As things heat up—literally—from coast to coast, shattering high-temperature records day after day, one report by the National Observer’s Chris Hatch stood out to me. In his Carbon Zero e-newsletter, he wrote:
“What’s truly ‘unfathomable’ for most is that this will be one of the coldest summers of the rest of our lives. Very possibly of all human lives. These are the cool old days.”
I still get a lump in my throat just thinking about it. Chris offered another thought that I find oddly reassuring:
“What used to be the joyful beginning of summer has become a time of dread for those of us attuned to climate breakdown.”
What I find comforting is his reference to “those of us”—we are not alone in this; there are others who feel this crisis in their bones.
Last week, a leaked draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change revealed a number of jaw-dropping conclusions. Phys.org provides a good summary of the key takeaways: Crushing climate impacts to hit sooner than feared: draft UN report
One of the takeaways is that even with the current global temperature rise of 1.1 degrees Celsius, the world is experiencing catastrophic impacts—and we’re on track to warm the planet by at least 3 degrees. In May, the World Meteorological Organization projected that there is a 40 percent chance that Earth will cross the 1.5-degree threshold in 5 years.
Despite repeated promises to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment, most governments—including ours—are not honouring those commitments.
Whether we like it or not, this pivotal moment in the history of the planet and human civilization is happening on our watch. Nobody is coming to save us. As one longtime community organizer said recently, “We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for,” regular people like you and me who refuse to ignore the environmental crisis and will not give up on a future for the generations to come.
What Does Canada Day Mean to You?
We all have a lot to reflect on this Canada Day. As a settler in Mi’kma’ki, I find myself cringing at the idea of anyone proudly displaying the Canadian flag to celebrate the nation’s accomplishments. With each new discovery of mass graves near former Indian residential schools, the curtain is pulled back a little more on the genocide waged against Indigenous peoples.
This Canada Day, I plan to spend time reading the 231 Calls for Justice set out in the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the 94 Calls to Action of the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report.
I hope other settlers will too.
Decolonizing Book Club - Tonight at 7:30pm AT
This evening (Wed. June 30) will be the third meeting of the Decolonizing Book Club, guided by Mi’kmaw educator Chris George. If you missed the last meeting, you can watch a recording of my conversation with Chris here: Whose Land Is It Anyway? Part 1
We’ll continue our discussion of the book Whose Land Is It Anyway? (available as a free PDF). Newcomers are welcome. Be sure to sign up for the Zoom link if this is your first meeting.
You’ll find more information and resources on our chapter’s Decolonizing Book Club page.
Become a member
If you’d like to support the work of our Sierra Club Chapter, sign up to become a member for $15/yr (a special price in celebration of Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s 50th anniversary).
Feel free to get in touch if you have any comments or suggestions: Atlantic@sierraclub.ca
Wishing you all well,
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