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article imageOp-Ed: Green Thumbs Up — Paris attacks will not stop climate marches

By Karen Graham     Nov 22, 2015 in Environment
With the world still reeling from the multiple terrorist attacks affecting not just France, but a number of other countries as well, the global climate conference, to be held in Paris on November 30, must still go on.
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, fears centered on not just national security, but the Paris climate talks being held later this month. The banning of planned marches and other activities for security reasons was enacted, but whose security is being sacrificed?
At a news conference on Friday, Janos Pasztor, the U.N. assistant secretary-general for climate change, confirmed that despite the Paris attacks, over 120 world leaders are still planning to attends the COP21 meetings in Paris. "They think this is an important event," he said. "So they are putting their travel plans where their mouth is and they will be there to support the climate negotiations."
French President Francois Hollande gestures as he addresses a press conference on climate change wit...
French President Francois Hollande gestures as he addresses a press conference on climate change with French farmers at the Elysee Palace in Paris on November 20, 2015
Michel Euler, Pool/AFP
The voices of ordinary people must be heard
Terrorism has silenced the voices of the very people who need to be heard from the most, the citizens of countries already being impacted by a warming planet. Without activists, climate marchers and other home-grown activities that bring the problems already at our doorsteps into the spotlight, ordinary people are left without a voice.
Activists are calling the Paris meeting one of the most important climate events of our lifetime, and in a way it is. It has been suggested that this meeting will be the world's last chance to get things right in trying to save our planet. This is why it is so important that people all over the world and from every walk of life be allowed to participate.
An interesting comment was made in the New Internationalist blog. The writer suggests ISIS depends on oil, and that is what is buying guns for the Islamic State. The blog suggests the terrorist organization's agenda calls for disrupting the Paris climate talks, and instilling fear of additional attacks, forcing nations to back down.
Brussels is on terror lockdown  with a gunman still on the run after the Paris attacks that have sen...
Brussels is on terror lockdown, with a gunman still on the run after the Paris attacks that have sent waves of fear throughout Europe
John Thys, AFP
Sadly, the ISIS agenda seems to be working. As I type this story, television news is reminding me that New York and Washington D.C. are being threatened with attacks, Belgium is on lock-down with people in Brussels being told to shelter in place. This is all the more a reason for people all over the globe to show their solidarity with the countries impacted by the terrorist attacks, but we cannot and must not let terrorism become bigger than the climate crisis.
Climate change is about security in our world
Those of us in developed nations need to be mindful of our neighbors in less developed nations, says the Guardian, the ones whose voices need to be heard. There are Pacific Islanders and Inuit communities being taken over by rising sea levels, Sub-Saharan countries where people don't have clean drinking water, severe drought, floods and devastating weather events.
The security of the planet's people is more important than a group of violent maniacs using warped beliefs to terrorize us. The need for an agreement, a consensus by all countries, to work together as one to reign in greenhouse gas emissions, is imperative.
Toronto  Canada is a leader in reducing emissions and adopting actions that  minimize or prevent the...
Toronto, Canada is a leader in reducing emissions and adopting actions that minimize or prevent the negative impacts of climate change.
Climatologist Jason Box and’s Naomi Klein were quoted by the Washington Times from an Op/Ed they posted in the New Yorker. "French police have just barred the huge planned marches and protests, effectively silencing the voices of people who are directly affected by these high-level talks. And it’s hard to see how sea-level rise and parched farmland — tough media sells at the best of times — will have a hope of competing with rapid military escalation and calls for fortressed borders,” they wrote.
Climate marches, gatherings in support of the COP21 meeting, shows of solidarity and other activities associated with global warming are all part of the meeting, the "civil" side of the talks, and they are just as important as what the world's leaders have to say.
This is part of a new column looking at how environmental trends are impacting our daily lives. For the first Green Thumbs Up column, please go HERE.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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