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article imageElizabeth May: Canada's carbon emission intensity targets a fraud Special

By Stephanie Dearing     Sep 11, 2009 in Environment
Green Party leader Elizabeth May spoke to University of Guelph students last night about how Canada used to be a leader on climate change. The university event was called 'Make Your Mark on the World.'
Giving an impassioned and emotionally-charged speech, author, environmental activist and Green Party leader Elizabeth May urged University of Guelph students to work to ensure Canada will take a tough stance on climate change legislation in the upcoming global negotiations. May exhorted the students, saying"You hold the key to change. This is not about politics, this is about the survival of the world."
Elizabeth May had come to Guelph to speak to members of the local Green Party, and any interested community members about "... the economy, jobs and the state of democracy in Canada" before she went to the university to speak about climate change.
May urged students to 'mobilize' by taking part in the upcoming global days of action, one in September, one in October and one in December. May told students to write letters to politicians and newspapers as well as posting comments about on-line media stories about climate change; and finally to vote if there is an election.
May invited students to participate in the October 24th Fill the Hill event, when Canadians will meet at parliament hill in Ottawa.
Canada used to be a climate change leader, May said, asking, "Will the Canadian government be in the way of Copenhagen, or will the Canadian government be helpful?"
May was referring to the upcoming climate change conference which is being held in Copenhagen this December. World leaders attending the conference will have decided whether or not they will adopt four key agreements: the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by industrialized nations, the curbing of emissions by emerging economies such as China and India; helping poverty-stricken nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and managing the funds to help poverty-stricken countries meet goals. This conference is meant to build on the climate change emission reduction negotiations that have been taking place since the late 1980s. Europe has already announced an intention to curb gas emissions by 80% by 2020, but May said even this strong commitment was not enough.
"We're down to the wire," May said about implementing a global greenhouse gas agreement. We're already living in a climate change world, experiencing extreme forest fires, extreme floods, extreme weather and natural disasters that are not entirely natural any longer."
Elizabeth May with students
Elizabeth May was happy to have her picture taken with the students.
Stephanie Dearing
May was critical of the current Canadian government's position on climate change saying that Canada is trying to slow down progress to a global agreement. The government is pushing intensity targets as a way to address climate change, May said. May likened intensity targets to a diet whereby one tells themself they can eat whatever they want because the food has 10% less fat . May then said that intensity targets are a fraud, because if emissions are cut by 10% or more, but overall emissions increase, there really is no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
"We need to end energy obesity and go on a carbon diet," May said. She pointed to emerging technologies for electricity generation, such as solar and wind power, saying that society is almost unlimited in how much energy that can be created from renewable sources. She said that living life based on fossil fuels means that we are living on the energy of the dead.
After her speech, May was mobbed by a group of excited students who wanted to talk to her and get their pictures taken. Some environmental sciences students had May autograph their lab coats. May was happy to oblige all the students.
May said that she was proud about her new book, Global Warming for Dummies because it has been released into the USA, Australia and Canada.
Our Future Family
A student shows his message: to protect the environment for everyone's family to come in the future.
Stephanie Dearing
More about Elizabeth may, Climate change, Green partyof canada, Intensity targests, Cop15
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