What I told the Toronto climate rally Sept. 27

Many people have asked for notes of my rousing talk at Friday's climate rally in Toronto, in front of Queen's Park. So here they are. Does anyone have a better photo?

"I am so proud to see you all here today. Are you doing the right thing by striking today? Yes, absolutely! We adults need to be shaken out of our selfishness, greed and apathy.

You already know we’re in a crisis.

Our home is on fire! (the crowd roars it back) Our home is on fire! (the crowd roars it back) Our home is on fire!!! (the crowd ROARS it back)

We are almost out of time. We adults are polluting the climate faster and faster every year. Half the climate pollution in the atmosphere, we put there in just the last 30 years. AFTER we had the science, AFTER we knew that it would steal your future And Canada is one of the world’s top 10 climate polluters.

If you want the kind of safe, manageable world that we had growing up, we cannot let the planet warm more than 1.5°. At the rate we are going, we are probably going to blow past the carbon budget for that in just 8 years. It is almost too late.

So I am frightened about the climate crisis. Are you frightened? (“Yes!” the crowd roars) And I am angry at everyone in power who is not taking it seriously, including the bigshots in this Ontario Legislative Building. Are you angry at them? (“Yes!” the crowd roars)

What governments do matter. Elections matter. In Ontario, the provincial government was a big help in the climate fight a year and a half ago, but is now the biggest obstacle we have. They ignore the science, they tell lies, and they are helping to steal your future.

Now there is another election. It matters enormously. Do you promise to vote? (“Yes!” the crowd roars)

I will only vote for someone who takes the climate crisis seriously. Will you promise to vote for someone who takes the climate crisis seriously? (“Yes!” the crowd roars)

We need lots of tools, but one of the ones we need most is carbon pricing. Last year, right after the Ford government tore up our carbon price, the Nobel Prize for Economics went to the man who proved that carbon pricing is the cheapest tool and the best.

I will only vote for someone who supports carbon pricing. Will you promise to vote for someone who supports carbon pricing? (“Yes!” the crowd roars)

We all have to reduce our own carbon footprints, to get ready for what’s coming and to speak up. Please talk about climate, talk about carbon pricing. Talk to your friends, to your family, to anyone else you know, especially in the suburban ridings where elections are decided.

And this is how to do it:

Simple clear messages Repeated often By a variety of trusted voices.

What you’re doing matters. You’re fighting for our future. Be good to each other Have fun But don’t stop Don’t let the people in power off the hook.

Our home is on fire. What do we want? Climate action When do we want it? Now!"

climateStrike #climateCrisis

More Posts

Greenwashing: the Ford government climate plan

Here is our op ed from the Toronto Star, published November 29, 2019, the anniversary of this "plan". Again, today, youth-led protests around the world are calling for action on the climate crisis. Today also marks the one-year anniversary of...

Read More

Supporting communities against sprawl

Congratulations and thank you to communities organizing to slow down Ontario‘s rampant urban sprawl, which is being turbocharged by the Ford government. For example, Ottawa citizens recently met to protest expanding the urban boundary, A code phrase for turning more...

Read More

Carbon offsets?

Many people who are trying to reduce their carbon footprints ask me about buying offsets. I do buy offsets to offset flights and the other parts of my travel that use fossil fuels (e.g. long drives where the battery on...

Read More

Climate emergency declarations now cover 290 million citizens

Climate emergency declarations have been adopted in 1,180 jurisdictions and local governments, covering 290 million citizens. Full list and how-to at https://climateemergencydeclaration.org/climate-emergency-declarations-cover-15-million-citizens/

Read More

Some updates

Dear friends, As you may have noticed, I'm giving even more climate talks now than I did as the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, with no staff to help me. The public response is amazing, thank you - see some comments...

Read More
View All Posts