Earth Day, April 22, is a celebration for the planet we all share. It is a time to reflect, and challenge ourselves to change our habits.
For generations, a selfish drive for profit — at the expense of communities — people and ecology, has driven human society to the edge of an unsustainable future. Our children and their children, the animals and all life on the planet now need protection from its effects.
Some scientists are predicting increasing serious ecological disasters in our lifetime. In some parts of the planet this is already happening. Growing sections of the planet are predicted to be uninhabitable by mid-century. This will invite more migration, war, famine and conflict. There is a dire future ahead if we do not step up and reduce our carbon footprint right now.
Earth Day is a reminder that we are all connected and there are good choices before us. We can no longer treat the land and atmosphere as a waste bucket. We can wean ourselves from oil, but not by listening to the oil companies, who lead us to believe we cannot thrive without them and their ridiculous profits. While some banking-industry-friendly Liberals complain about our self-funded pension, they subsidize oil corporations to the tune of 3.5 billion dollars a year!
There is good news also. The vast majority of countries have pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris COP21 Agreement. Cities and countries are enabling carbon reduction by phasing out coal power, promoting green energy, and supporting electric vehicles.
Indigenous people, joined by environmentalists, unions and extraordinary individuals are organizing to stop destructive extraction of oil and gas.
Our union joined with allies last year to develop a green vision for Canada Post.
Check out www.deliveringcommunitypower.ca.
From electric charging stations to a green fleet, we know that the reach and influence of a green post office could contribute to our transformation to a sustainable economy. It can be done! In Germany, Deutsche Post bought an electric vehicle manufacturer so that it can build its own electric delivery vehicles.
It is time for Canada Post to think big and involve the union and members in greening its operations.
For our own part, CUPW has completed an environmental audit of its operations at the national and regional levels and has committed to reducing our carbon footprint – we’ve begun a big journey and we hope that Canada Post can be convinced to come along.
Join us. On Earth Day, think of how you can do more in your home, your community and our union. Get involved.