Oakville discusses climate change


It was an intimate gathering of Oakville residents interested in the effects of climate change on their city, and the small group was told they is a lot they can do.

“I think there is plenty that the average person can do and in all aspects of life, getting to work, being at work, being at home, planting vegetables, taking transit, conserving water, there’s tons that people can do,” said Oakville’s Environmental Coordinator Trisha Henderson.

She believes people can change their neighbourhoods.

People can most affect their way of life by “moving away from our use of fuels.  I would say would probably be the most dramatic increase. I think cars and our use of cars and gasoline is causing major carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. So removing that or limiting that would help us meet our greenhouse gas emission goals.”

The 90-minute event, which was held Oct. 7 and hosted by the Oakville Climate Group featured two presentations. While climate change was the primary focus, there were also brief discussions of how voting for a new federal government would bring more attention to both national climate change issues and municipal climate discussions.

The other presenter at the discussion was Stephen Scharper, from the School of the Environment at the University of Toronto. He was on hand to talk about climate change on the national level and even mentioned some key quotes from Pope Francis’ new book.

“Well I think that climate change is something all of us can help mitigate in our personal lives but also in our political lives,” he said.

Stephen Scharper, Professor at the University of Toronto's School for the Environment.

Stephen Scharper, Professor at the University of Toronto’s School for the Environment.

“The groups that we’ve become involved in, the candidates we vote for, all have some impact on policies around climate change. And so it’s kind of the whole spectrum of approaches; personal, social, political, economic and cultural that we’re involved with.”

He also believes the politicians who are running in the election should take notice of the fact that people are trying to make a difference in their world.

Heather Govendor, an environmental professional from Halton Green Screens, says the biggest challenge is motivating people to come to an event like the one held that night.

“I think a lot of people in Oakville seem comfortable, so it’s not easy to get people to notice. I know as an environmental professional it’s a challenge to get people out to our events”.