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The Weather Network
Nov. 14, 2019 | Thursday
Editorials and Opinions
Opinion: Climate change is real and it's time for real action


Despite what we may be reading on some social media platforms or fringe websites, and hearing from a few politicians, all mainstream corporations, business associations, government agencies, think tanks and scientific groups have accepted climate change as a fact.

No matter where one may sit on the political spectrum, it is time to reject the misleading narratives that try to drive a wedge between us and get on with the most critical task of our century.

It also may be our greatest opportunity to unify and grow in a way that best supports our democratic goals.

Whether we look at the issue of climate change from an economic, environmental, health or social perspective, the lifestyles and values that have created this problem must change. We can prepare, plan, mitigate and survive – or become frogs in the boiling water; slowly being cooked to death.

Let’s look at the facts.

We have already been told that Canada will continue to experience more frequent and intense wildfires, increased damages from river and coastal floods, and experience erratic and extreme weather that could threaten our food sources, infrastructure and health. And we have all seen the evidence around us.

Insurance companies are already significantly increasing rates or refusing to cover properties in flood prone areas. The financial markets are also clearly telling us that it’s time to move on.

Divestment from coal, oil and gas companies is building momentum. According to Canada 2030, a report by the Conference Board of Canada, “over 800 institutions worldwide have committed to divesting $5.58 trillion in investments from fossil fuel companies and some insurers have even stopped underwriting fossil fuel operations.”

Growth in renewable energy use and production will continue to increase worldwide over the next decade.

This is a great opportunity for Canada as it is one of the world’s largest producers of some of the minerals needed for renewable energy systems, “including 14 of the 19 minerals needed for the production of solar photovoltaic panels, as well as copper used for wind turbines and electric cars, and iron and carbon for steel used for wind turbines and light-rail transport systems,” the conference board report says. Mining, manufacturing, energy, transportation, and technology sectors could all benefit.

Continuing to invest in fossil fuels for short-term gains and promoting unbridled consumerism rather than transitioning to a green economy is simply a bad investment for the Canadian taxpayer and is inviting more dire consequences.

It is also an abdication of responsibility to future generations, a lost opportunity to build a more ethical, healthier and inclusive society, but most of all, it is relinquishment of our power to truly act in our self-interest.

* Hermine Steinberg is the director of the NOTL Writers’ Circle. Her articles have appeared in many local papers and online magazines. She taught and developed curriculum for high school history and civics courses for more than 25 years.