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Keep up momentum in climate change fight

Letter to the Editor from Andrew O’Kane

Climate action strikes and protests have been occurring with increasing participation all over the world recently in the face of governments’ lack of effective initiatives to reduce and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. There is a long history of direct action by people to address social injustices when those elected to govern fail to act.

During the last decade the Occupy movement rose to prominence in response to gross wealth inequality and the undue influence of corporations on economic policy. Idle No More focused our attention on systemic racism perpetrated on indigenous people in Canada. The Me Too movement demands the end of misogyny and of sexualized violence toward women and LGBTQ people.

Although none of these movements have disappeared completely, we have seen them receive less attention as they are dropped from the mainstream media cycle. The wealth of nations continues to be concentrated in the hands of the richest 1%, indigenous people continue to suffer the effects of post colonial racist harms and women and LGBTQ people remain very far from safe in our societies

The danger is that if our efforts to effect real change in the world do not continue to strengthen, momentum can be lost which is what lazy governments wait for. In the case of worldwide demands for immediate effective action on climate change we will have to continue innovating and strengthening strategies to stay in front .

As the effects of climate change worsen, people become more stressed, societies less able to protect and provide and among those who suffer first and worst are those who are already marginalized and victimized: women, LGBTQ people, indigenous people and those living in poverty. The rights and safety of people all over the world are further threatened by climate change as is the future of our children.

Waiting for change doesn’t cut it. Join the climate strikes coming soon to your communities!

Andrew O’Kane


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