Friday, October 16, 2009

Ring Them Bells!

Gooooooo Hamilton! Who said our city was apathetic when it comes to climate change action? They're wrong. Read the article below by our Don Mclean of Environment Hamilton. Greening Sacred Spaces is proud of the hand we had in helping to mobilize Hamilton faith groups to action for the 24th October;World Climate Day of Action.
All through the planning of this day's events,we've had consistent faith representation-as many as seven leaders at a time. We're proud of you!

Bells of warning for planet


Oct 16, 2009
Large Medium Small Print This Article Tell a friend Church bells ringing across Hamilton Mountain this month are calling to more than the Christian faithful. They are warning us all of the growing climatic dangers that confront the world’s governments trying to construct a post-Kyoto agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The ringing is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24 — the day when Hamiltonians will gather in Gore Park to participate in a global day of action on climate change.

It’s one of over 1,700 actions taking place that day in 140 countries, and will include a 3 p. m. walk to the federal building at Bay and York to deliver a message to Canada’s climate treaty negotiators.

The bells of a half dozen Mountain Anglican churches will ring out 350 times in total to mark the safe level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere: 350 parts per million. Unfortunately, the level has already exceeded 385 and is climbing by two or three parts per million every year.

That puts us currently about 40 per cent higher than pre-industrial levels. The negative results are already painfully evident in extreme storm events and rapidly melting glaciers and polar ice caps that are disappearing far faster than expected. The two “100-year” storms that flooded over 7,000 Hamilton homes this summer appear to be one small part of a worsening global climatic crisis.

Last month, the United Nations reported that greenhouse gas emissions have been going up, not down. In the 1990s they increased by 1.1 per cent a year, but since 2000 the rate of increase has climbed to 3.5 percent annually — higher than even the worst-case scenario contemplated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that combines the efforts of climate scientists from every UN country.

The Oct. 24 events in Gore Park have a dozen sponsoring organizations, and include musical performances, displays and hands-on activities from noon to 3 p. m. There are also workshops, presentations and film showings starting at 1 p. m. in multiple downtown locations (register between noon and 1 o’clock in Gore Park at King and Hughson). The walk to the federal building starts at 3 p. m. See for full info.

The city has declared October to be climate change action month. Other activities include a high school environmental conference at Mohawk and an Oct. 18 “Eco-Walk” linking together four Dundas churches.

Mike Nickerson is one of the featured speakers at the Oct. 24 action. The author of “Life, Money and Illusion: Living on Earth as If We Want to Stay,” is also speaking at a school, two churches and a Dundas town hall meeting that weekend.

Don McLean is a director of Environment Hamilton and a volunteer with CATCH (Citizens at City Hall). He teaches environmental studies.

The Community Columnist is a regular feature of the Mountain News. If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-523-5800 ext. 335 to discuss your idea.

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