They are shifting world opinion and putting fossil fuel interests on notice.
Inspired by Swedish high schooler Greta Thunberg, a global youth climate strike movement, “Fridays For Future,” has emerged in less than a year. Youth are taking the lead. Over a million young people participated in coordinated youth climate strikes this past March and the location with the biggest turnout — 150,000 strong! — was here in Canada in Montreal. A second coordinated global action in May included youth on the streets here in Stratford.
Now, the students have asked everyone to stand with them: “People have risen up before to demand action and make change; if we do so in numbers we have a chance. If we care, we must do more than say we do. We must act. … We’re counting on you.”
In response, climate activists and organizations are supporting the students’ call for a global day for action on September 20th. A coordinated worldwide event will communicate to everyone working on this urgent problem that they “have the backing of millions of human beings who harbour a growing dread about our environmental plight but who have so far stayed mostly on the sidelines.”
Are we on the sidelines here in Stratford and Perth County?
This website was started to show the ways we have a local start towards a low carbon future and to inspire and support greater action — because we must do more.
You are invited to join the call for bold action and raise your voice with youth and the world! Let’s bring our concern, urgency, optimism, and hope for the planet and come together on Friday September 20th in Stratford.
We are gathering together a group of volunteers to plan a climate rally, “planet parade,” and street party to coincide with hundreds — maybe thousands — of inspired citizen-led events around the world on September 20th and in the week between the 20th and the 27th.
Are you in?