Environment

Unitarians value the interconnectedness of all aspects of the planet.

The seventh Unitarian-Universalist Principle states: We respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. 

In her documentary, My Passion for Trees, Dame Judi Dench shows us how trees are interdependent with various aspects of the environment. This is a stunning video giving evidence of our interconnected world in a truly beautiful way. Enjoy!

Renewable Energy is gaining ground!

During 2020, new energy sources were renewable more often than ever before. Hydro-power is still the front runner but wind and solar are increasing rapidly as new energy sources. Produced by IRENA, this 1-minute video gives us hope for the future of renewable energy world-wide. IRENA is the International Renewable Energy Agency, the lead intergovernmental agency supporting countries for the energy transformation.

What are we doing to make sure renewables are in the forefront of new energy sources in Canada? In Saskatchewan?

 

Climate Change

Listen to the children: It is a climate emergency!

We are polluting the earth and the thing is that the earth is life so we are killing ourselves but just for the money and the comfortable life. It doesn’t seem like people care about it because people live happily. When other people and animals are dying, they turn away. And if we condensed all of world history into one day, we would have been here for three seconds. In those three seconds, we would have killed thousands of species of animals and plants. We have also killed about 50% of all trees and it seems like people don’t believe in karma. As people turn a blind eye and say it’s not real, scientists are shoving it in their faces. People can deny and deny but it doesn’t make a difference. They deny and deny until they find one person that just tells them what they want to hear. And for what? The answer is unbelievably stupid. It’s for money… a piece of paper worth an amount written on it. And that’s the thing that baffles me the most. At the core it’s just money.   By Annelise Ottenbreit-Born (written at age 12)

“There is a climate crisis gaining strength in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Environmental Society documented some of the evidence in 2018.” Every year we see more evidence of stark changes. It is time to act!

On climate change, immigration, and humanitarianism

This article explains the impact of climate change on people around the world … and how we can help. It is exciting that Unitarians have a personal connection as the article is an interview with Stephen Cornish, the brother of our friend Mooky Cornish.

Stephen Cornish is Director, MSF International (Doctors without Borders). He forecasts that climate change is taking us toward situations with multiple crises happening simultaneously around the world. We need to act now as individuals, as organisations with responsibilities, and together as a society. Working together, we can reach a tipping point for positive change.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis (released August 2021). The intergovernmental working group) found that swift and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are critical to limit global warming. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet.” Today, Canada’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas. Canada is the world’s fourth-largest oil producer and tenth-largest oil consumer. Along with British Columbia and Alberta, Saskatchewan is a major producer of coal, using it primarily to create electricity. By 2030, solar and wind capacity should quadruple, and renewable energy investments should triple to maintain a net-zero trajectory by midcentury,” Guterres said.

The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (Bill C-12) has come into force. This Act creates a framework for action.   Canada’s new law is a step forward on climate action and will help Canadians to meet climate commitments.

A Suzuki summary: Canada, Be Bolder on Climate Change

What can WE do?

  1. Choose 3 things & start today—or if you are not quite ready, start with one.
  2. Learn from others—United Kingdom has done some cool things to help us learn and change our behaviours. Have a look! And the USA has some clear suggestions too!
  3. Take a global perspective—Sometimes environmental issues seem so complex we wonder how to grapple with them. Looking at the big picture can help, so here are a couple of ways to see what is happening internationally:

Canada’s Water

Canada has more freshwater lakes than every other country on Earth combined according to a study by McGill university. And yet, Canada does not have a national water strategy, although some progress is evident in this 2020 discussion paper from Environment & Climate Change Canada.

Water is the lifeblood of Canada’s largest economic sectors – not to mention, we need water to survive. A national plan to protect water is essential….rivers and lakes do not respect boundaries. With the growing climate crisis in the form of extreme fires, droughts, and floods, water is more important than ever. A national water strategy is urgent.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) data indicates there are at least 29 communities across Canada still operating under a boil-water advisory in 2022. According to ISC’S website, at least 128 long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted since November 2015. (Mar 7, 2022, updated July, 2022). 135 water advisories lifted and 31 still exist for public water systems on 27 reserves.

Here are seven reasons why a national water strategy should be top priority for the federal government.

What can WE do?

  • Choose 3 things & start today—or if you are not quite ready, start with one.
  • Tell your MP that we need Urgent, Bold Climate Action
  • Consider whether you are adequately supporting the transition to renewable solar and wind energy e.g., in investment portfolios.