#13 July 20, 2022 Call to Action
Save the Date: September 23rd, 2022, Global Climate Strike
Hi. I hope you are enjoying the summer so far. You’ve most likely heard about the record-breaking heat wave taking place in Europe and the UK. This is also happening in Japan,South Korea, China, India, Pakistan, and the USA, among other countries. Global warming is killing people and causing millions to suffer, not to mention the impact of other extreme weather events, including wildfires and floods. All life on earth is being affected by these disasters.
Here are the 4 things that I ask you to do:
1) On September 23rd, Fridays For Future Toronto, along with ClimateFast and other environmental groups, are organizing a Global Climate Strike. Please save the date, and attend this rally and march, if you are able.
In 2019, on September 27th, Toronto’s largest climate rally and march took place, with an estimated 15,000 people participating. Here is a CTV article and video reporting on it. Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck. We are working to bring back the public’s attention to our Climate Crisis.
2) If you are interested in helping to organize this rally and march, we are looking for volunteers. We have teams involved in communications, logistics, outreach, high school and university mobilization, and fundraising, to name a few. If you are concerned about our Climate Crisis and would like to help, please let me know.
3) Reduce the burning of fossil fuels. Every gasoline or diesel powered vehicle that we drive, ride, or fly in, is contributing to the carbon emissions that are heating up our atmosphere. Every barbeque, gas range, and campfire is doing the same. Ditto for gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers. In winter, it’s our natural gas heating and fireplaces. We have zero carbon budget left to use. Anything we burn is contributing to global warming, already unbearable for some.
4) Canadian banks are investing billions of dollars in the fossil fuel industry, with your money, and trampling on Indigenous rights while doing this. Tell them to stop by sending an email to the CEO’s of these banks!
#12 May 27, 2022 Call to Action
What you can do about our Climate Crisis: Vote!
It’s clear that the Climate Crisis is upon us. This past week, a storm rolled through Ontario and Quebec, killing 10 people and causing millions of dollars worth of damage. Last July, more than 700 people died in western Canada, due to the heat dome. Across Canada, flooding has become more commonplace, and it’s not just the expected floods from snow-melt. Increasingly, it is the result of excessive rainfall. This year already has seen community evacuations or states of emergency declared in the Northwest Territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and northern Ontario. And the number, extent, and intensity of wildfires continues to grow. The town of Lytton was destroyed in 2021. These extreme weather events are going to be more frequent and more destructive unless we have governments that are prepared to take serious action to address our Climate Crisis.
The climate plan and actions of the Ontario PC’s has not gotten much coverage in mainstream media, but here is what mainstream media has said:
‘The Ford government’s record on environmental issues is terrible.’ from the editorial board of the Hamilton Spectator and the Toronto Star (May, 2022).
‘Doug Ford’s dismal record on the environment and climate change’ from Mark Winfield of the Toronto Star (May 12, 2022).
‘We are headed toward an unlivable world…’ from Dr. Samantha Green, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, TVO (May 16, 2022) .
There are several reputable organizations that are tracking everything that Doug Ford has done, mostly with regard to the environment and climate change:
- The Ontario Federation of Labour’s Ford Tracker: Follow & fight Ford’s decisions that affect you
- The Ontario-based Seniors for Climate Action Now (SCAN)’s Ten Climate Reasons to Defeat Ford .
The Greens, Liberals, and NDP, all have better climate plans than the PC’s, especially the Greens. Here are the results of Green Prosperity’s Provincial Environmental Election Questionnaire – 2022 to the 4 political parties. Of a total of 17 questions asked, responses were received from the Greens, the Liberals, and NDP. There were no responses received from the PC party. That alone, tells you how unconcerned the PC party is with regard to the environment and climate change. This questionnaire was developed by leading environmental organizations in Ontario. These include the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace, Environmental Defence, and the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.
What should you do with regard to the Ontario election?
- Vote! But vote strategically!
