LETTER: Older Canadians bear responsibility for climate change

I support all the motions coming out of the students’ Climate Change Emergency Declaration on June 17. I am willing to pay any increase in property tax that may be necessary.

READ ALSO: Youth activism pushes Central Saanich to declare ‘climate emergency’

As a senior, I am most responsible for the drastically changed quality of life that awaits them. My generation didn’t act soon enough, and per capita, Canadians emit more greenhouse gas emissions than any other country on earth. Young people bear little to no responsibility for this but they will live with the consequences.

READ ALSO: Farming, climate change top new North Saanich councillor’s agenda

The science tells us that all levels of government, corporations and residents need to “act as if their house is on fire,” to quote Greta Thunberg. This means doing everything scientists recommend to combat climate change and quickly. A very different mindset from the incrementalist one we normally use, but it is necessary.

Central Saanich can expect poor air quality from fires, flooding from excessive rain, fallen trees from wind and soaked soil, and increased food prices due to damaged crops globally. These things are happening now and will increase within the next decade while costs to repair and build new infrastructure will also increase.

READ ALSO: Three Greater Victoria schools claim climate awards

This is the timeframe that community leaders are trying to plan for. And yet the Central Saanich Climate Leadership Plan, while a great start, does not give us confidence that these concerns are at the top of the priorities list.

For younger generations, we must do better.

Jackie MacDonald

Central Saanich

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