This past Saturday was an International Day of Action Against Climate Change. People around the world participated in rally’s to show their support. There were or 5200 events in 181 countries. On of the largest events in Canada was planned and run by a student of the University of Guelph, Gracen Johnsen, she planned an event called Fill the Hill where thousands of Canadians joined her on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to bring the message to our government and the Nation. The wide range of people that showed up to the event showed great dedication and passion as they danced in the rain in front of the Parliament buildings. There were also events held in many other Canadian cities including Vancouver, Montreal and even Whitehorse.
This shows a united front of people from all across the country and around the world, from diverse educational and political backgrounds assembling to say that global climate change effects us all. So why aren’t people impressed and why aren’t people taking about what happened on Saturday? Well we’ve all heard it before, we’ve heard of its global impacts and that we all need to stand up for this cause. Another reason we aren’t talking about it is because the media isn’t talking about it, sure all the major media outlets did a story on it, but none of them made their top ten stories on Sunday or Monday. These stories didn’t attract many new discussions or debates that haven’t already been discussed over and over again. Here in lies the problem, we’ve all heard the arguments before the reasons have not changed the science isn’t anymore bulletproof as before so we all end up having the same discussions and debates. No one wants to have the same debate over again we’ve heard the view points, we know where we stand and thats all we care to know.
The environmental movement needs a new face a new front from which to launch new debates and cause people to end up making different decisions. Asking the same people the same questions over and over given they have the same knowledge of the situation makes them come to the same conclusion over and over again, and eventually they stop caring or even listening. I’m afraid thats where the environmental movement is at today! How can we as farmers and the agricultural industry change the face of the environmental movement and spark new debate. We can show the real world implications of environmental policies, impacts of climate change and how many different ways there are that individual people can make a difference in the environment. We can show that environmental policy is not a zero sum game, where for the environment to win the economy and people must lose but in fact that with development and ingenuity environmental policy can be a positive sum game where investment in the environment can improve the lives of people and return economic stability.
I believe that farmers and the agricultural industry can lead the way positive sum development that show the positive potential of the environment and the economy. Changing the framework of the environmental debates and discussions we all have and impact our end decisions.