- If you are living in Toronto, the Not One Seat campaign is working to flip the 11 PC ridings in Toronto over to a progressive party, either the Green, Liberal, or NDP candidate, so that Not One Seat goes to the PC’s in Toronto. In doing so, this will deny Doug Ford the majority that he wants. Here is the list of candidates endorsed by Not One Seat. Please vote for the endorsed candidate if there is one in your riding. Check this link as endorsed candidates are continually being added.
- If you are living outside of Toronto, vote strategically, and go to votethemallout.ca for their recommended candidate.
- In fact, today, the Toronto Star editorial board issued this about strategic voting: Ontario voters should back progressive parties to avoid a second Ford majority, Toronto Star (May 27, 2022)
- Send an action letter to the candidates in your riding and the 4 political party leaders to tell them that you are concerned about climate change and that you want them to take action to address our Climate Crisis.
If you want to protect the environment and address climate change, it’s important to vote.
If you want a livable future for your children and grandchildren, it’s important to vote.
If you want to get rid of Doug Ford, it’s important to vote, strategically.
#11 October 27, 2021 Call to Action
CODE RED for Our Earth
Recently, both the United Nations and the Lancet announced CODE RED for humanity, and a healthy future.The Guardian reported ‘The climate disaster is here’ . The United Nations Gap Report states that we need a world-wide 55% reduction by 2030 to achieve a 1.5 degree temperature increase. Current country commitments will only achieve a 7.5% reduction.
COP 26 is just days away. Representatives from 195 countries are meeting to determine how it will address our Climate Crisis. There are oil rich countries, such as Russia and Saudi Arabla, fossil fuel lobby groups, and climate deniers, that oppose the urgent and drastic action needed. It will be a difficult conference. There are links about COP 26 in the attached document.
Canada has a revised carbon emissions reduction goal of 40%. Even so, Canada’s policies and action are rated as HIGHLY INSUFFICIENT according to the international Climate Action Tracker. The Globe & Mail reports that Canada will only achieve an estimated 16% reduction, given their current climate plan.
What can you do about it? Lots. Talk about our Climate Crisis with your family and friends. In the attached document, I have listed calls to action that you can undertake which includes telling our elected representatives to work together to deal seriously with our Climate Crisis. There are also a number of local, Toronto events listed that are coming up in the following weeks.
If you can undertake one action, make it this one: TELL LEADERS: NO NEW FOSSIL FUELS! by Avaaz.
Think about what kind of future you want for your children, grandchildren, and all future generations, then act.
#10 February 22, 2021 Call to Action
What’s the most important thing you can do about climate change?
The answer: Talk about it!
The more we talk about it, the more likely it is that you will do something about it.
ClimateFast has developed a program called Kitchen Table Climate Conversations. It provides its participants with information about our Climate Crisis and will show you how you can conduct a conversation about climate with your family and friends. The idea being that, if those you talk to, do the same, then we can have as many people as possible talking about, and doing something about our Climate Crisis.
Our new website is climate conversations.ca. Here is a link that describes the Training series of 4 workshops taking place on the following dates at 7 pm: March 1st, 15th, and 29th, and April 12th. Just click on the Eventbrite links to register for a particular workshop.
If you want to make a difference and do something about our Climate Crisis, join us!
#9 January 29, 2021 Call to Action
Tell your Bank to stop investing in fossil fuels
‘Canada’s big five banks are funding fossil fuel companies to the tune of billions of dollars, and as parents and grandparents we know that this is unacceptable, and must stop now.’ For Our Kids
According to the 2020 Fossil Fuel Finance Report produced by the Rainforest Alliance Network, 3 of Canada’s big 5 banks are in the top 10 in fossil fuel financing in the world, with the other 2 not far behind:
#5 RBC $140.683 B
#8 TD $103.431 B
#10 Scotiabank $97.745 B
#16 BMO $82.115 B
#21 CIBC $57.728 B
(contained in pages 10 and 11 of the attached report)
You can send a message to our big banks to change their practices. For Our Kids, has made it easy to tell your bank to stop investing in fossil fuels, just go to this link: https://www.forourkids.ca/letter_to_ceo. If you’d like to do more, you can visit this For Our Kids web page: https://www.forourkids.ca/banking_on_our_kids?utm_campaign=bank_actions_this_we&utm_medium=email&utm_source=forourkids.
