Saturday, December 31, 2011

A busy year

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are all well. Well in whatever meaning of the word comes first, next and next again to your minds.

It's obvious by the date that it is the last day of 2011. Bloggers everywhere are writing their year-end posts. I'm feeling the pressure to do the same; I know I've been posting less and borrowing more. Borrowing from great people, whose ideas I'm grateful for, but borrowing.

I've never been through a year as busy as this one has been. Over-busy. Feeling that I'm leaking around the edges ... missing things ... not following up adequately with people. It's the sort of busy-ness that takes away from positivity, and with that comes a perceived loss of productivity.

Looking back, however, I recognize that I've done more than I have ever done in a year.

I'm going to make an effort to remember that I - like most people - do rise to meet the demands that come.

The other thing I want to remember, be grateful for, and use even more next year is that I get things done because of other people. Other people step in and help with things. Other people step in and help when I ask them (and I need to do that more).

A lot of activists aren't good at asking for help, at least not on the personal/emotional stuff. We can whip together a film series somewhere, but don't admit that cumulative loss of sleep is making us grumpy with ourselves and others. Or is adding to a tendency to depression. We all need to look out for ourselves and the others we "activate" with. This advice has been given by many others before me and is worth saying again and acknowledging.

Thanks Chris, for morning cups of coffee and boundless love.
Thanks Dylan, for the assortment of "sometime today could you" chores you do.

Thanks everyone in all the groups and at all the meetings, for all the ideas and support.

Thanks Marietta, Louise Ann and Beth ... who gave us home-backed cookies in this Christmas season where I had no time to bake (or knit, or shop, or houseclean).

Much love to all of you today and for 2012.

Why's Woman

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas message from Elizabeth May

By. Elizabeth May

As we all prepare for the holidays, it is customary to look back at the year that was. I am not able to do that (even though that’s what the newsletter editor wanted.) I cannot pretend the events of the last two weeks – first Canada’s sabotage at COP17 in Durban and then the breath-taking duplicity of filing notice to legally withdraw from Kyoto scarcely 24 hours after the close of the COP – belong in another part of my brain. The enormity of it demands that I not write about how great it is that I was elected and that we made a breakthrough. (For the moment, I assume that you know that and that you know how grateful I am for your support in making it happen).

This Christmas season I find myself thinking about Christmas of 1972. It was our last Christmas before moving to Cape Breton. I remember trying to sing Christmas carols in our church, standing with my mum, and both of us choking on tears and unable to sing. It was the year Nixon ordered the Christmas bombing of North Vietnam. Carpet bombing from December 18-30th. The theory was the godless North Vietnamese would not expect bombing from a Christian nation on Christmas. The element of surprise.

What triggered the recollection was nothing cerebral. I tried to sing and the physical sensation opened the portal of memory. The way the smell of rain on warm soil of a summer evening is evocative, I was transported back to that church, standing next to my mother and choking on tears. Once again I have a Christmas when I cannot sing. This time it is Stephen Harper’s surprise strategy. Wait til Canada’s negotiators are back from Durban, wait til Canadians are distracted by Christmas and then bomb the bridges to global climate action.

The climate crisis is not a war and the brutality is at a distance. But brutality it is.

Can we be Conscientious Objectors to the war on our children’s future? As Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote in a poem of that name, “I shall die, but that is all I shall do for Death. I am not on his payroll.” We need to resolve – heart, body and soul – to reverse over the next year the damage done in these last few weeks. We need to be grounded in the ways and strengths of every hero we can name – Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama – and yes, for me, the Prince of Peace whose birthday we celebrate.

We will not allow climate deniers and duplicitous politicians, oil lobbyists and fossil-fuel funded front groups to prevent action in the tiny bit of time remaining.

We have accomplished much in 2011. We must collectively accomplish more in 2012.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Elizabeth May on Canada's Withdrawal from Kyoto

OTTAWA - The Green Party of Canada is appalled by the Harper government’s decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. “It is extremely shocking that Canada has chosen to withdraw just days after the conclusion of the Durban negotiations,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, who was in Durban for COP17. “It is simply outrageous disinformation that there is a $14 billion cost to staying in Kyoto. Staying in the Kyoto Protocol will not cost us a cent. What will cost billions is if we do nothing to address climate change.”

“Canada should be continuing in Kyoto and negotiating the targets that would be palatable for this government. By withdrawing, we become a pariah on the world stage,” said May.

The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, in its report “Paying the Price: The Economic Impacts of Climate Change for Canada”, estimates that the cost of Canada’s failure to act on climate change will range from $5 billion per year by 2020 to as high as $91 billion per year by 2050. Impacts on forests and coastal areas will be particularly felt in terms of hits to the Canadian economy. An increase in flooding, wildfires, heat waves, and poor air quality has already resulted in increased death and destruction of property. Canada's insurance sector is seeing costs from storms and wildfire escalating rapidly.

“Refusing to be a part of the global effort to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate will put Canada behind economically as other countries make investments in efficiencies and renewable energy. Canada has an opportunity to capitalize on a green economy and instead we are clinging to fossil fuels,” said May. “Withdrawing from Kyoto is an appalling decision. It will only hurt us—economically and environmentally.”