EDITORIAL

For those who deny or choose not to accept global warming, this week’s open letter in the BioScience journal probably won’t change their opinion.

“We declare ... clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” read the letter’s opening sentence, signed by 11,258 scientists from 153 different countries, including 409 Canadians.

Climate change is real.

Extreme weather, melting ice caps, forest fires (an Okanagan concern), stranded polar bears ... it’s scary.

We won’t accept that 11,000 well-educated scientists lie and skew their own research in the name of job creation.

The argument of “why bother when the rest of the world will ignore it” uses the same logic of “it’s OK to cheat on your spouse because everyone has affairs” or you shouldn’t get a speeding ticket because others drive a lot faster.

On the flipside, maybe the likes of Greta Thunberg and Leonardo DiCaprio are terrifying our youth, much the same way children in the 1950s were taught to “duck and cover.”

But, is climate change really the huge issue Canadians claim that it is?

When you cross the Bennett Bridge early in the morning, most of the cars don’t have a passenger.

Climate action — an issue tailored to the Green party if there ever was one — was on the top of minds of voters, yet the Greens managed to elect only three MPs and earn 6.5% of the popular vote.

While climate crusaders and Green candidates must be commended for bringing the issue to the forefront, far too many, sadly, don’t practice what they preach.

Rock stars like Madonna and Bono are outspoken on climate change, but travel the world in private jets.

Al Gore was exposed as a hypocrite following the release of his documentary“An Inconvenient Truth” because he and his wife live alone in a 10,000 square foot mansion. (The Gores don’t have any kids still at home.)

A former city councillor from Penticton, whose name escapes us, lectured everyone on going paperless — “because it’s good for the environment.” It was hard not to laugh knowing the councillor drives a truck and posts photos on Facebook of his trips to Asia.

At the end of the month, school board trustees from across the province are heading to Vancouver for a trustee convention. It’s doubtful any of the boards will rent a mini-van and carpool or go two to a room. Yet, the school system lectures our youth about being good global citizens. (Trustees should have webinars.)

Can things be done beyond blue-box recycling and boycotting bottled water? Definitely... and they should.

But those who preach Green need more than just words.

James Miller is valley editor for the Okanagan Newspaper Group. Email: james.miller@ok.bc.ca