Are members of CARP, taking actions which minimize impact on the environment and leave this world a healthier place for our children and grandchildren?
Do we know what is happening to our environment and why? Can we balance advocacy for financial security with the need to influence behavior on sustainable living.
CARP chapters have the opportunity organize education sessions to understand the issues and form policy around solutions with measureable results.
The members of the Climate Project Canada represent over 350 trained presenters across the country. These volunteers have been trained to explain climate change facts and share possible steps you can take. You can request a presentation for your chapter through the Climate Project Canada website: http://www.climateprojectcanada.org
My first presentation on climate change facts and actions was to a group of women aged 60 or older. In order to be part of this group you needed to have a PhD or a Masters degree. What was interesting was the level of discussion, and the split in the group between those who felt we have a problem to deal with, and those who did not believe the problem existed. All eventually seem to agree that it was a type of “right” to do what we can to leave the world better than we found it.
As an advocacy group, CARP has been able to influence specific governmental policies around financial security, health security and human rights.
As early as November 2009, CARP members identified the need to deal with the HST being added to energy costs, as part of financial security advocacy for members on fixed income. Some political parties have taken until this year to promise action on this topic.
While we are waiting for promises to be kept, it is just as important to take action to reduce consumption of resources to which these taxes are being applied. Change your light bulbs, encourage a home or business energy audit, take action on the recommendations by implementing home and office retrofits of lighting, heating and air conditioning systems.
These steps and more can measurably decrease energy consumption and allow coal generated electricity plants to be turned off. In turn, by reducing air borne pollutants, you also enable visible movement on another CARP goal, health security. By reducing pollutants in the environment, you can reduce the health problems they cause, and in turn reduce the burden on the health care system.
We have just gone through a federal election campaign, and in some cases will soon be going through a provincial election campaign. Promises have been made and promises will be made.
You need to have facts in hand, to be able to distinguish between new taxes and programs which use tax dollars to incent measureable conservation and sustainable rebuilding of our infrastructure to the benefit of all.
Whether as an individual, mature student, entrepreneur or part of an existing business, CARP members have the opportunity to be influential in the policy debate.
Have your CARP chapter sponsor a Climate Project presentation. Participate in the sustainability attitude CARP poll highlighted elsewhere in this newsletter. Ensure that your positions and actions specific to sustainability continue to advocate in the direction of financial and health security, and the human right for a sustainable planet for your children and grandchildren.