Tomorrow, January 29th is designated as the Day of Action for this campaign, but you can do this today, tomorrow, or any time after.
Let’s do what we can to give our children and our grandchildren a better future.
#8 January 12, 2021 Call to Action
Dear Premier Ford, Honourable Ministers, and Honourable Members of Provincial Parliament,
‘Countries must change course to avoid locking in levels of coal, oil, and gas production far higher than consistent with a 1.5°C limit.’
This is a quote from The Production Gap: 2020 Report produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
They have produced a short video (1’42”) that describes our current situation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6-HU3oS0nY&feature=emb_logo .
Here is their online report: http://productiongap.org/2020report.
This relevant video features Sir David Attenborough (3’42”): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOctIuyVfnA&t=1s.
The 2020 report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change that was published on December 2, 2020, concurs: ‘These next 5 years will be pivotal. To reach the 1·5°C target and limit temperature rise to “well below 2°C”, the 56 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e) currently emitted annually will need to drop to 25 GtCO2e within only 10 years (by 2030). In effect, this decrease will require a 7·6% reduction every year, representing an increase in current levels of national government ambition of a factor of five.’
We have a Climate Emergency that is unfolding before our eyes. This is what we need to do to battle it:
- Declare a Climate Emergency in Ontario.
- Stop the court challenge of the Federal Carbon Tax and Rebate.
- Stop the natural gas plant generation of electricity.
- Start funding and building renewable energy generation capacity, e.g. wind turbines, solar farms.
- Stop the nearly $700M in fossil fuel subsidies given annually by the Ontario Government.
- Provide funding for electrification of public transit in Ontario including GO trains.
- Introduce net zero and passive energy requirements into the Ontario Building Code.
- Ban the sale of all new fossil fuel combustion vehicles by 2023.
- Phase out business licenses of conventional gas stations by 2040.
- Prohibit the use of natural gas or any other fossil fuel in all new buildings by 2022.
- Cut off all natural gas to homes by 2040.
Only with leadership, SMART policy and legislation will we be able to deal with this Climate Emergency. The people of Ontario are expecting our elected representatives to deal speedily with this humanitarian crisis that is already affecting so much of the world. We await your immediate action.
#7 October 25, 2021 Call to Action
- Talk about our Climate Crisis. Katharine Hayhoe can tell you how. She was born in Toronto.
- Prime Minister Trudeau: No More Delays. No more half-measures. Work with MPs across party lines to protect our communities and the planet. by No More Delays. by No More Delays
- Tell Trudeau and all newly-elected MPs: it’s time for real climate leadership by Stand.earth
- Urgent, bold, ambitious climate action now! The climate crisis won’t wait. Call on all federal parties to cooperate on climate action. by the David Suzuki Foundation
- Liberals, NDP and Greens: Cooperate to make progress on climate and inequality. by LeadNow
- Undertake the Earth Peace Treaty Commitment Sheet produced by the Earth Holder Sangha.
- Endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty ClimateFast lobbied the City of Toronto to endorse this Treaty. It passed 20 to 2!
- Sign the e-petition e-3541 to shut down the TMX pipeline put forward by Peter Julian, New Westminster-Burnaby, BC MP, NDP
- Send a message to your MP calling for bold and ambitious climate action
- Ask you Member of Parliament to sign the Parliamentarians’ Call for a Fossil Fuel Free Future
- Take action now to protect your pension and the climate Tell the CPP and other pension funds to stop investing in fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy.
- Sign Up for Bank Switch Canada’s Big 5 Banks are in the top 22 banks investing in fossil fuels. See Banking on Climate Chaos.
- Read and support independent Canadian journalism (see this continually updated list of independent Canadian professional, digital-first news outlets). Here are a few of them:
- Read and support independent, international journalism. Here are a few of them:
- If you want more in-depth climate change information, you can go to the following websites:
- Here is what the BBC is reporting on climate change: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-56837908
Actions that you can take in the coming weeks:
TELL LEADERS: NO NEW FOSSIL FUELS! by Avaaz
#6 November 3, 2020 Call to Action
In order to save the climate, we have to reimagine capitalism (7:50): https://www.ted.com/talks/rebecca_henderson_to_save_the_climate_we_have_to_reimagine_capitalism. Rebecca Henderson is a university professor at the Harvard School of Business. She teaches Reimagining Capitalism.
Make your actions on climate reflect your words (7:04) https://www.ted.com/talks/severn_cullis_suzuki_make_your_actions_on_climate_reflect_your_words#t-9216. Severn Cullis-Suzuki is the daughter of David Suzuki. Both are outspoken environmentalists.
This is especially for youth & young adults: If you adults won’t save the world, we will(8:09) https://www.ted.com/talks/xiye_bastida_if_you_adults_won_t_save_the_world_we_will. Xiye Bastida has been called America’s Greta Thunberg. She is a member of the People’s Climate Movement, the Sunrise Movement, and Extinction Rebellion in the USA.
The State of the Climate Crisis as reported by Climate Action Tracker (4:35) https://www.ted.com/talks/climate_action_tracker_the_state_of_the_climate_crisis#t-276357
This surprising video is in support of the Joe Biden presidential campaign and says we need a president that will make Big Oil pay (1:00) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kShvyk8UNxs&feature=emb_logo
Our situation is dire. Do whatever you can to help deal with our climate crisis!
#5 October 11, 2020 Call to Action
Hi, in case you missed it, here is the TEDx Countdown Global Launch that took place today around the world. If you want to understand better our climate change crisis, what needs to be done, and how you can help, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dVcn8NjbwY&feature=emb_logo. It is just over 6 hours in total, so you may want to watch it whenever you have the time. Alternatively, there are video clips that you can selectively view at https://www.ted.com/series/countdown. but you won’t get to see Mark Ruffalo, Don Cheadle, Al Gore, Jaden Smith, Jane Fonda, and Chris Hemsworth. You will see Prince William, His Holiness Pope Francis, and Sigrid.
So, watch this video or the videos, and be inspired to do something, anything about climate change.
#4 September 8, 2020 Call to Action
In this passionate call to action, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg explains why, in August 2018, she walked out of school and organized a strike to raise awareness of global warming, protesting outside the Swedish parliament and grabbing the world’s attention. “The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions,” Thunberg says. “All we have to do is to wake up and change.” (11:02 mins)
Born and raised in Toronto, Katharine Hayhoe is one of the world’s best known climate scientists. She is the Political Science Endowed Professor in Public Policy and Public Law at Texas Tech University and is Director of their Climate Center. She is most widely known as one of the most effective communicators of climate issues for the general public through her social media, media interviews, and her Youtube videos with PBS Digital Studios. She hosts the PBS digital series, Global Weirding and in 2019 was named a United Nations Champion of the Earth.
Katharine Hayhoe graciously agreed to appear on ClimateFast’s Earth Day 2020 webcast. Here is her webcast video clip. ( 2:09 mins)
“I dream of a world where geography classes teach about the climate crisis as this one great challenge that was won by people like you and me,” says climate activist Luisa Neubauer. With Greta Thunberg, Neubauer helped initiate “Fridays For Future,” the momentous international school strike movement that protests the lack of action on the climate crisis. She shares four first steps that anyone, regardless of age, can take to become a climate activist. “This is not a job for a single generation. This is a job for humanity,” she says. (17:35 mins)
The current parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere is currently 414.38 for the month of July, 2020. You can obtain daily observations from co2.earth: https://www.co2.earth/.
Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future climate change campaign marked World Earth Day 2020 with this dramatic video. (0:58 mins). Warning: this video is not appropriate for small children.
