Climate change

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Climate change is too big an issue for me to do anything about it. Right? That is the normal reaction most of us have to big issues. However, I was pleased to hear about a local initiative on Oct. 24. Susan Towndrow and friends decided they wanted our community to be part of worldwide day of action “to urge world leaders to take bold and immediate steps to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions.”

When I was called about this “350” action day, I had forgotten that 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide is the level that scientists have identified as the safe upper limit to avoid catastrophic global impacts.

When world leaders meet in Copenhagen to replace the Kyoto Agreement, it is important that they know that ordinary citizens want change. We want them to have the guts to make hard decisions to save our future. I don’t have children, but I do have two adorable great-nephews. I want them to “live” not just “exist” in 2050.

So here are some events that are going to take place on Oct. 24. I urge you to participate. I figure I can make all of them!

Show of Hands for 350: Youth, adults, families and everyone in between will be gathering in the foyer of the Cornwall Public Library, between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Oct. 24, to show their support for climate action by creating a garland of 350 hands, which will encircle a globe. The resulting “postcard” will be sent to our leaders in Ottawa.

Urban Dream 350: The public is invited to participate in the creation of a 3-D mural to raise awareness on reducing carbon emissions to the 350 level. The mural will represent a dream urban community using only clean energies. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Cornwall Regional Art Gallery, 168 Pitt St. Contact: Sylvie Lizotte, 613-938-738.7

350 Live: Online video clips of 350 activity, coming in live from around the world, will be shown from 12 to 2 p.m., also at Cornwall Regional Art Gallery.

CCRI CAP Website: The Cornwall Carbon Reduction Initiative’s Climate Awareness Project (CAP) for Youth will feature 350 during the launch of its new, interactive website at www.capforyouth.ca. Contact: Jen Mattice, 613-932-2088.

However if Oct. 24 is already committed elsewhere, check the website www.350.org which has an unbelievable collection of information on the science, the politics, and any other aspect of this you could ever imagine. Under Toolbox, you will find lots of resource material.

When reading my Maclean’s last week, I came across an interesting article about “ten ways to help the planet and even save some money too.” Some of the ideas were really odd but still interesting.

With lack of space in this article, I am only going to list the titles—you can check them out: sell solar power back into the grid, fake trees, open drains, white roofs and roads, tankless hot water, paperless office, the induction stove, contraception, algae-wrapped buildings, shower with a friend.

Organizations: Cornwall Regional Art Gallery, Cornwall Public Library

Geographic location: Copenhagen, Ottawa

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