Why CRD should declare a climate emergency – Jan 23, 2019

TS co-president Michael Tacon on why CRD should declare a climate emergency – Jan 23, 2019

Transition Sooke’s Michael Tacon addressed the Capital Regional District’s Parks and Environment Services Committee on January 23 in Victoria. He was one in a series of area speakers urging the CRD to adopt the climate emergency declaration proposed by Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, Saanich Councillor Ned Taylor and Sooke’s own Mayor Maja Tait. As Michael noted on receiving word about the initiative, “I was elated and relieved that finally – finally –  we have the beginning of ramping up a significant level of engagement with the biggest challenge confronting us with CLIMATE CHANGE (capitals intended).” Here’s his address in full . . .

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,

My name is Michael Tacon and I represent the Sooke Transition Town Society (known as Transition Sooke) which is a citizen’s initiative working towards a resilient and sustainable community in the face of climate and societal change. We have been active in Sooke and region since 2010. I view the intention to declare a climate emergency to be a dream come true and that it represents a very important opportunity to help us come to grips with these immense challenges before us.

We must “get serious” about Climate Change. We must raise the profile of Climate Change so that it gets on the front pages of our print media – not somewhere on the middle pages – so that people understand how desperately we need to mobilize our resources on a massive scale – on a scale that is much more equal to the threats facing us. The time is NOW!

In my learning journey about Climate Change I am sometimes both inspired and overwhelmed. The complexity and interactive nature of Climate Change reaches into every aspect of life on this planet. Our unsustainable modern industrial civilization is pushing against the limits of our ecosystems to the point that major imbalances and crises are catching up with us.  Climate change is  creating many consequences in all areas of our lives: health, extreme weather, loss of fisheries, food supplies shortages, natural ecosystems, loss of species, wildfires, major storms, fresh water shortages, ocean level rise, droughts, loss of coral reefs, heat waves, flooding, climate refugees, and so it goes on.

We have worked hard in Sooke over the last 8 years to raise the awareness of what lies ahead of us. By going ahead with the declaration, we believe we can get us closer to crossing that threshold between ignorance and taking action.

We must push through the denials and resistance to change towards to embracing the urgency of what must be done to avoid catastrophic consequences and to renew and “green” our civilization”.

The science is clear: the facts are well known; everybody will be affected

Just imagine one of your children or grandchildren asking you this question:

“What did you do, once you knew?”

Are we ready, as a wealthy country, to do our fair share?

Perhaps we may need to say to those unwilling to get with the program:”Please get out of the way so we can get the job done. Our survival including yours is at stake whether you believe it or not. Are we ready to get on the job?

Michael Tacon is one of the co-founders of Transition Sooke, served as its first President and is now its co-president with Bernie Klassen.  Through the Sooke Region Lifelong Learning Network, Michael will be leading “A Primer On Climate Change,” a four-part seminar series on successive Thursday afternoons (1:30 to 3 p.m.)  from Jan. 31 to Feb. 21 at SEAPARC. Admission is by donation. To register, phone 250-642-8000 or visit www.seaparc.com. 

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