Climate change: what next?



By Caitlin Kelly

I won’t repeat the endless warnings I read daily.

If you follow the news, you’re also well aware.

We were back up in Montreal last weekend where I was heartened to see this large street protest — calmly protected by multiple police officers — as students took to to the streets for their Friday school strike.




“Don’t adapt — act” …






They were inspired by a high school student far away across the ocean, Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, recently profiled by Time magazine as their cover story, extraordinary in itself.

An excerpt:

Castigating the powerful has become routine for the 16-year-old. In December, she addressed the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Poland; in January she berated billionaires at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Her London speech was the last stop of a tour that included meeting the Pope. (“Continue to work, continue,” he told her, ending with, “Go along, go ahead.” It was an exhortation, not a dismissal.)

Just nine months ago, Thunberg had no such audiences. She was a lone figure sitting outside the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm, carrying a sign emblazoned with Skolstrejk for Klimatet (School Strike for Climate). She was there for a reason that felt primal and personal. While Thunberg was studying climate change in school at the age of 11, she reacted in a surprisingly intense way: she suffered an episode of severe depression. After a time it lifted, only to resurface last spring.

“I felt everything was meaningless and there was no point going to school if there was no future,” Thunberg says. But this time, rather than suffer the pain, she decided to push back at its cause, channeling her sadness into action. “I promised myself I was going to do everything I could do to make a difference,” she says.


I confess to feeling daily despair over a changing climate wreaking havoc worldwide: floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, cyclones, droughts, incredible heatwaves, all of which are damaging agriculture and the oceans, drying up crucial sources of water and causing millions of people living in vulnerable areas to wonder where else they might possibly live safely.

Indians recently fled a cyclone thanks to receiving in advance millions of warning text messages —- while Ottawa, Canada’s capital, recently coped with the worst flooding in 25 years.


No one is safe.


What, if anything, are you doing to deal with climate change?


Is it affecting your life?


Will it affect how you vote?


13 thoughts on “Climate change: what next?

  1. Working in NWT I can see it here: it’s warmer, there’s less snow and more fires. There are grolar bears (a hybrid of grizzlies and polar bears). The elders say that their weather reads have become a lot less reliable.

    Frankly, I am disappointed in Trudeau’s behaviour; he needs to pick up the pace. But I’m not going to vote for Scheer, who in my opinion is a Steven Harperite without the brains (and we don’t need another round of that kind of conservative thinking). Unfortunately, I don’t see the NDP as a viable alternative and I find their leader wishy-washy. The Greens? Frankly, I have to vote against Scheer, and he will gain from a Green ballot. It will be hold-my-nose-and-vote time.

  2. I, as have you, lived through several doomsday deadlines and am now looking forward to the latest AOC-mandated 12 years to Ragnarok. Now that it’s getting cooler, the global warming schtick’s got a climate change makeover. So because our constant drum beat of doom drove a young Swedish girl to nihilism and are now repurposing her hysteria to drive it home again to the masses legitimizes nothing. All the predictions of doom have fallen flat. It’s time to call bullshit on this redistributionist scam.

  3. I support environmental groups all the time. I give with every paycheck to environmental charities, and I try to recycle whenever possible. And if a candidate supports more eco-friendly policies, I’m more likely to vote for them.

  4. I think it impacts all of us, in ways we may not even fathom in our day to day lives. I do know that the frequency in extreme weather patterns is an obvious one, though it’s hard for many to imagine what the future may look like, I attend protests, read everything I can, and try to leave less of a personal footprint where possible. my strongest personal impact will be in the power of my vote.

  5. Climate change is a force of nature. In the context of the history of our planet, Human civilization isn’t even a tick of the clock. We’re like a waterbug riding the face of a tsunami.
    This isn’t to say there’s no cause for concern, just that we need to adopt a different approach, one based on a principle we can all get behind. I don’t have to believe in global warming to support efforts to have cleaner air and water or to speak out against drilling for oil in our national parks. All the climate change argument does is slow the pace of progress. If the merit of the man-made climate change argument is removed from the discussion, we can see more of what we agree upon and can work together to change. Good luck with that.

  6. Louisa

    I live in California, and though not impacted personally by wildfires, I do know people whose houses have burnt down. My husband and I are applying to be disaster relief volunteers for the American Red Cross.
    I donate to environmental nonprofits, especially ones involving the ocean, because I understand that sea level rise is even worse than global warming.
    My recent contribution was designing and facilitating a workshop for seniors called “Climate Grief: Living with the Pain of Our Planet,” where everyone had the opportunity to share their fears, their rather anemic hopes, and what they were doing in the face of this crisis.

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