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We Don't Have Time

In Canada, a Hockey-league approach gets people going on climate issues

A cartoon and the NHL inspired the Canadian branch of the Climate Reality Project to come up with a new idea on how to get residents involved in de-carbonizing their cities.

In a keynote speech during Earth Day Week 2020, Campaign Manager Matthew Chapman explained how it’s happening.

Matthew Chapmans keynote as recorded April 2 24 and delivered live for Earth Day Week and that brings forward his work with a Canadian somewhat new approach on climate action.

Matthew Chapman is the ClimateHub.ca Manager of the Climate Reality Project Canada. He joined the team in 2016 to help Climate Reality Leaders participate in consultations on the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

A year later a cartoon led him and his teammates to come up with a very Canadian way of inspiring people to take climate action at the local level.

This Joel Pett cartoon for USA Today appeared just before the Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009.

The cartoon, drawn by famous American cartoonist Joel Pett, depicts a presentation at a climate summit. On a big screen there’s a list of all the benefits we would get from de-carbonizing the world. But a man in a white shirt in the audience is clearly irritated. He points at the screen saying: ”What if it’s a hoax and we create a better world for nothing?”

”We looked at this cartoon and asked ourselves: How can we translate this into day-to-day actions and solutions at a local level?” Chapman told the global audience during his on-line presentation.

The question resulted in the founding of the National Climate League (NCL), inspired by the country’s national winter sport.

Matthew Chapman in this short video clip explains whatthe National Climate League is about.

The second full season of the NCL is now through, with the standings downloadable. The idea is to inject excitement and friendly rivalry in making Canadian cities healthier, happier and more sustainable.

22 cities are participating, and in each of those cities the Climate Reality Project has a group of citizens asking the municipal councelors to submit key data points at the intersection of improved quality of life and reduced GHG emissions.

The standings reveal each city’s progress and ambition in becoming carbon-neutral and increasing their residents’ well-being.

”Not only do environmentalists care about these things we are asking for, whether it be air quality, road safety for cyclists or waste management, but the average citizen does as well. Some of our indicators also touch on affordability”, explained Chapman.

This image shows that Calgary is the city in Canada with the most bicycle lanes, 1290 kilometres.

Some surprising statistics emerged when the group started comparing data, such as the fact that Calgary, in the oil patch of Canada, has the longest bicycle network in the country. 1 290 kilometres in total, which is significantly more than the runner-up Montreal with its 846 kilometres.

”It’s really important that we are able to recognize things like that through this kind of initiative”, Chapman said.

In a normal year, with no global pandemic, hundreds of Canadians would take part in Climate Reality Leadership trainings led by Al Gore. Once they return to their hometown they are encouraged to get involved locally, to use the tools provided by the network and to start leading the way.

”It’s also really important that these groups reflect the generational, ethnic, cultural and income diversity of their communities, so that the proposals and solutions they put forward are reflective of the entire community’s desires”, said Mathew Chapman.

Matthew Chapman in his online keynote as recorded during Earth Day Week 2020.

One of his tasks as the ClimateHub.ca Manager is to propose campaigns to engage the Climate Reality Leaders and their networks. This can include anything from running Kitchen Table Climate Conversations and hosting public conferences to organizing bike repair workshops and overseeing participation in Earth Strike marches.

”Over a million Canadians took to the streets in Canada in September last year”, he said.

Written by Markus Lutteman

Click here to watch the full presentation and the following panel discussion with Matthew Chapman and Yanna Badet from Climate Reality Europe.

Read more

Matthew Chapman: climatereality.ca/who-we-are#gallery_8–2

If you want to act on the global climate crisis — go local.”, from Chapman’s Climate Reality colleague, Yanna Badet, and her keynote from Earth Day Week 2020 , a k a the We Don’t Have Time Climate Conference 2020.

Climate Reality Project Canada climatereality.ca

Community Climate Hub initiative: climatehub.ca

More about the the cartoon by Joel Pett: kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article44162106.html

Get all the keynotes and videos from Earth Day Week here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq9ORBFgm0o&list=PLFh8n9dEN1ZKX8sRigCm6jhrGTjE3MLsh

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