Saturday demo to protest Canada’s climate change stance

By David F. Rooney

Local environmentalists plan a demonstration Saturday evening to protest Canada’s position at the Copenhagen climate change summit.

“We think we’re going to have a good turnout,” North Columbia Environmental Society President Sarah Newton said in an interview. “We don’t think the government is negotiating in good faith.”

Revelstokians who agree that Canada is not facing up to its responsibility to cut greenhouse gas emissions when it is quite clear we are facing a future climate catastrophe should meet at Grizzly Plaza at 6:30. People intending to participate int he demonstration should bring their own light source as they will form a giant 350. The number 350 represents the 350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide that many scientists believe is the maximum amount of CO2 out atmosphere can sustain. The current ratio of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 390 ppm and many people concerned about what is happening to our global climate want world leaders to commit themselves to bringing the CO2 level down to 350 ppm.

The Conservative government says ti will cut carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020. That sounds pretty impressive, but it says those cuts will be based on emissions made since 2006. Many environmentalists want deeper cuts; in fact, many say the cuts should be based on the original 1990 date set by the Kyoto Protocol almost 20 tears ago.

“350 is a thought-provoking number,” Newton said, “but what’s even more thought provoking is the fact that we are the worst offenders in the world. We are even worse than China and India.”

Ironically, cities like Revelstoke are actually leading the way in terms of taking concrete steps to cut CO2 emissions, through the district heating project, the co-generation plant and other programs, Newton said.

“We’re lucky to live in such a progressive place,” she said. “What we need now is real national leadership to do this on a national scale.”

The protest starts at 6:30 on Saturday, Dec. 12, at Grizzly Plaza. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight, sparklers, candles or some other light source.