This blog is going to be a bit different for the next few weeks. The provincial election has been called in Ontario and as the Green Party candidate for my riding I will be pretty focused on the election. Oh, and planting everything for our CSA at exactly the same time. The timing simply could not have been worse, but it is what it is, so I have to deal with it. I believe that with the way things are going, if we don’t take some radical steps to deal with climate change, it’s going to deal with us, very badly.
There has been some really disturbing science released of late that adds to this urgency. Large methane releases from the Artic, 2013 being the warmest year on record globally, a large ice sheet starting to melt in Antarctica, the U.S. Government’s 4 year study of climate change warning that extreme weather; drought, floods, wildfires, high winds, storm surges etc., is the new norm, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change latest report saying that the time is up, we’re at the tipping point, enough diddling, let’s get on with dealing with it.
And that’s why I’m running. In Ontario the three main political parties are not mentioning climate change. They are talking about issues they think will get them elected. They are pandering, rather than talking about taking bold measures to ensure we have a climate hospitable enough to allow us to obsess over the things they are focusing on like healthcare and pensions.
So I will be that lone voice of reason in the fray. I will provide the option for those that choose to listen.
My fears have been realized in terms of how much time a campaign takes, even when you’ve told the Riding Association that the best you can do is media interviews and all candidates meetings. I’ve discovered that there are real barriers to entry to smaller parties in terms of the enormous amount of paperwork required to register as a candidate. I’ve realized why we have lived with the status quo of the same old, same old for so long.
I spent last night on a videoconference with Green Party candidates from across the province getting help from with the paperwork. I have always been extremely impressed with the riding association in Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, where I reside. They have been working tirelessly for years to make sure that the Green Party is represented in this riding. And now to see the same determination throughout the province is very awe-inspiring. It gives me hope.
Lauder, my campaign co-chair, suggested we should record “fireside chats,” as he called them, videos to discuss the issues. We have an enormous riding and I know I don’t have the time or want to invest the carbon on knocking on doors. So we’ve started our “video canvassing” that we’ll be posting on Facebook and Twitter and the website. All of our video cameras require bizarre cabling and too much time to dub, so we’re just using Michelle’s laptop and “Photobooth” to record them. Yesterday morning at 6:30 I took the laptop out by the pond, put it up on a stool, and then I sat in front and rambled on. The birds were extremely helpful in setting the stage to show just how beautiful our world is, and hopefully viewers will make the logical next step and realize that we need to smarten up and preserve it.
I have done a number of media interviews so far. When I spoke to Seth Duchene of one of our local papers, the Napanee Beaver, whom I have known for years, he asked me to comment on how I saw the campaign going. I said, quite tongue in cheek, that I believed I would be going to spend 4 years in the provincial legislature in Toronto as a result of the election. He actually printed my comment that had been made in jest, which reminded me that anything you say can, and will be printed. The more I thought about it though the more I liked how it sounded. Confident.
CKWS TV came last night just as the black flies got horrific. Usually I am well protected by a bug hat whenever I work outside during black fly season, but Paul the cameraman wanted the solar panels in the background for the interview. And now people will remember it as the interview with the guy who spent the whole time waving his hands and swatting his head. If people watch it in high def and know of the reality of living in “The Land ‘O Lakes” at this time of year, they’ll get it. Someone watching in standard definition where they can’t see the black flies will just think I’m very “expressive” when I talk.
I’m happy to live in a place that’s so beautiful and that still supports such a wide variety of wild life, from moose to bears to beavers to foxes and, yes, to black flies. We need to make sure they all get to continue to thrive here. Yes it will require some pain in the form of higher prices for carbon based fossil fuels, but that’s just the reality. Humans need to get with this program. There’s no debate anymore. We have to take action and take it now.