On Promoting Climate Justice and Ending Poverty in CanadaCreation, Stewardship
Contributed by: Canadian Poverty Institute
In our day, the causes and effects of global climate change are becoming more and more visible. The measurable amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has surpassed 400 parts per million, more than at any time in recorded human history. This most serious development is caused mainly by humans removing forests and burning fossil fuels, namely oil and gas. We see the interconnected effects of these unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere: rising average global temperatures leading to more extreme weather and related disasters that affect ever greater numbers of people; changing ocean chemistry and its seemingly irreversible impact on marine life; and the declining diversity and health of land-based communities of plant and animal life. These effects are causing the precious and unique environment for life on Earth to fall into serious disrepair.
In our day, we still see and experience widespread poverty despite the abundant production of food and availability of the basic necessities of life in Canada. When the wealth and sharing gap between those with access to more resources and those with fewer resources widens, it is the poorer communities who feel the effects of ecological and economic changes sooner and for longer periods: the traditional livelihoods of communities in the Arctic is undermined; access to health care services for newcomers and refugees is reduced; income and life support services for the young and old declines; and First Nations peoples face serious social and economic challenges.
Today we understand these twin challenges are linked by a spiritual, moral and ethical human crisis that can be expressed in this question: how will Canadians act as a good neighbour in both the natural and human communities since in the long run the health of one depends on the health of the other?
Photo by Gustavo Quepón on Unsplash