In recognition of World Environment Day on June 5, your SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) encourages you to get involved in the daily efforts that are calling for a sustainable planet for current and future generations.
Every week, young people from around the world have been taking a lead in climate change awareness by striking against climate inaction, a tactic those in the labour movement are very familiar with. These strikes are a part of a larger movement that began in 2018 when Greta Thunberg, a teenager from Sweden, led the first student’s climate strike. Over time, her actions gained more attention and now, we’re seeing kids walk out of school on Fridays for the aptly named, Fridays for Future, in the hopes that our governments around the world will listen. In countless reports, kids are telling us they’re fighting for their lives as they take to the streets to demand action on climate change. They are aware that they will bear the brunt of climate change impacts, and they want to see immediate action by decision makers.
In late 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report that warned that without serious, coordinated international cooperation and action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, it is almost certain our planet would warm by over 1.5 degrees Celsius – the impacts of this warming would be catastrophic. In order to prevent the coinciding drought, floods, extreme heat and ill-health that would come with going beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius, we need to take big steps to reduce our emissions by 2030 – just 11 years from now.
People around the world are listening to these kids and developing plans like the Green New Deal, “a bold and far reaching plan to cut emissions in half in 11 years in line with Indigenous knowledge and climate science, create more than a million good jobs you can support a family with, and build inclusive communities in the process.” Recently, hundreds of communities across Canada held Green New Deal Town Halls, and the people are developing the Deal to improve our future.
These Town Halls contained brainstorming for both blue line ideas and green line ideas – the blue line ideas represent individual actions we can take, like talking to our neighbours about the impacts of climate change, reducing/eliminating the use of plastic, or composting. The blue line ideas are big picture/policy ideas and the results from this line are the ones that can make the big difference – fair taxation to fund a transition to renewable energy, creating nationalized public transit, re-training for affected fossil fuel workers, ending fossil fuel subsidies, or getting involved in CUPW’s Delivering Community Power initiative.
The SEIU-West YWC knows you need to take both individual and systemic action to address our climate crisis, so in recognition of World Environment Day, the SEIU-West is hosting a challenge and by entering, you’ll be entered to win some awesome prizes!
Tell us: what ideas do you have to create the big change we need to address climate change (green line)? And what steps have you made or are currently making at home or at work that will help to improve our planet (blue line)?
Send Catherine.Gendron@seiuwest.ca your green blue/green ideas for your chance to win:
- Frontier Days Swift Current:
- 4 June 26th Passes: (Includes general admission, Fresh Air Cinema Dumbo Movie in the Grandstand)
- 2 June 28th Passes: (Includes general admission, Rodeo, Colter Wall & Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)
- 2 June 29th Passes: (Includes general admission, Mini Chuckwagon & Heavy Horse Pulls)
- 2 rodeo Passes
- A large gift basket (pictured here)
- One of two $50 giftcards to Rock Creek Tap and Grill
Deadline to enter: June 16, 2019
And please visit the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and/or Climate Justice Saskatoon for more information – these organizations are always looking to grow! It is also important that you support workers affected by climate action. Please visit Iron and Earth, an organization of oil sands workers who want to transition into renewable energy development. If you know someone who works in the oil sands, please share this initiative with them in the hopes we can have a similar organization in Saskatchewan!