To the Editor
On Sept. 27 I attended a meeting of the county’s joint environmental committee.
I was very impressed by the overall respect and collaboration between its members. John Smith councillor for Dysart et al brought forward to the agenda a request to declare a climate emergency in Haliburton County. I was thrilled that there was unanimous support for this even though there was no formal vote. This committee has no decision-making authority. County Warden Liz Danielsen suggested each council should encourage the county to declare an emergency. I had intended to send them a letter relaying how proud I was of their decision but procrastination prevailed.
Dysart et al’s environment and climate change committee quickly acted and passed a motion on Oct. 10 requesting Dysart’s council to indicate to county council that they wanted a climate emergency declared. This passed but Dysart council deferred the item at Mayor Roberts’s request pending the discussion scheduled for the next day at county council. Dysart council granted that. County council at their meeting decided it was best to have a plan in place first before declaring a climate emergency. Had they decided to strike a succinct and clear motion in favour of this decision Haliburton County would have stood tall with many other brave communities in Canada and the world.
In an open letter signed by over 11000 scientists from The Alliance of World Scientists they are taking a stand. “We declare … clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency” says the letter’s opening statement.
Alina Fisher states “People do understand (climate change) but they don’t see how it affects them. It’s important for us as scientists to bridge that gap.”
“The climate crisis is closely linked to excessive consumption of the wealthy lifestyle” it says. “We must change how we live.”
Energy sources must move beyond carbon. Diets must include less meat.
“Excessive extraction of materials and overexploitation of ecosystems driven by economic growth must be quickly curtailed … We must protect and restore Earth’s ecosystems.”
Emma Lim an activist from #NoFutureNoChildren states “It is easier to bear the pain of not having children than it is to bear the pain of not being able to protect them.”
There is no time for procrastination citizens of Haliburton County.
We need county council to take action now to take a stand for our/your future children and our global community to declare Haliburton County a leader in climate emergency. The plan I feel can then move forward with the assistance of the new climate change co-ordinator and council.