Healthy Living Magazine


Imagine your child or grandchild living in a world where food and water shortages are the rule; where regions from every continent are uninhabitable because of rising temperatures; where mass migration creates conflict and chaos; where coastal cities are battered regularly by fierce storms and flooding. Earl Salzman urges all of us to act on climate change now!

This is not fiction. It is a scientifically plausible scenario researched and outlined in a Toronto Star article, and echoed by many climate scientists.

As a personal trainer, my concern is with the physical wellbeing of my clients. Climate change is our greatest challenge, not only physically, but morally and spiritually. We are at a tipping point. How we deal with this crisis now will define how our kids and grandkids see us. They will either thank us for our bravery, foresight and wisdom, or they will ask us how we could stand by and allow this devastation to happen.

When talking to groups, I want them to know that there is hope and that we are still in control of our destiny. The most profound effects of climate change can be avoided, but every country must act immediately. The recent climate agreement in Paris, in which the world pledged to keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius, is a framework from which world leaders need to plan and take action.

What does this mean for Canada? One plan to meet Canada’s international commitment has been written by Sustainable Canada Dialogues, a group of 60 Canadian scientists who put out a joint paper called Acting on Climate Change. In it, they conclude that it is possible for Canada to create a low carbon future and be at least 80% fossil fuel free by 2050, while developing a more robust, diversified economy. Meeting this target would enable us to meet our international commitment toward avoiding the most disastrous effects of climate change.

According to The Leap Manifesto, a document written and supported by Canadian scientists and environmentalists, the federal government must stop all expansion of the Tar Sands, oil company subsidies need to be diverted toward transitioning to a green economy, and a carbon tax must be implemented to deter polluting industries.

Experts say we can avoid climate change disaster. So what can we do as individuals? We need to get active! Climate change is an unseen enemy that many of us find hard to grasp and get excited about. We need to understand that our kids’ future is riding on us!

Our collective voice is the crucial element in holding Canadian leaders accountable for promises they’ve made in Paris. Use social media and talk to friends to spread the word. Start writing and calling politicians to let them know that their constituents are all of one mind, and that we will settle for nothing less than a meaningful plan to contain the effects of climate change.

My son is now in university and I can’t live with the idea of leaving him a world where everything he’s dreamed of may not come true. I want to tell him I did everything I could to make a livable world for him and his children.

Ask yourself what you are willing to do to save those you love and leave them a world where they are safe, and where the pure, clear sky is the limit.

Earl Salzman, HOn. BA, CPTN.


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