Douglas Roy: We are the problem, and we have to act now

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      Winning takes time. This year, the Japanese Antarctic whaling fleet returned to port nearly empty-handed. For 40 years, first Greenpeace and then Paul Watson’s Sea Shepherd society have been working on the whaling crisis. Finally, thanks to the dedication of the few together with widespread public support, there has been limited progress. Vancouver can be proud of that.

      Leaving the care of the Earth to Mother Nature is not sound policy. Despite over 40 years of scientific evidence on global warming, carbon dioxide emissions have continued to climb, as have ocean temperatures. The stock markets, politicians, and the peoples of North America, the ultimate sources of the problem, have consistently ducked the issue. A recent CBC poll showed that while 80 percent of Canadians recognized the existence of climate change, 52 percent also opposed a tax that would make pollution more expensive, a necessary step to cut emissions. This is not Canada’s finest hour.

      Over the last 40 years, Canada’s values of justice, human rights, and democracy have taken a beating. Canada’s governments have willingly and violently attacked the basic democratic freedoms such as freedom of expression and right to protest, as witnessed at the peaceful assemblies at G20 and the Vancouver Olympics. The suppression of protest has always been justified by placing “market certainty” above human values. On environmental issues such as Kyoto and the tar sands, the Harper regime has destroyed our reputation and made us an international pariah. The recently-failed campaign to gain a seat on the UN Security Council shows how far we have fallen. Together with our southern neighbors, we lead the world in global warming, resource depletion, and planet degradation. We, you and me, are the problem.

      Neither neglect nor “market forces” will bring about change. Change is the collective action of dedicated minds. New ideas from every generation are needed to choose a new path. “Just doing my little bit” has proven an inadequate advertising theme and has changed nothing. Individual actions, reuse and recycling, and conscientious consumption can only produce a “too little, too late” result. We don’t have 40 years to get our act together. Our new solutions have to be community-wide and involve the transition to a sustainable economy. We need a transit system that can replace the automobile. We need to get the oil tankers out of our harbour and the gas guzzlers out of our garage. We need to build home-made industries that can maintain our society’s prosperity without destroying our planet’s health.

      The media has made it fashionable to not vote and to be proud of not voting. The most sinister media ploy of late has been to describe the political parties as “brands”, implying that the differences between the political parties and their policies are no different than the choices between pasta sauces, and that ultimately, choosing any party won’t matter in the long run. But it does make a difference. Your children deserve better. “Business as usual” is destroying their future.

      Political change requires elected representatives in Parliament acting with the will of the people to make Green policies work. The debate decision to prevent Green party leader Elizabeth May from appearing might produce “good television”, but ignores the urgency of our situation. So we carry on, driving our cars, cheering the Canucks, and searching for the perfect Shiraz. Given time, the Green movement could likely change enough minds, but time is a luxury. The rape of Mother Earth is destroying our children’s future, so we have to act now. It’s time. Vote Green. There is no Planet B.

      Douglas Roy is the Green candidate for Vancouver East.




      Apr 19, 2011 at 9:25pm

      Well spoken, Mr. Roy! Good luck with your campaign. Please offer your views to the editors of the National Post and the Globe & Mail.

      Dennis Ouellette

      Apr 19, 2011 at 10:00pm

      1 brick at a time builds the wall or tears it down. In the will always be 'ashes to ashes' Douglas..... for its all 'mother nature' and we flatter ourselves thinking we can change it all. Every good, quality, change ever designed by humans was designed by an ill thought out concept. The diametric opposite lives along all diameters. Industrialism is founded in martyred ideas and so produces martyrs. Democracy is an ideal which attempts to usurp nature's way of governing all....equally.


      May 1, 2011 at 2:24am

      I agree with Doug, children deserve a better world not a worst world. Do sth. papa,mama,grandpa,grandma,auntie,uncle...