Urge Toronto to declare climate change Emergency

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We call on Toronto to join an increasing number of municipalities across Canada in recognizing the urgency for drastic and unprecedented action regarding climate change. Hamilton and Kingston have just followed the examples of Vancouver, Halifax, and Edmundston in declaring climate change emergencies, and we call on Toronto's municipality to follow suit. We urge Toronto to recognize that climate change is today's crisis, and not tomorrow’s. Among other ill-effects that Toronto has already experienced are six 100 year storms since 2005. Let that sink in...

Climate change threatens our social, economic and environmental stability. While recognizing that the municipality does have structures and programs in place to address areas of climate change, it needs to be recognized that climate change models are being reviewed constantly, and that across the board are becoming increasingly pessimistic in their outlooks. It is recognized that all previous models have underestimated, and continue to underestimate, the accumulative effects of global warming. 

We have already experienced some effects of climate change in Toronto to a small degree. These effects as well as new threats will increase at an accelerating rate within the next five to ten years, until they far surpass the scale which most people currently envisage. Threats that Toronto faces include:

  • Extreme temperatures in summer and winter, at first threatening especially the elderly and homeless, and then the population at large, especially those around the poverty line.
  • Massive property and infrastructure damage, as well as injuries and loss of life due to floods, tornadoes, ice storms and other extreme weather patterns.
  • Profound economic stress from repairing climate change damage, as well as from disruptions to economic activities caused by extreme weather.
  • Pressure on communities and infrastructure due to the influx of climate change refugees from both within our borders, and abroad.
  • Increased health issues from decreasing air quality, water quality and introduction and proliferation of new diseases.
  • Social disturbance as most of the climate change effects will impact those on or around the poverty line most profoundly.

The time for radical change is now. Action to address the multi faceted threats that face our City, Country and the International Community need to be accelerated.

In addition, Toronto needs to add its voice to other municipalities across the world in demanding that World leaders act in meaningful ways immediately to combat this grave global threat. We do less than is necessary at our own peril.


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