So overall 2012 has indeed been a significant year in relation to our natural and social systems, but the irony is, none of these events seem to have made a dent in the minds of climate skeptics or gun lobbyists, as they continue to cling on to the same archaic paradigms. So what is the deeper problem? What is the systemic issue?
Developed countries, when they put 30 per cent emissions reductions or less on the table are effectively putting death, displacement and devastation on the table. To call current targets enough, is to effectively announce that on this planet there are acceptable losses in those regions least responsible for causing climate change. People are connecting the dots between extreme weather, droughts and famine, desertification, deforestation, rising sea levels, flooding, wildfires, and a range of devastating impacts the result of a changed climate. They are connecting these dots to a history of the fossil fuel industry and wealthy, developed nations having free reign pollute.
As young people, we write today with both grave concern and powerful hope. Unfortunately, our concerns are beginning to outweigh our hope more and more each day. We were raised in a world nearly 1 degree warmer than the pre-industrial average; where disruption of the climate system has become increasingly visible in the few years since we were young children.
As I write this thousands of people are gathered in Victoria, B.C. risking arrest to send a clear message that Canada's west coast is united in opposition to the expansion of tar sands pipelines and tanker traffic. There is no one size-fits-all solution to environmental issues, but that's exactly what PowerShift is all about.
A federal government concerned about what's being passed along to the next generation would be a leader in global negotiations for a strong, binding agreement to cut carbon pollution, put in place domestic rules to make polluters pay, and focus on building clean energy infrastructure instead of doubling down on tar sands. Instead, it's doing just the opposite.