Thousands of people took to the streets in Vancouver as part of a climate strike that Swedish activist Greta Thunberg attended in October. (Canadian Press photo)

Thousands of people took to the streets in Vancouver as part of a climate strike that Swedish activist Greta Thunberg attended in October. (Canadian Press photo)

Letter: ‘No one else will clean up our mess’

‘Wake up’ Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows

Editor, The News:

Re: Nothing we do in Canada will affect climate change.

As a species, we tend to only correct our errors, keep up our health or correct environmental problems when things start going or have gone critical.

We are at that point now, and I must disagree greatly with Mr. Hunter’s analysis that we are helpless or have had little part in affecting climate change.

This rather prime example of Jurassic thinking lulls a great many into a sort of false sense of security, suggesting that it’s okay not to try and reduce our CO2 emissions since we only emit two per cent of world emissions.

I am afraid that when it comes to being human, we put things on the back-burner everything and just mess up the planet.

READ ALSO: Nothing we do in Canada will affect climate change.

Certainly, we must spend time, money and ingenuity on preventing damage from climate change.

But that doesn’t mean we should not carry that sense of urgency into improving our environment, whether that is pollution, CO2 emissions or clean energy development.

We must further take part in, and carry out what we promise in the climate accords and urge other countries not just to meet, but exceed their goals.

So if you ask why people are painting a ‘horrific picture’ of the future, it is because we have, in the short span of approximately 300 years (since industrialization and massive use of coal and oil took hold and populations exploded), made measurable and critical changes to everything from air quality and CO2 emissions to the pervasive pollution of plastics.

Let’s not forget species endangerment and extinction, as well.

Does the earth change on its own as it has done since the rock cooled?

Certainly, but over what is known as ‘geologic time,’ thousands and millions of years.

Furthermore, unless mankind is metaphorically thumped on the head with what horrible stewards we are, we prefer to make believe nothing is wrong and the problem will go away on its own.

Like throwing that cigarette out the window, that plastic bag in the trash, those paints, chemicals and mattresses into a ditch somewhere, we somehow still believe it will magically disappear once we drive away, and someone else will clean it up.

Wake up people, we have been doing nothing in comparison to what we must do now.

Darlene Mercer

Pitt Meadows

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