This Saturday October 24th I joined the thousands of people gathered on Parliament Hill for C-Day: Fill the Hill Ottawa. People from 181 countries came together for a widespread day of environmental action demanding bold leadership and strong action on the climate crisis. It was a peaceful and positive demonstration to show the Canadian Government we want leadership and action on this issue in Copenhagen at the UN Climate talks in December 2009. According to Tim Flannery (scientist and author) and David Suzuki, “Canada must step up at UN climate talks to be part of the solution”.
There was a lot of talk about 350 Here is an explanation from the 350.org website.
A year ago, our greatest climatologist—NASA’s James Hansen—and his team produced a landmark series of studies. They showed that if we let the amount of carbon in the atmosphere top 350 parts per million, we can’t have a planet “similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.”
The bad news is we’re already past that number—we’re at 390 parts per million, which is why the Arctic is melting, why drought is spreading across the planet, why people are already dying from diseases like dengue fever and malaria occurring in places where they’ve never been seen before.
The good news: that number gives us a target to aim for. When the world’s leaders meet in Copenhagen in December to reach agreement on a new climate treaty, we need them to go farther than they’ve planned to go: we need to make sure they’ll pay attention to the latest science and put forward a plan that gets us back to safety.
As I looked around at the crowd, I noticed that the majority of participants were young student-looking people. There were not many 40-year-old Mamas in the crowd, a few families with young children and some very cool seniors. The event was joyful, optimistic and charged with energy. My favourite moments were listening to the passionate speakers and seeing a man with a t-shirt of a bear holding a sign saying “Save the Humans”.
I left wondering why my age group represented poorly. Many of us have young children and are concerned for their future. Is it because we are so busy running around to hockey arenas, ballet lessons and birthday parties we have no time to support these events? Possibly. I think that many are unaware of the gravity of the issue of climate change. I also think we are unconvinced there is anything that can change the outcome. Perhaps the media will help get the information out through local papers and magazines. I hope that events like this will spark more dialogue and discussion in our homes and schools. I have included some photos I took on C-Day. It is easy and fun to get involved with minimal time and effort. Sometimes you just have to sign your name or show up to (hopefully) make a difference.