Green New Deal Letter Template

Send this letter to your elected officials to tell them you want a green new deal! Just delete and put in the relevant information for all [squared bracketed] text.

Subject: Adopt a Green New Deal to Create a Just Recovery for All

Dear, [Mr/Mrs/Right Honourable/etc]

I am a [resident/constituent/citizen] of [riding/ward/constituency/province/city] and I wanted to personally contact your office regarding the adoption of a Green New Deal for [Alberta/Canada/Calgary]. I [am a student/or work in the BLANK industry], and I am concerned for [my future, future of the planet, children’s future, etc]. The IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 2018 report demonstrates that humanity only has till 2030 to cut emissions in half and reach net zero emissions by 2050 in order to maintain global average temperatures below 1.5 degrees celsius. I highly encourage you to read this report if you have not done so.

The Green New Deal offers solutions to carry our [provinces/cities/countries/] weight in cutting our emissions while maintaining and expanding our economy and social support structures.  I believe in the principles and policies of the Green New Deal, specifically [transportation, jobs, energy, housing, food security, etc (Elaborate as to why you like this policy)]. As my elected official, it is my hope that you will hear my concerns and use the power voters have given you to enact the set of policies included in the Green New Deal.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to seeing your actions in implementing the Green New Deal for [Calgary/Alberta/Canada]

Sincerely,

[Your First and Last Name]

September 25 Global Climate Strike

This fall, school strike movement Fridays For Future calls for a global climate action day. On September 25th, demonstrations and manifestations will take place all across the globe, all adjusted according to Covid-19 circumstances.

During the last few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced activists to find new ways of protest and use digital activism to demand climate action, as marches have not been appropriate. The 25th of September will be the first global action day of the year.

The coming months and years will be crucial in ensuring a safe pathway below 1.5°C increase in global mean temperature, a target stated in the Paris Agreement. If we are to minimise the risks of triggering irreversible chain reactions beyond human control, we need to act now. It is therefore vital that the climate crisis doesn’t get forgotten in the shadow of the coronavirus but is regarded as the utmost priority. Fridays For Future will keep protesting as long as the exploitation of nature is allowed to continue. We must continue to encourage our municipal government as well as other levels of government to take climate action and pass a green new deal.

The form of this protest has been adjusted according to local Covid-19 conditions. We have decided to plan a small, in-person protest outside of Calgary City Hall with no more than fifty people attending. In order to uphold this limit, we ask all who wish to participate in the in-person strike to sign up here. All those in attendance will be required to socially distance and wear masks. We also ask that if people wish to hold up a sign, that they bring or make their own to limit physical contact.

If you are unable to attend the in-person strike due to complications caused by COVID-19, we invite you to strike with us digitally by posting a picture of yourself with your favourite climate action sign using the hashtags #fridaysforfuture #fridaysforfutureyyc #GlobalClimateAction2020.

Adapted from fridaysforfuture.org

Support Local Bookstores

As we all continue to educate ourselves on systemic racism, and so many issues that we’ve realized that we’ve been ignorant of, you might feel like buying a book or two. Instead of purchasing from huge companies, such as Amazon or Indigo, it’s ideal to support small, local bookstores. Along with supporting small businesses during these difficult times, with used bookstores, you’re giving a book a new life, therefore saving it from the landfill. 

If you can’t find the book you’re looking for at one of these stores, consider purchasing it from the author’s website, instead of Amazon or another huge chain bookstore. This way, a larger portion of the sale goes to the authors themselves. 

Additionally, if you aren’t in the financial position to purchase books, or just don’t feel the need to own a book, The Calgary Public Library has thousands of awesome books. As of Monday, July 20th, all library branches are open, with social distancing and other health protocols in place, along with a contactless curbside pick up system for holds. There’s also seniors’ hours, for the first hour of service each day, and the book returns remain closed.

Calgary

The Calgary Public Library 

NW

Pages on Kensington

  • There’s a list of anti-racist books that they have on their website
  • Now open to public browsing and curbside pickup 
  • They also have a used and bargain section, good for the environment and your wallet!

