Future of the planet and Aylmer’s role
Within the debate around a Carbon Tax and the effect of human activities on the climate, one element is clear: our individual actions in Aylmer homes will have minimal impact.
As the city rolls out new rules for waste, tightening the amount each household can put at the curb, and as the commuting community idles far longer on Aylmer’s congested bridge and feeders, residents here are asking how the planet’s environmental slide can be turned around.
There is anger in the air that our climate’s future is so insecure. And rightly so, as people feel less empowered to effect real change within such an over-sized problem. A decade ago, even a quarter century ago, people were told if they recycled and conserved water, they could impact the world’s ecosystem. Yes, maybe, and certainly an attitude-change can lead toward practical improvements.
The next generation, the one becoming more politically involved with the future of both Canada and the world, as well as the generation squaring off with the world’s major climate influencers, are not going to believe that a whole generation was duped into thinking small individual acts would slow the damage. They may be right and certainly angry.
The question is, will they be smart? Will there be sufficient world-wide accounting of the big polluters to ensure the planet remains habitable? This is the crux of the situation. All the complaining around “lost jobs” or “more taxes” is really a move to distract from the task at hand -- the task of putting a stop to the significant polluters, and getting their mess cleaned up.
If the individual acts of climate protection that Aylmerites may value at home (water conservation, planting trees, recycling plastics) tell the world anything, it is that here is a population ready for action. Connecting that population across the planet in support of stronger legislation in the majority of countries becomes a believable possibility.
Our challenge is to stay strong in the face of fear that is sure to be stoked. Canada’s major political parties support containing climate change. The Conservatives have conservation in their very name, so the argument that they are funded by climate destroyers and thus can’t aid in conserving the planet is, itself, garbage. Conservatives conserve! Climate change seems dear to the Liberals, and, of course, to the Green Party and the NDP. The NDP may have the toughest crowd to convince considering their fear of losing jobs, say in the tar sands, losses that are predicted every time protecting the planet comes up.
Citizen and “little-guy” anger is sure to surface in the coming federal election campaign. It will be exploited, but anger is a dead-end street. With the climate control measures just announced by the federal Liberals, Aylmer’s voters would more profitably look at how to connect with the rest of the world – in positive actions.