Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Letter for the Million Letter March - Canada

Here's a copy of my letter to the Senate of Canada with regards to Bill C-311. This letter has been produced as part of the Million Letter March - Canada, and was prepared by myself during my attendance of Greater Sudbury 10/10/10 events taking place today at the Laughing Buddha. This letter will be mailed, via Canada Post, to all three Senators.

Please participate in the Million Letter March - Canada. Visit it on Facebook at:


October 10, 2010

Senators Grant Mitchell, Richard Neufeld, Marjorie Lebreton
Parliament of Canada
Ottawa Canada K1A 0A9

Re: Urgent Action to Address Climate Change is Needed

I am writing to you today as a citizen of Canada to urge you, and your colleagues in the Senate, to pass Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, as adopted by a majority vote of the Parliament of Canada. As you are aware, Bill C-311 will establish meaningful and workable targets for the gradual reduction of greenhouse gases entering our atmosphere. Since greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane gas, contribute to global warming, providing a mechanism to meaningfully reduce the entry of these gases in our atmosphere will assist with fighting climate change.

We must get our addiction to fossil fuels under control. The burning of fossil fuels to power our economy must stop. We have to begin taking those first steps towards a low-carbon future if we are to have any hope of turning back the clock on climate change. Scientists and others have identified a safe threshold for carbon in our atmosphere as being 350 parts per million. This number still exceeds the amount of carbon present in our atmosphere prior to industrialization, yet it is what we must strive to achieve if we are going to avoid further severe impacts from runaway climate change.

Some jurisdictions, including the European Union, have identified that if we work towards a compromise position of 450 ppm of carbon in our atmosphere, we can hold global warming to only 2 degrees Celsius. The impacts from even a 2 degree C rise in global warming will still be significant. However, going beyond a rise of 2 degrees Celsius is expected to take us into a situation where a trigger event for runaway climate change is far more likely to occur. In short, 450 ppm and 2 degrees C has been identified as the absolute upper limit which we should ever consider if we are going to try to preserve our society.

I understand that currently there is approximately 390 ppm of carbon in our atmosphere. Under the recently negotiated Copenhagen Climate Accord, if all of its changes are implemented and followed by the international community, we can expect 770 ppm of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere by 2100. Clearly, that's an unacceptable measure to strive for. Not just for an international target, but for human civilization. We must do better.

By approving Bill C-311, Canada will start to begin a lengthy process of decarbonizing our economy. Our government must lead on this matter. We citizens of this great nation of Canada want to do our part to help combat climate change, but it's so incredibly difficult to stick our own necks out when our governments refuse to do so. Please, we need to take action. Approve this bill, and let's begin to move forward together, government and citizens, to take action on climate change.

Steve May
364 Whittaker Street
Sudbury ON P3C 3X9

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