April 22, 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, an annual event that draws attention to the ongoing need for great environmental protections on our planet.
The current COVID-19 crisis has given us the unique opportunity to see what our world could look like if we step up and combat climate change. What we have seen come from the new way of living under this pandemic is just how great an impact we are having on our planet. As countries went into lockdown and industry slowed, stories have emerged showing us how the planet can begin to heal when we reduce emissions and use of fossil fuels: the Venice canals became clear for the first time in decades, and those living in the state of Punjab saw the Himalayan mountains for the first time in 30 years.
Earth Day reminds us that the positive environmental changes we are seeing from this pandemic should not be temporary. Our planet still needs our help!
Similar to the current pandemic, climate change has and will continue to inequitably impact the marginalized members of our society. From Indigenous nations fighting for land sovereignty from oil companies, to climate change refugees seeking better lives further north, to the working class North American impacted by industrial pollution. Climate change has the greatest effect on those with the least resources.
So as you go through your day, staying in your homes, remember that our planet is still there beyond our doors. Take the time to celebrate what our planet provides us and how great it’s going to be when we can get outside again!
Even though we can’t attend a rally today there are still many ways we can continue to fight for climate action. Check out the Earth Day website to see what happening around the planet, send a letter to the editor of your local paper, and use the Canadian Labour Congress’s tool to email party leaders and continue to pressure them to commit to climate action that will make the planet better than it was before.
We have a right to live in a province, in a country, and on a planet where the well being of a person – whether it be physical, social, or mental – is considered to be more important than the profits of corporations. Let’s continue to work towards a better BC and a better Earth and ensure that we come out of this current crisis stronger, more resilient, and committed to ending the greatest crisis of our time, Climate Change. We can, and we must, act for ourselves, our fellow citizens of Earth, and our future.