The ram­i­fi­ca­tions of cli­mate change are very real

The Compass - - Editorial -

So, here in this coun­try, our gov­ern­ment asks us to pay a car­bon tax and take other mea­sures to help in the fight against cli­mate change. We owe it to our planet and to other less for­tu­nate souls to do what we can to re­duce green­house gases and lower our high car­bon foot­print.

The Pen­tagon called cli­mate change a near fu­ture threat to na­tional se­cu­rity.

In many over­pop­u­lated sub-Sa­ha­ran African coun­tries to­day, we see an out­mi­gra­tion of mil­lions of men from their late teens to their 50s. They see pic­tures of a pros­per­ous Euro­pean Union to their north and that be­comes their des­ti­na­tion to earn money to feed their starv­ing fam­i­lies.

At home, se­vere drought and ero­sion-de­pleted soils have made it im­pos­si­ble to pro­vide ba­sic food­stuffs for sur­vival - whole vil­lages have been hol­lowed out as this group of males makes the per­ilous trip north. Cli­mate change is blamed for the en­croach­ing de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion of these un­for­tu­nate na­tions.

As these des­per­ate men make their way, by what­ever means, to Europe, au­thor­i­ties find it im­pos­si­ble to con­trol this flow of hu­man­ity. These are in­tel­li­gent be­ings who will not al­low their fam­i­lies to starve when they see a land of plenty beck­on­ing. Many are en­slaved, or end up in tem­po­rary en­camp­ments - trapped with no means to go for­ward or back to their homes. Many die at sea in rick­ety boats; but still they come - they have no choice!

In many Euro­pean coun­tries, right-wing pop­ulists and ex­trem­ists are gain­ing in pop­u­lar­ity at the polls as canny politi­cians ex­ploit the ris­ing dis­may and fear of the lo­cal pop­u­lace. Where will jobs come from? Will the crime rate in­crease? Will these mostly il­le­gals be a drain on lim­ited so­cial se­cu­rity bud­gets? All le­git­i­mate con­cerns, to be sure. De­mands arise for stricter bor­der con­trols, fences, de­por­ta­tions, etc. Hid­den racist feel­ings emerge and hate crimes in­crease.

Here in North Amer­ica, a sim­i­lar phe­nom­e­non takes place. Na­tions like Haiti, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Sal­vador are among the most en­vi­ron­men­tally de­graded and de­for­ested na­tions in Cen­tral Amer­ica. As New York Times colum­nist Thomas Fried­man puts it, “they cut their forests; we got their kids.”

Canada, too, feels the mount­ing pres­sure to take more refugees and im­mi­grants from these coun­tries to the south. The United Na­tions Refugee Agency re­ported that glob­ally, one in 122 hu­mans is now a refugee, in­ter­nally dis­placed, or seek­ing asy­lum.

So, here in this coun­try, our gov­ern­ment asks us to pay a car­bon tax and take other mea­sures to help in the fight against cli­mate change. We owe it to our planet and to other less for­tu­nate souls to do what we can to re­duce green­house gases and lower our high car­bon foot­print. Let’s get out of our bub­bles and look glob­ally at this pre­cious Earth and act lo­cally to re­spect and con­serve Na­ture’s dwin­dling nat­u­ral cap­i­tal.

By the ac­ci­dent of birth, we are the lucky/for­tu­nate few to in­habit this cor­ner of the planet. Be thank­ful, and gen­er­ous in spirit and ma­te­rial goods to oth­ers not so for­tu­nate.

Char­lie Men­chions writes from Sandy Cove

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.