Notable climate crisis musician and activist Laura Stewart in the Leader Post explaining why climate activists aren’t hypocrites for pressuring governments to take action they cannot personally:
Climate protesters aren’t hypocrites
Regina’s climate protesters are not hypocrites. They demand government action on problems their personal actions can’t touch.
Critics say, “Pick up litter.” Some protesters do that. Some attempt zero-waste living. But of Saskatchewan’s 76 megatonnes of emissions, the “Waste and Others” sector makes up only three per cent.
Yes, many protesters bike, walk, or bus to the marches. But “Passenger Transportation” produces just six per cent of emissions. And it’s a nine-hour bike ride to the legislature from my home town.
What personal actions could drive down the 34 per cent of emissions from “Oil and Gas” production? During one march, a critic suggested turning off the gas to my house, but that’s consumption — counted in the “Buildings” sector at only four per cent.
How about reducing the 19 per cent of emissions from “Electricity”? Eliminating all residential electricity would cut only about three per cent of overall emissions. And critics complain about protesters’ cell phones.
“Agriculture” produces 22 per cent of emissions — and $13 billion in exports. Many protesters avoid eating meat — another partial solution. But about nine per cent of Saskatchewan’s overall emissions come from crop production, because it releases nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas nearly 300 times worse than carbon dioxide.
We need government actions to make high emissions costly, make lowering emissions pay, and make zero emissions an affordable choice. Otherwise, we subsidize our present prosperity at the expense of our children’s future.
The most important personal action you can take to help solve the climate emergency? Talk about it.
Laura Stewart, Regina
This is a subject that I’ve discussed years ago too.