NE

Books Between Friends

  • Used book store 
  • Super cheap! 
  • Receives books through donations
  • They hold book sales for charities some weekends, so you’re helping support good causes. 

SW

Shelf Life Books

  • Browsing by appointment, curbside pickup, local delivery
  • Biggest selection of poetry in Western Canada
  • They also occasionally hold events
  • Dog friendly 
  • Customer Loyalty Program 
  • @shelflifebooks on Instagram

Fair’s Fair Books

  • They also have a location in Inglewood, but it’s temporarily closed due to Storm Water Damage. 
  • Used book store. 
  • You can sell your old books for store credit. 

Owl’s Nest Books 

  • In person shopping and Curbside pickup.
  • “Friend of the Nest” sponsorship perks 

SE

The Next Page

  • Bookstore and coffee shop.
  • You can sell your books for 1$ cash or 2$ store credit. 
  • Currently offering deliveries.
  • They also hold events (readings, launches, workshops). 
  • @thenextpageyyc on Instagram 

Cochrane 

Bently’s Books

  • New and old books. 

Bragg Creek

Best Little Wordhouse in the West

  • Used and new books.
  •  Also sells other gift-like items (scarves, etc.)

Decolonize Your Education

With the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s become apparent that we as a society have long avoided the views and feelings of those who do not fit the ideals of our country’s colonial mindset. 

This needs to change. So, we’ve compiled this list of a few of our favorite books, podcasts and films made by BIPOC for you to read, watch, listen, and learn from!

Podcasts:

Books  (Nonfiction): 

  • So You Want to Talk About Race By Ijeoma Oluo
  • The Skin We’re In By Desmond Cole
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race By Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Indigenous Relations By Bob Joseph and Cynthia F. Joseph
  • Broken Circle By Theodore Fontaine
  • From Where I Stand By Judy Wilson-Raybould
  • My Conversations with Canadians By Lee Maracle
  • Life Stages and Native Women By Kim Anderson
  • Halfbreed By Maria Cambell
  • A Mind Spread out on the Ground By Alicia Elliott
  • Pourin’ Down Rain By Cheryl Foggo 
  • Resolve By Carolyn Parks Mintz and Andy and Phyllis Chelsea
  • Seven Fallen Feathers By Tanya Talaga

If you have children, you can find a list of indigenous books for young children on the Calgary Reads’ website. Here is a list of local bookstores that may have these noteworthy books available.

Movies / Documentaries / Films:

  • The Condor and The Eagle –  by Sophie & Clément Guerra
  • nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up By Tasha Hubbard
  • Ice Breakers By Sandamini Rankaduwa
  • Ninth Floor By Mina Shum
  • The Color of Beauty By Elizabeth St. Philip

The Impacts of Climate Change on Marginalized Communities

Infrastructure

Low-income countries such as Brazil, Bangladesh, India, and those within the sub-Saharan African region as well as island populations seen in and around New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Caribbean,  are just some of the nations that are considered “low-income” or “developing” and consist of mainly brown and black populations. These nations are more vulnerable to climate variability as climate change is correlated to the increased magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events. Typically, low-income countries do not have the strongest adaptive capacity or mitigation measures. This reduced capacity is due to a multitude of factors that relate to the lack of financial and technological resources they cannot afford to develop. Developed or higher-income countries, such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and many Western and European nations, are in better positions to afford the adaptation and responses to climatic changes (Mirza). Understanding the socio-economic constraints of developing nations can assist in our understanding of how the local populations will be affected by climate change and how best to ensure effective climate justice can be implemented according to the needs and circumstances of each nation.

Agriculture/Economy

Many developing countries have growing industries that are predisposed to heat and climate variability sensitivity. These industries like agriculture and energy are threatened by and have felt the effects of, the upwards trend of global annual temperatures rising. Many developing nations are dependent on the Earth’s natural resources, which result in a higher dependency on industries like agriculture. With the increased variance in weather patterns, severe events, and increased global temperatures, water shortages, soil degradation, and soil/water contamination is a large threat to these industries (Mendelsohn). 

“The Stern Report on the Economics of Climate Change predicts that by 2100, in South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa, up to 145–220 million additional people could fall below the $2-a-day poverty line, and every year additional 165,000–250,000 children could die compared with a world without rapid climate change.”

