We need to continue to build on the achievement of getting the city to declare a climate emergency. The mayor’s motion approved 10-0 at the Board of Health on March 18 sparked a 70 minute discussion at the city council meeting last Wednesday night and still won a 16-0 approval. There also continuing media coverage of the declaration including commentary today by Spectator columnist Andrew Dreschel.
Emails and phone calls to the mayor and councillors from 350 and XR supporters, as well as the presence of climate supporters at the council meeting certainly drove much of the debate on Wednesday night. That shows your interventions counted, and that more emails and calls to councillors will help even more. If you haven’t acted – do so now! If you have – continue to communicate with and build a direct relationship with one or more of our local elected officials. This is just the beginning!
Much of the council commentary was defensive – loudly proclaiming that the city has been doing lots on climate change for a long time. That illustrated one of the widespread confusions among some councillors. Most of that “action” has been responding to the effects of climate change; very little has been done to try and prevent it by reducing local emissions. We need to keep speaking to that confusion where it appears to exist. And we need to keep praising those councillors who seem to understand and strongly support city action to reduce emissions at least in line with the IPCC recommendations.
There is also a rump of councillors at this point who appear determined to prevent the city from spending any money to fight climate change, and perhaps even one or two who aren’t sure what climate change is. But the resolution is approved, and questions directed to city staff at the meeting indicate they are thinking about what implementation will require, and that it will affect the city budget.
Video of Wednesday night’s meeting is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKpamZ5tYWA. The climate debate starts 50 minutes into the meeting and goes to just past the two hour mark. Here are the start times for each. Check out what your councillor said. Also listen to the comments of staff half way through, and the mayor’s summary comments. What should we do next?
Staff Mike Zegarac 1:34:25
Staff Paul Johnson 1:28:15
Ontario Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe (just fired by Doug Ford) and a very good communicator on climate change (bring your friends) is the guest of Environment Hamilton on Monday, April 8 at 7 pm in the Hamilton room of the Central Library (55 York Boulevard)
XR Hamilton encourages you to support their delegation this coming Thursday night (April 4) to the Hamilton Conservation Authority board - 838 Mineral Springs Rd, Ancaster 7-8 pm. Regular monthly meeting, public welcome. Ian Graham presenting on Climate Change early in the agenda. Purpose is to enlist active support from HCA for the City's Declaration of Climate Emergency.