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Stop Everything #8: Canada is climate central this week as Gore, Monbiot touch down

darcy higgins

Al Gore "Our Choice" Book Soup Book Signing Event

Canada has been a hotspot for international climate activists this week. We’ve got Al Gore in Toronto, warning among other things that using tar sands oil takes away any advantages of greening our vehicle fleet. Then there’s Britain’s George Monbiot speaking this Saturday at the University of Toronto (2-4PM) on the “Countdown to Copenhagen: Who in Canada is Killing the International Climate Treaty?” Possibly even more interesting will be Tuesday night’s Munk Debate with Monbiot, Elizabeth May, and on the pro-climate change side, Bjorn Lomborg and Lord Nigel Lawson.

Lots of potential inspiration to elicit further action.

With the announcement that Barack Obama will be attending the Copenhagen talks and bringing hard carbon reduction targets with him, and that Canada’s Parliament passed a resolution that we too must bring strong targets, allow me to provide two more suggestions for action this week, in hopes of putting the political pressure on Harper to make him do it.

Rebecca noted Tuesday that Prime Ministerial phone lines were blocked by Mississauga students calling for climate action. They politely refrained when someone from the office apparently asked them to stop calling, but by then the point was made.

To add to actions to be taken by supporters of the Canadian Youth Delegation and others, how about we all do the same? Organize an event and call: (613) 992-4211. Already hosting a talk? Get everyone’s cell phones out. How about a school democracy project like the one in Mississauga?

My last columns have suggested action by getting religious, rural and other groups on board to achieve climate results in the political realm. There are many high-profile folks who could be encouraged to write open letters to the Prime Minister or to newspapers for action. Since religious organizations are good places to get support, how about starting with the United Church of Canada and move right from there? Their national leader has called for climate action before.

Municipal leaders in Tory ridings, agricultural organizations and service clubs like Rotary could go a long way in lending their hand—but they likely need a nudge from you. I challenge some folks to start writing and posting their letters here, giving each other a hand in getting the work done.

Further action in the West may be starting, as both Environment Minister Jim Prentice and former Environment Minister Rona Ambrose both had their offices occupied this week by climate activists, including by a 70-something professor emeritus.

And contrary to some recent comments I’ve received to my column — I don’t worship the alter of former American President uh, Vice-President Al Gore. But I do think, if we don’t succeed in getting the Conservatives on board, we might do ourselves a favour and try acting a little crazy.

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