Saturday, September 24, 2011
Moving the Planet... toward a cleaner environment
We were a little slow off the mark this morning, so my daughters and I missed the beginning of the Moving Planet rally on Whyte Avenue. Instead, we opted for riding straight to the Legislature Grounds to meet the procession as it arrived at noon. We heard the drums long before we saw the crowd...
To be honest, it wasn't a large crowd, but not bad for a first Moving Planet event in Edmonton. It will only get bigger as people realize that we need to get our governments to work with people and reduce carbon emissions to slow climate change.
Scientists have become aware that for most of our planet's existence, carbon levels have been around 270 parts per million, and last century they guesstimated that more than 350 ppm would be detrimental to the planet's ecosystems. So 350.org, the organization that planned today's worldwide rally, was named for the upper limits of non-destructive carbon levels in our atmosphere. Unfortunately, carbon levels have already reached 392 ppm, and we are starting to see some disastrous results in heatwaves, floods, droughts and bizarre weather in places that used to have moderate atmospheric conditions.
The rally was well organized. Peter Adamski acted as emcee, and there were various speakers and musicians.
Paula Kirman sang a folk song she composed, a lament for the environment that is undergoing so much change because of pollution...
Julian Brimelow spoke about some of those changes, and encouraged us to check out www.skepticalscience.com. Of course, he was preaching to the converted...
And what would a rally be without the Raging Grannies adding their unique musical perspective?
Or a mascot? (A polar bear on a unicycle is brilliant, if you ask me.)
Invitations were sent to civic leaders, MLAs and MPs, but only Linda Duncan came to show support for 350's initiative. I was glad to see her -- she's my member of parliament, and I think she is a wise one.
One thing's sure... the weather is getting weird in a lot of places on this earth, and so many floods, droughts, tornadoes and forest fires aren't just weird quirks of Mother Nature. I think it was David Parker, a past Green Party member, who read a brief poem which explained that Mother Nature follows biology, chemistry and physics, and we can't argue with Mother Nature... but we can live and act differently to make biology, chemisty and physics work in our favour. If that's the case, it's definitely past time to get the planet's peoples to reduce our use of fossil fuels and rely more on our own sources of energy.
My prediction? The Moving Planet movement will continue to grow, people will write letters to their politicians asking for climate action, and things will get better rather than worse. But we all have to do our parts!