Earth Day challenge: train for tomorrow

by Raymond Parker on April 21, 2011

in Advocacy, Climate, Environment, Health, Politics, Video

A cause worth fighting for?

Tomorrow is Earth Day.

Last year, on the fortieth anniversary, I told the story of a great Canadian scientist and early mentor Digby McLaren, who dedicated his life to the understanding of this planet and communicating the challenges to its (and by biological extension) our health.

McLaren was not hopeful that we were up to those challenges, in his final years, based on the regressive forces he saw arrayed against scientific understanding.

In 1992, McLaren joined 1,700 scientists endorsing the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity. Ten years later, we were no closer to addressing the issues and the corporate-funded disinformation campaign designed to stall progress had proliferated.

We are now almost another decade beyond this critical point. What can be done?

Immerse yourself in hope … and action.

Personal transportation choices have the potential to affect tremendous changes. Ride a bike. Use public transit. Lobby for the expansion of bike lanes, fast transit and trains.

Can you move closer to work and amenities? Impossible? How possible would it be for you to continue your present car commute when gasoline hits $2 or $3 per litre? Think ahead.

All our energy decisions have impacts far beyond our personal sphere. Recognizing our connection to the BP oil spill (marked yesterday by its 1-year anniversary), groundwater contamination caused by shale gas fracking, or the killing of a salmon river by a gasoline spill, is the kind of awakening that can ignite change.

Join the future

I am most encouraged by the activism of young people–those who will inherit this planet. It is still a marvel, in all its tattered glory.

Alternatives are available. New directions, innovative ideas and economic models await, but are stalled by bureaucratic inertia and corruption.

Familiarize yourself with the platform (and record) of political parties soliciting your vote.

The most pressing need is to rebuke governments that pretend to represent all people while serving interests that put short-term profit ahead of ecological sustainability, while cynically blocking the scientific information we need to make informed choices.

In the next election, make your vote count for our planet.

Earth Day History | Earth Day Network | Earth Day Canada

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