An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE GENERATION GAP is surely no more obvious than on the issue of climate change.
The only ones getting serious about it are young people, while the adults in power fiddle. Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist picked as Time magazine’s Person of the Year, must be feeling more disgusted than ever right now.
Time’s choice is being berated by rightwing adults including Donald Trump.
The U.S. president, who feels the honour should have gone to him, ridiculed the choice as “so ridiculous.”
What is so ridiculous is the inability and unwillingness of world leaders to make any progress on climate change. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ended Sunday in Spain on a bitter note as nations pointed the finger at each other over their failure to reach an agreement on targets.
The 200 nations at the table accomplished only some minor tinkering.
The biggest polluters refuse to be engaged in keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Irrefutable science predicts a rise of more than three degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless something is done very soon to turn things around.
To Canada’s credit, it was one of the very few countries who went to the meeting with a plan — albeit an imperfect one — to ramp up action on climate change, but failed to convince the rest.
The U.S., Australia and Brazil — all suffering badly from the effects of unstoppable wildfires this year — are inexplicably among those resisting change.
Meanwhile, our youth march, protest, strike and demand action. They’re the ones with the vision, they’re the ones who can see clearly the disastrous consequences of doing nothing.
Sadly, by the time they’re old enough to take power, it might be too late.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.