On August 28, the Huffington Post published an article listing all of the municipalities in Canada that have declared a state of climate emergency. These declarations are an important step in the process of confronting the massive problem of climate change. Missing from the list, however, was the Municipality of the Pontiac and MRC Pontiac. Not only does the Pontiac need to step up and declare a state of emergency, but local municipalities and citizens should be encouraged to follow up such a declaration with real action.
In our corner of the world, it’s difficult to ignore the realities of climate change. One of the Pontiac’s main industries is farming, which has become more and more difficult to pursue in recent years with increased flooding, droughts and new strains of pests.
While the Pontiac may not have the powerhouse voice of other jurisdictions like Ottawa, Edmonton or Vancouver (all of which have declared a state of
emergency and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to climate research), our declaration would nonetheless make an important contribution to the growing chorus of voices recognizing the urgent issue of climate change. At the very least, it would act as a signal to neighbouring MRCs that there is a need for urgent action; an undeniable fact.
The outlook on the future with climate change is pretty bleak according to climate scientists and activists. Not only do many say urgent action is necessary, but some think it’s even too late to preserve the planet in its current form. There are going to be massive changes in the near future, and while most of them will or currently are affecting other regions of the world more intensely than here, it doesn’t mean we are exempt from consequences. These are regions from which we import some
of our food and other goods, and their inhabitants will eventually need somewhere to go when these places become uninhabitable, which is already happening.
With a large agricultural base, the Pontiac also has a lot to lose in this climate catastrophe. Industrial/factory farming and mono-cropping is a proven cause of environmental deterioration. We need to stop ignoring that fact, and begin acting to counter these affects.
As consumers, we vote with our wallets. If we support local and sustainable food, more will be produced, thus reducing its price; we just might be able to save our agricultural industry and the natural beauty of the Pontiac if we just change our habits in this small way.
We live in a wealth of food production in the Pontiac; agriculture is prided as one of our strengths. For the future, it is also our saviour as an effective way to fight the climate emergency.