The planet is burning. California is ablaze. Large swaths of Western Canada and the US are so smoke filled that it is unsafe to go outside.
The air quality is so bad in parts of British Columbia that Canada Post suspended mail delivery in many locations.
These fires and the resulting smoke are a direct result of climate change. The ground is tinder dry and the trees are weakened because of a lack of water and other nutrients. Sadly, forest fires are an all too common result.
People in BC are dealing with dangerous air quality because of fires in the US. The smoke does not stop at the borders. But this is a global issue. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change produced a report 2018 IPCC Report that warned us that the globe was heading for a two-degree rise in temperatures, and all that represents. The time to act boldly is now. In fact, we are late.
Coupled with the devastating effects of COVID- 19, it is clear that we need local, national, and international responses to protect our planet, ourselves, and our economy.
CUPW is working with a coalition of groups to advocate for a Green New Deal. We want solutions that care for our planet, safeguard workers and their families, keep seniors , people with disabilities and others safe, respect Indigenous people, and defend public services.
CUPW knows that we cannot save Earth without protecting workers and human rights. They are tied together.
We need to:
Meet the immediate, life-or-death needs of frontline workers, seniors in long term care; people who have been laid off or lost their jobs and all those whose lives have been upended by these crises;
Make sure the spending from all levels of government builds the infrastructure for a zero-carbon, full employment economy;
Transform the economy to prioritize safety and stability for all, not just the 1%.
Canada Post can play a role in this. CUPW has a campaign “Delivering Community Power” which calls for CPC to:
Purchase and use zero emission vehicles;
Implement postal banking. This would give out loans to small green businesses and would mean people would not have to drive far to do their banking;
Retrofit postal facilities to make them truly energy efficient.
CUPW is continuing to pressure Canada Post to do this. Saving our planet (and therefore ourselves) is our collective responsibility.
CUPW also represents employees who work in the private sector. Their employers can and must also help save our planet. They can purchase zero emission vehicles or give workers incentives to buy these vehicles; they can make their buildings green; and they can use only environmentally friendly cleaning products to give just a few ideas. Every employer can take steps to save the earth.
CUPW members from across the country are encouraged to take part in climate action events. For some of us this can be in person (while respecting social distancing) and for others, this may be through webinars. Each action, no matter how small, is important to protect our world.
In these pandemic times, we have all been working hard to keep ourselves and others safe. We need to continue this and take action to keep our planet healthy.