LETTER: Earth Day

LETTER: Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22 and this year marks its 50th anniversary. Earth Day has marked many turning points in society: in the 1970s it helped bring in the Environmental Protection Act (US EPA); in the 1990s, the 3R’s ‘Reduce Reuse Recycle’; and in the 2000s, Earth Day brought attention to shifts needed to avert and adapt for climate change. Earth Day is now widely recognized as the largest secular observance on the planet but on April 22, 2020, we won’t gather. At least not physically. Let’s pause to consider then: What will this Earth Day be remembered for? Where are we at? Has a disruption like this ever happened before? If so, how did it change what society did next? This health emergency has increased our understanding of the difference between needs and wants. If we lack access to health and livelihoods, we lack basic security. But if we have them, we have the ability to not just survive, but to thrive. As we learn through this outbreak, and prepare for a post-covid future, collective health and livelihoods are our common needs. It’s been said that health is the human face of climate change. Learning from this pandemic and building for future health and livelihoods, marks Earth Day 2020.

This virus has run like a tidal wave through the economy and every part of society. It has shown us our vulnerability and also our grace. Extremely hard work and cooperation are underway at every level – globally, nationally, regionally and personally. People are amazing and resourceful especially in times of need – kindness has gone viral. We know our world has changed and that it is time to update. Societal health depends on a livable climate and our economy depends on both.

Numerous well-recognized think-tanks have carried out analyses that consider socio-economic and environmental interdependencies as they relate to long term recovery, as well as immediate needs. This report by Pembina Institute: Green Stimulus: Principles and recommendations for a 2020 economic stimulus package (March 30, 2020), offers suggestions related to:

-Employment that is resilient to future economic shocks as the world seeks to limit warming to 1.5c.

-Industries and businesses that produce low-carbon goods and services to expand Canada’s low-carbon economy and secure our domestic supply chain.

– Decisions for stimulus and relief through a lens of Canada’s climate commitments.

– Economic stimulus that supports job maintenance and creation and climate action in building, electricity, transportation, etc.

-Existing channels to quickly disburse funds across Canada’s economy (including the Low Carbon Economy Fund, provincial energy efficiency agencies, Canada Infrastructure Bank, and others).

A post-covid sustainable future is our next iteration. Health depends on a livable climate. Together we are innovative and resourceful. We are social and compassionate by nature. And we already embrace multidisciplinary technical collaboration. On this golden anniversary of Earth Day, our focus on health and prosperity is a gold nugget of hope for the future. One that will be remembered in the passage of time as a turning point.

Sue Cairns,

Cranbrook, B.C.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

David Moskowitz file
Wildsight to present webinar on Inland Temperate Rainforest

Join Wildsight next Tuesday, December 1, 2020 for a free webinar on… Continue reading

Carmen Hintz (right) donates $500 to Heather Smith (left) at the Kimberley Food Bank, leftover cash after fundraising to rescue four kittens. Paul Rodgers photo.
Local’s extra kitten fundraiser money donated to Kimberley Food Bank

Carmen Hintz donates $500, after raising money to support rescued cats

Ryder and Cohen of Kimberley Minor Hockey can play on with new mandates from the Provincial Health Officer. Photo submitted.
Kimberley Minor Hockey president hopes to see curve flatten for a return to hockey

New COVID-19 orders put in place by the government last week stated… Continue reading

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

Smoothing out the walking path near the roof extension at Centre 64. Photo submitted
BC Rehab sponsored Accessibility Project completed at Centre 64

Work continues on making the Arts Centre accessible to all

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Most Read