I am writing this letter to you to urge you to move more decisively and quickly toward a greener future. The federal government under both the Conservatives and the Liberals have dragged their feet when approaching the looming spectre of climate change so it is up to the provinces and cities to lead the way. We Ontarians have an excellent opportunity.
The provinces can do several things to support a "green" economy and to help retard and reverse global warming - an effect that the majority of climate scientists around the world have agreed is real and is a direct result of human activity.
I propose the following areas which the province can focus upon:
This is the only real way to effect change in society and force us to look at greener methods of doing business and living our lives. It is endorsed by most climate economists as the only fair and effective way to force this change. We are change adverse in our society and no one wants to pay more for gas or other items that are affected by fossil fuel prices but by making this tax neutral and offsetting it through cuts to income taxes it can be sold to Ontarians as a less painful and necessary option to avoid future warming and its harmful and possibly deadly results.
The Province of Ontario must have a long term strategy to support and expand public transport in a profound way. We must have another option to inefficient cars in this province and without a strong public transport system, like the ones in many European and some South American cities, we cannot expect the public to support the carbon tax. This will mean increased funding and long term sustained funding to regional transit units across the province, including the north. As well, the European model shows us that taking the taxes generated from the gas tax and directly funding public transport with it engenders more public support.
Green Energy Production
We need strong provincial leadership in this area. Mandatory solar or geothermal energy production in every new house built will go a long way to solving our energy crisis and getting rid of all of the coal-burning power plants in Ontario. By mandating these products be built in Canada if not Ontario this will help support the manufacturing sector that has been hit badly in the last several years. As well, distributed generation like solar, wind and geothermal that are based at the household level improves our ability to weather power problems like that seen in the Blackout Summer of 2003 and allay fears of international terrorism affecting our energy sector. This can also soften the blow of bringing new nuclear options online as it lowers the pressure to build in a short time frame. These products exist now and countries like Germany have been very successful in their implementation. This would also include a system to pay a subsidy to those generating the power that can then be lowered over a long term time frame as more local producers come on line.
These are 3 viable options that we can take right now and will have profound affects on our impact on the environment. The more we dodge these fixes the more we pile these problems onto our children and the less a chance they will have to save the planet from the dangerous effects of global warming.
Please, Mr. Premier, the people of Ontario need your help NOW, not at the start of the next election cycle.
This email has been sent to members of the opposition parties and their respective critics as well as the Ministers of Energy and The Environment