When I think about the hurricanes, floods, droughts, forest fires, and melting glaciers of the past summer and I look around at my geographical surroundings, I am blown away by how lucky we are. Extreme weather records have been set and re-set for the last three months, records that we in the townships largely snoozed through. Tragedies have happened, billions of dollars have been lost, the timeline has been shortened, and there is no going back. So many people have suffered. But not us, at the moment. Do you ever wonder why that is?
Some aspects of climate change are caused by geography. We are inland, far enough north of the equator and just close enough to the polar region to be a little cushioned from the most severe effects of climate change – at this stage. Our seasons are shifting over a longer time frame, and our farmers in these mid-latitudes already feel the heat and drought. As we know, there is a decades-long lag between increased CO2 and the resulting changes in climate, so more extremes are coming.
However, our farmers have been creative and our geography gives us some extra time to wake up, so we have a little transition time. We are lucky to live in this location on the planet.
I’ve been an environmentalist of some sort for decades, so another reason I’m really happy is that Ontario has so much clean electricity. This is huge! The way I hear it, way back, Mike Harris Sr and the Conservatives introduced legislation to decommission electricity-producing coal plant on the continent – Nanticoke. And the Liberals under Wynne continued reducing our use of coal to make electricity. Ontario’s electricity is now coal free, and Nanticoke now produces renewable and clean solar electricity. Woohoo! Kudos to all three provincial political parties who, in the 2003 election, promised to close all coal plants. I thank you, thank you, thank you!
Do you want to hear another encouraging stop on my tale of luck? Not only is our electricity pretty clean, but there is excess at night. This is excess that we sell, or sometimes pay to get rid of, but that could be available to us if we connect to a thorny knot in another area of our existence – how to reduce our fossil fuel use by 45%, by 2030? Aaaack! That’s going to be a big one. Electrification seems to be key. And guess what? Ontario has excess electricity. There are bonuses everywhere you look as a result of having clean and excess electricity at this moment.
I’m feeling lucky that we have the time to research/implement a forward-thinking solution to our fossil fuel reduction conundrum.
If you aren’t feeling it, watch out, as you may be developing a sense of entitlement. Ughh!
So, when we get the climate breakdown jitters, we can remind ourselves that, at the moment, we are still free to create our own tomorrow, different from yesterday, because a bunch of problems get fixed. What an opportunity! I feel lucky!
Shall I list some of the dark holes, in case you think I wear rose-coloured glasses? I think not now. Maybe later? But hold onto your hats folks because we, the global 1%, are in transition; we are in this together, and just like those giants upon whose shoulders we stand, we can find the doors to unseen opportunities to make things better.
Feel lucky. All creative brains on deck, please.
Star November 14, 2019 in your calendar in case you feel inspired or want to be inspired,
Somebody Needs to Do Something
will be given by
Doug Griffiths, author, 13 Ways to Kill Your Community
Closing Ontario Coal Plants
Excess nighttime electricity