When the local soil undergoes degradation, crop yields are reduced and this causes more food scarcity, on top of this, nutrient-deficient soils create nutrient-deficient foods and contribute to nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition in the local populations (St.Clair and Lynch).

Disease and Death

Global temperature increases have the potential of increasing the number of people at risk of malaria to more than 150 million people (5% globally) as well as dengue (another mosquito-borne disease) which has seen an upwards trend in transmission rates over the past few decades (“Statistics on Climate Change”).  Insect and water-borne diseases have a larger impact on developing countries compared to developed countries, leaving them at a disproportionately higher risk of death due to increased exposure of disease and lack of access to services and healthcare. Pollution-caused health effects and deaths are also higher in developing countries. The graphic shows how generally climate change affects human health, however, developing countries are disproportionately affected by these adverse health effects.

Racism

White supremacy is a contributing factor to climate change and is the reason why many developing countries are being disproportionately affected by climate change and related issues. Companies that outsource labour and extraction efforts, with respect to varying levels of intention, are aware of their role in white supremacy. Western, or predominately white, nations do not have to bear the brunt of the adverse effects of the processes they are outsourcing from developing nations. The workers are oftentimes exploited for cheaper labour and surrounding communities are in close proximity to waste disposal and treatment sites that are not regulated, to which many developed nations send their waste to as it is much cheaper comparatively (Marbury; Park). While the Basel Convention treaty is in place to prevent this from happening, it is not legally binding.

What can we do now?

The climate crisis is intrinsically connected to institutionalized racism and the lives of people of colour across the globe. Climate change is a “wicked problem” and it will take solutions from multiple angles to solve it. 

  • It’s important to not only educate yourself but also your peers. We must break down barriers of understanding and begin to examine the intersections of the climate crisis. 
  • Racism permeates every aspect of our culture and society, from our education systems to the overarching capitalist institutions, and everything in between. It’s important to recognize this and equip yourself with the knowledge you need to help bring about change.
  • On an international scale, we must recognize simple petitions will not be effective. However, locally and nationally pressuring government bodies and mobilizing the people to enact policies and programs to dismantle institutions that disproportionately impact communities here, may prove more effective leading to international action. 
  • Refer to our post on how marginalized groups are disproportionately affected by climate change and lack of inaction here in Canada to start!

Bibliography

  • Marbury, Hugh J. “Hazardous Waste Exportation: The Global Manifestation of Environmental Racism Notes.” Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, vol. 28, no. 2, 1995, pp. 251–94.
  • Mendelsohn, Robert. “The Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture in Developing Countries.” Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, vol. 1, no. 1, Routledge, Dec. 2008, pp. 5–19. Taylor and Francis+NEJM, doi:10.1080/19390450802495882.
  • Mirza, M. Monirul Qader. “Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Can Developing Countries Adapt?” Climate Policy, vol. 3, no. 3, Taylor & Francis, Jan. 2003, pp. 233–48. Taylor and Francis+NEJM, doi:10.3763/cpol.2003.0330.
  • Park, Rozelia S. An Examination of International Environmental Racism Through the Lens of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes. p. 53.
  • “Statistics on Climate Change.” MGH Institute of Health Professions, 21 June 2018. www.mghihp.edu, https://www.mghihp.edu/academics-schools-departments-school-nursing-about/statistics-climate-change.
  • St.Clair, Samuel B., and Jonathan P. Lynch. “The Opening of Pandora’s Box: Climate Change Impacts on Soil Fertility and Crop Nutrition in Developing Countries.” Plant and Soil, vol. 335, no. 1, Oct. 2010, pp. 101–15. Springer Link, doi:10.1007/s11104-010-0328-z.
  • Denchak, Melissa (2018). Flint Water Crisis: Everything You Need to Know
    https://www.nrdc.org/stories/flint-water-crisis-everything-you-need-know
  • Petition Against Nestle stealing Indigenous water https://www.change.org/p/nestle-canadian-stop-nestl%C3%A9-from-stealing-water-from-indigenous-communities?use_react=false