A recent study links the rise of wildfires directly to emissions produced by oil companies. The research quantifies the connection between companies, emissions and climate events reports a CBC article. The link is clear: fossil fuels produce emissions which increase the warming of the planet which leads to climate change that intensifies the underlying conditions that cause wildfires. Full Stop!
Canada Is On Fire
This post is the Open Letter to the Governments of Canada and Ontario regarding the wildfires raging across Canada. It is published with permission from Seniors for Climate Action Now (SCAN).
Fires are burning across the country. This is not the first time communities are being burned to the ground, along with the attendant horrific loss to lands, forests, and animals.
But what is new is the extent of the problem. More communities are being impacted. In recent days, the majority of Canada’s population has been exposed to toxic smoke threatening the health of the elderly, people with disabilities, those who are pregnant, and the young. And increasingly, Indigenous People are being displaced from their communities.
Every year the situation gets worse. This is costing lives lost and untold financial setbacks.
Governments have declared the importance of halting climate warming. Six hundred and forty-nine municipalities have declared a climate emergency across Canada, including many municipalities in Ontario. Yet the Canadian government continues to support the expansion of the oil and gas industries. The Ontario provincial government is expanding gas plants and attacking the natural environment (a buffer against climate warming impacts).
Rigorous scientific research has established that without a drastic reduction in emissions the planet will continue to heat up causing more wildfires, floods and droughts. What we see today is only the beginning.
And yet, here we are, unprepared while Canada burns.
We do not have enough fire fighters to handle the current fires, never mind future developments. We have not taken sufficient action to protect people who are suffering; or to fully compensate those who are burned out.
We call on governments to take emergency measures now to offset the impact – to assist our citizens and our habitat:
- Establish a national emergency agency with full funding to mobilize all forces across the country to react to crises.
- Expand our fire fighting services.
- Create a Youth Climate Corps and/or Civilian Climate Corps to provide help to vulnerable populations to survive the increasingly difficult life circumstances.
- Expand the role of the national defence forces in assisting with emergency action such as fire fighting and flood relief.
- Create refuge for vulnerable populations – such as emergency centres with clean air, that can act as cooling centres and provide refuge during disasters like fires and flooding.
No more playing politics. We need you to act.
SCAN! is a seniors organization calling for cutting Canada’s carbon emissions by at least 60% by 2030, the phaseout of fossil fuels, a just transition to a low carbon economy and a responsible role in supporting developing countries in a transition to a low carbon world.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.