Search OCA:
Get Local!

Find Local News, Events & Green Businesses on OCA's State Pages:

OCA News Sections

Organic Consumers Association

It’s Time to Stop Spinning Our Wheels

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page.

In 1988, hundreds of scientists and policy-makers met in Toronto for a major international conference on climate change. They were sufficiently alarmed by the accumulated evidence for human-caused global warming that they issued a release stating,"Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to a global nuclear war."

They urged world leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2005. Had we heeded that warning and embarked on a campaign to meet the target, Canadians would now be healthier (because of reduced air pollution), have greater reserves of energy and more jobs. We'd also be a world leader in renewable energy and could have saved tens of billions of dollars.

The year was significant for environmentalists. In 1988, George H.W. Bush ran for the highest office in the U.S. and promised to be an "environmental president". He didn't have a green bone in his body, but public pressure compelled him to make a commitment he ultimately didn't keep. That year, Margaret Thatcher was filmed picking up litter. She turned to the camera and said, "I'm a greenie, too."

Canada's Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was also re-elected in 1988. He appointed a bright new political star, Lucien Bouchard, as environment minister. I asked Bouchard during an interview what he considered to be our most important environmental issue. "Global warming," he responded. I continued: "How serious is it?" His answer: "It threatens the survival of our species. We have to act now."


>>> Read the Full Article

For more information on this topic or related issues you can search the thousands of archived articles on the OCA website using keywords: