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LETTER: We need to reduce emissions and tackle social problems simultaneously

The scientific reality is that shelter, food and security are going to take a turn for the worse if we don’t tackle climate change, letter writer says

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Re: Letter to the editor, What qualifies as an emergency in Newmarket, Jan. 20, and Article, Newmarket council declares climate emergency, Jan. 14.

It is a privilege to live in Newmarket-Aurora. It is one of the best places to live in Canada, let alone the world. Review the University of Waterloo study entitled How Are Canadians Really Doing, The 2016 CIW National Report. Only the categories of environment and leisure are worse than they were in 1994. 

Through the ages, shelter, food and security have always been primal needs (see Maslow’s hierarchy, physiological and safety needs). Regrettably, these needs have not disappeared but statistics show they are in far greater supply than ever in human history (read Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now, The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress).

To address these needs locally, consider volunteering at Inn from the Cold, Newmarket Food Pantry, Habitat for Humanity, Belinda’s Place — or perhaps voting for tax increases to cover the cost of more shelters, fully stocked food banks, and greater police presence, if it proves necessary.  

Canada has one of the highest per-capita carbon footprints in the world. We need to reduce our emissions and tackle these social problems simultaneously (example, Green New Deal.)  Wasting less food, for example, would go a long way to tackling food shortages while reducing our carbon footprint. If we lived in high-density housing, prices and rents would be lower, as would our carbon footprint. 

The scientific-predicted reality is that shelter, food and security are going to take a turn for the worse if we don’t tackle climate change. It’s easy to deny, much harder to be objective, accept the science and take action.
Walter Bauer, Aurora