On April 12, while picking up some groceries, a female resident (35) was panhandling in front of the store I was visiting. Also on the same day, Oxfam released an alarming report: “263 million people are at high risk of ending up in extreme poverty this year. By the end of 2022, at least 850 million people will have to live on less than $1.90 a day”. This poverty is due to the Corona pandemic, growing global economic inequality, and sky rocketing food and energy prices due to the war in Ukraine. On top of that, we have an alarming addiction and mental health crisis, which cost the Canadian taxpayers well over $50 Billion a year. This is our society today.
Steve Gabell, Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands & Rideau Lakes’, Green Party of Ontario, is only concerned about Climate Change, and has the audacity to call countries that increase fossil fuel production truly dangerous radicals. Gabell went on to blame the Ontario PC Government, and then the Federal Government, about their new fossil fuel investment initiatives.
As an Environmental Biologist, I have been teaching Crop Production, Climatology, and Climate Change for well over forty years. A sustainable society is based on three pillars: Social Well-being (adequate shelter, food and water); Economic Well-being (adequate job security); and, thirdly, Environmental Well-being, meaning that the well-being of Society and the Economy cannot come at a cost to the Environment.
Gabell did not mention: “When the Paris Agreement was signed, Canada was a signatory to the “4 Per Thousand” Initiative. This means that we, as Canadians, are to return 0.4% carbon back to the soil through carbon sequestration. The ‘4 per 1,000’ initiative was launched by the French government at the COP21 Paris climate summit in 2015. It aims to boost carbon storage in agricultural soils by 0.4% each year to help mitigate climate change and increase food security (www.4p1000.org).
In 2014, I made a proposal to start a 50-acre Green-Care Farm at the former Kemptville College farm. That proposal was unsuccessful. I wish that Gabell of the Ontario Green Party would focus more on solutions than playing the ‘blaming game’. Stopping Climate Change is a massive project that we all must be involved in. The Europeans, well ahead of us, sequester carbon, compost organic waste, and return the organic waste back to the community to grow gardens. Back in the 80s, apartment dwellers in the Netherlands already used a green bin, recycle bin, and waste bin.
Gabell needs to take his blinders off and come up with a constructive, rational carbon recycling initiative. Carbon fuels will be with us for a long time to come, especially now that we are facing energy crises around the world. We can mitigate climate change in this country, because there is enough land.
William J. Langenberg, M.Sc. Env. Biol.