Climate crisis affects Valley residents

Letter to the Editor:

Our planet has big problems with how humans have contaminated its environment. The biggest problem is the coating around Earth has been weakened by all the carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and other greenhouse gasses that have entered the atmosphere over the past couple centuries. Above image by Emmara Grodet-Lyons.

As we know, the name of that BIG problem is “climate change.” We already see some really major impacts from climate change, such as: flooding, forest fires, droughts, extreme storms, wild winds and temperature shifts, property damage, habitat loss, increased pests, and loss of biodiversity.

Scientists have determined that almost all forms of life on Earth will encounter an unbearable, unliveable environment by 2100, UNLESS we take dramatically urgent action to stop this pollution of the atmosphere.

So much important action to slow down and turn around the damage to our atmosphere can happen at the local level, in our communities and in our county.

If the needed policies or funds are beyond very local jurisdiction, our councils can press higher levels of government to support needed programs. Through this collaboration between residents, local councils, and higher levels of government, we can cope better with the climate changes we already see, and also change how we do things to stop the increase in climate change. 

Every Valley community, as well as County Council, needs a Climate Action committee that includes local politicians and dedicated community members.  With so many new faces on local councils, now is the time to make this happen.  The good news is that Arnprior and Petawawa have recently formed climate action committees.

This week our group learned that Pembroke City Council’s Climate Advisory Action Committee is slated to be shut down. This is absolutely a step in the wrong direction. We are nowhere near solving the climate crisis here in the valley. Hopefully the new Pembroke Council will come to its senses immediately!

If you want to learn more about how you can build local awareness and action on climate issues, please plan to join our Annual General Meeting on Zoom, on December 13, 2022. For more info on how to link to this online session, please email us at kitchissippiottawacocchapter@gmail.com

Ann Pohl — Spokesperson, Kitchissippi-Ottawa Valley Chapter, Council of Canadians

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