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I'll be honest, when I first heard of plans for a global day of climate marches on November 29, I rolled my eyes. In some ways, I still feel like that might be the case, but after recent events in Paris and Beirut, the global mobilizations matter in a way they never could have before.
Investors are realizing that divestment doesn't mean financial losses. Thanks in part to plummeting global oil prices and the booming clean energy economy, divested portfolios have been outperforming those with investments in fossil fuels. Divestment doesn't just mean pulling your investments from fossil fuel holdings -- it also means redirecting investment dollars to alternatives like clean energy, green tech and climate solutions.
Extreme weather conditions, storms, flooding, droughts and ice melting are the new reality in too many parts of the world. People are losing their livelihood, their homes, their jobs -- and even their lives. While scientists and faith leaders call for urgent action, our political leaders have failed to take necessary actions.
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I recently travelled across Canada with David Suzuki Foundation staff, from St. John's to Victoria and up to Yellowknife, joined by friends and allies along the way. To resolve the serious environmental issues we face in Canada and beyond, we need people from across the country and all walks of life to join together to make protecting the people and places we love a priority.
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We've become impatient. We're so demanding that we're unwilling to slow down and ensure our major projects are sustainable for human society and the biosphere. Over the past century, we've burned increasing amounts of finite fossil fuels that were stored and compressed over millions of years, exacerbating conditions that lead to climate chaos.
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While Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced he will not be among the 125 heads of states attending the UN Secretary General's Climate summit, the Council of Canadians and Ottawa residents challenge him to join the caravan from Ottawa heading to New York City's global climate march on Sunday.
The People's Climate March is this Sunday, September 21 in New York City and in cities across Canada. I am going to be in New York, along with hundreds of thousands of other people representing over 1,000 organizations. The message is: we need action today!
Reducing the threat of global warming and finding ways to adapt to unavoidable change will also help people around the world "deal with the impact of heat, extreme weather, infectious disease and food insecurity."
Climate change affects human health in multiple ways.