Salmon Arm climate strike on Sept. 20. (File photo)

Letter: Canada should become an innovator to lead the world

Why does it take a 16-year-old child to chastise the world, as Greta Thunberg did at the UN Climate Action Summit, for their inability to come up with a solution for the environment?

We reach these huge agreements where the leaders of most countries state that they will take care of the world we live in and be better stewards for the planet. The Paris agreement was a grand idea. The 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Kyoto protocol (1997), The Copenhagen and the Cancún agreements (2009) were great, but those didn’t seem to go anywhere. I feel embarrassed of my country for its petty arguing over the fact that it’s getting taxed for its climate and environment. Please, don’t get me wrong. I understand that my country is a resource country. We have an abundance of natural resources. That’s how we provide for ourselves and for the world, but we cannot come to a complete agreement about what is right for the environment.

My generation X was told that if we, the world, didn’t do something by 2010, the damage to the environment, including global warming, would be irreversible. What would happen to the environment? Well that deadline has come and gone, and I feel disappointed with myself and my generation for not doing enough and not speaking our piece louder for the environment and Mother Earth. I feel like a shmuck for not doing more than just a little bit of recycling, for not standing up for what I believe. It took a well-spoken 16-year-old from Sweden to humiliate the world into understanding that her generation does not want this.

Read more: Video – All ages rally in Salmon Arm to demand climate action

Read more: Roots and Blues performer endorses young Salmon Arm climate change activists

Corporations that put up wind turbines that give them credit to counteract what they are doing in the oil sands may believe they are doing enough for the environment. However, “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” is really not working. We ship off coal to other countries, so they can burn it for energy! We are so dependent on the oil sands and our other natural resources. We can’t seem to get beyond the almighty corporate dollar. I feel ashamed of our policymakers for their inconsistencies and unwillingness to be a part of environmental change. People have spoken about this over and over but when it comes down to it, we don’t seem to be taking any action.

Why can’t we be innovators? Why isn’t this a topic a given more importance in our political scene. The lovely young lady said that her generation won’t forgive us if we can’t figure this out. How do we do it in such a short deadline? It’s not far away. Canada is full of innovators, well why are we not figuring out how to make those innovations? We have brilliant minds that are looking for the simplest solutions. Yet it’s complicated, how are we to do this? We need for the world to look at us as innovators, willing to get up and combine our resources with other countries in to find a solution. Help us to make a solution for our world. Otherwise Our world as we know it comes to an end. We are already losing species after species. Maybe the Indigenous people had a better idea of how to treat Mother Earth as we are failing at being stewards right now.

Naomi Perreault


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