Elders must help stop climate change to ensure grandchildren have future

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To the Editor:

We elders love our grandchildren. We do our best to ensure they are healthy, happy and successful. We invest our savings in our grandchildren and travel thousands of miles to spend time with them. Habituated to fossil fuel products, we elders are giving our grandchildren devastating planetary weather disruption for their future. In the short term, we nurture them; in the long term, we doom them.

Two degrees in global warming is the threshold of a sustainable food, water and employment lifestyle. With our present fossil fuel usage, six degrees in global warming is where we are headed, where there is no human future.

Credible scientists have sounded the climate crisis alarm, yet the majority of elders aren’t responding to avert this threat to their grandchildren’s lives. With economically viable energy alternatives and the opportunity to avoid disaster, doom is not a done-deal, but it will be if elders don’t react soon.

The world is not going to end if we don’t extract all of the fossil fuel quickly; however, our world will end if we do continue to extract as much of the fossil fuel as we can. The Canadian government’s $34 billion a year subsidized fossil fuel industry could instead subsidize 500,000 person years of employment by installing more than 150,000 megawatts of clean renewable energy, and grant our grandchildren the gift of time to design even better renewable energy systems.

For the love of our grandchildren’s futures, elders can choose to vote for leaders who will create subsidies for renewable energy to create sustainable employment, and who will place a livable environment as a top priority. Unsubsidized fossil fuel can be designated for essential use, non-polluting extraction methods perfected and the last of petroleum respectfully used far into the future as the nonrenewable resource it is.

Now is the time for elders to educate ourselves about the consequences of climate change, put into action climate change mitigation and invest in a renewable energy economic system. May our grandchildren live to be grandparents, too.

Susan Eyre