#3 August 30, 2020 Call to Action
Here are some of the images, some iconic, that show the effects of climate change: melting glaciers, wildfires in California and Australia, flooding in many parts of the world affecting less developed countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh.
Our Canadian mainstream media does not do justice to all the ‘natural disasters’ taking place around the world. The Watchers website is tracking what is taking place.
With the polar ice caps and glaciers melting, Rising Seas Could Menace Millions Beyond Shorelines, Study Finds.
There are places in the world that are quickly becoming uninhabitable due to extreme heat, drought, water and food insecurity. And it affects those least responsible for the problem, and least able to deal with their situation. Here is a visual article from the New York Times entitled: This is Inequity at the Boiling Point.
The top climate scientists are warning that ‘the Collapse of Civilization is the Most Likely Outcome’.
Yet, Canada is ‘supporting fossil fuels at 10 times the G20 average’. Last year, Environmental Defense reported, ‘Canada handed $3.3 billion in subsidies to oil and gas companies last year. On top of this, many provinces also continue to subsidize the use of fossil fuels.’
And Canada’s pandemic response sends $16 billion to Fossils, just $300 million to Clean Energy, Global Energy Policy Tracker shows.
Please consider taking the following actions:
Think about your children… everyone’s children. What kind of world do you want to leave them?
Anything that you can do, can only help the situation. Please pass this email to your family and friends.
#2 August 23, 2020 Call to Action
Re: If you have a minute… to do something about climate change
If you have a minute, you can do one thing about climate change now.If you have 8 minutes, you can do 8 things about climate change now.
Here’s a video by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac entitled: 8 Things You Can Do About Climate Change Now (8:37 minutes). Christiana led COP24 that resulted in the Paris Agreement. Tom was her senior advisor.
If you were to search for: ‘what you can do about climate change’, you would find various websites and articles. Here are a few of them:
- David Suzuki Foundation’s Top 10 things you can do about climate change
- BBC’s Ten simple ways to act on climate change
- Toronto Star’s What you can do about climate change now
Please read one of the above or all of them. There are individual, personal actions that you can take, as well as political actions, where you contact your elected government representatives, whether they be at the municipal, provincial/territorial, or federal level, or attend rallies and marches. Some of these have moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There’s one thing that you can do that you might not be aware of. Your pension plan may be investing in fossil fuels. An easy way to find out is to go to this website, called Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health to see if your pension plan is listed there.
Canadian banks have invested heavily in fossil fuels. The Rainforest Action Network keeps track of all the fossil fuel investments made by financial institutions around the world. Consider switching banks or asking them to divest, if yours is one of them.
Anything that you can do, can only help the situation.
Think about your children… everyone’s children. What kind of world do you want to leave them?
#1 August 16, 2020 Call to Action
Re: If you have a minute… to do something about climate change
Hi. This email is about climate change. I know that the COVID-19 pandemic is top of mind for everyone right now. Climate change is still here though and getting worse. You can see it in the news: wildfires in B.C., Ontario, California; floods in Bangladesh; temperature records in the Middle East; melting ice in the Antarctic and the Arctic; droughts in Africa. The list goes on.
If you have a minute, watch this video, On The Brink from the United Nations.
If you have 4 minutes, watch this video, The Facts by Sir David Attenborough.
And if you have 5 minutes, read this article by Barry Saxifrage of Canada’s National Observer.
There is hope. The 3.5% Rule discovered by Erica Chenoweth says that an active 3.5% of a population has never failed to bring about major change to a situation. The BBC has written about this 3.5% Rule. I’m hoping that you can be part of the 3.5% that are concerned enough about our children and our grandchildren, that you want to do something about it.
It has been determined that the single best way to deal with climate change is to introduce a carbon tax, a price on pollution. This 4 minute video from the Ecofiscal Commission of Canada explains this.
Here is the call to action. There is a petition that has been raised in the House of Commons with regard to carbon pricing, petition e-2542. This is the petition. This petition closed last week, on Tuesday, August 18th. When this is brought forward in the House, please support it.
Thanks for taking the time to listen, and making a difference.