Some victories were achieved at COP26 in Glasgow, but disappointments outnumbered achievements.
It is unlikely that we’ll keep global warming under the critical 1.5 degrees C. Some are predicting a rise of 2.4 degrees C by 2030. If that happens, I can hardly imagine the devastation caused by extreme weather events: heat domes, floods, fires, droughts.
It’s not hard to give up and fall into despair about future life on planet Earth. But there is reason for hope. History has shown many times that when a series of small changes happen over time in dealing with a significant problem, a momentum for change builds, attitudes change and a massive shift occurs.
Social scientists tell us that such a critical threshold for change is reached when roughly 25 per cent of the population undergo a change of attitude. How is such a tipping point reached? When individuals and groups, large and small, get out there and make their message for needed change known to the general public, to politicians and corporations.
An example is Greta Thunberg. Her “Fridays for Future” protest developed into a vast global youth movement for change. Young people all over the world have been demonstrating with their signs and voices, calling for climate action. It has made a difference.
Which leads me to raise a question locally. Where are you, the youth of Campbell River, in protesting climate change and demanding a shift from fossil fuels to green energy? Why haven’t I seen you Carihi students out on Dogwood St. in front of your school with your protest signs on Fridays at lunch hour? Why haven’t I seen you Timberline students doing the same on Rockland and Dogwood? By doing so you would be raising climate awareness and helping to change attitudes. And where are you, the parents, grandparents and teachers of our youth? Why aren’t you encouraging and supporting our youth to organize and carry out climate protest actions in our city?
I and a few other “oldsters” are doing our own actions for the planet but we’re not going to be around many more years. You youth have your whole lives ahead of you and I’m sure you don’t want to live them on an unlivable planet.
This is a plea to you: get active, get involved. It’s not too late to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees C.