Our conversations - shared expertise, stories, anecdotes - help us discover what we can offer each other. In fact, our lives depend on inter-dependence - the nurse, the nurturer, the tech genius, the farmer, the field hand. What a shambles our world would be in, without the diverse skills, approaches and gifts we offer one another.
On that note, for this, the last post using the themes from the Provincial KTCC Backgrounder website, a ClimateFast initiative, I want to explore the interconnections between Experts and Accountability - Toxin Watch and Arts and Technology.
Climate: Experts and Accountability
The former bill of rights meant any two residents could ask for the environmental commissioner’s office to review a law, regulation or decision by the government. With the disbandment of that office, Ontarians were stripped of that accountability measure and appeals now go directly to the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks.
The auditor general has taken up some of the accountability tasks and in her latest reports, she finds failure after failure. Ford’s government is not protecting Ontario’s environment! She gives an F – 27 percent grade on climate progress.
Ontario's Chief Scientist was also fired and as of late 2021, the office of Chief Scientist had not been filled despite promises. See more at Experts and Accountability.
In direct contrast to these actions, in order to face the climate crisis head-on, we need non-partisan, expert climate advisors, independent evaluations and every single political leader to come together to work toward climate justice.
Biodiversity: Toxin Watch
Hazardous waste and toxic substances are another area where we depend on the experts and the expert use of science and technology to protect us! It is also unfortunately another area where we've seen relaxed rules, lack of oversight and accountability.
For example, the staff responsible for inspection and enforcement were cut back, spills are not being disclosed to the public as they occur, companies that cause spills are allowed to decide whether they've cleaned up well enough and companies that repeatedly break rules, continue to operate and even expand. Read more at Toxin Watch.
Clean water, fresh air, safe food - these require skilled and expert care. Let's insist on it together! Which leads us to another area that fosters the array of skills and gifts we all depend on - arts and technology.
Strong Communities: Arts and Technology
This area also faced many cuts and challenges over the past few years. An Ontario Arts Council-funded Indigenous Culture Fund - cut. 50% of Ontario Library Service funding - cut. Health policy and research funding - cut. Tech startup funds - cut. See more at Arts, Science and Technology.
We can not cope with the growing crises without a strong respect for and investment in science and research.
Some of the things we need:
-investment in renewables and other existing, proven and equity-building clean technology
-information and guidance that helps us care for and regenerate the natural world
-science that leads us toward health, sustainability and practical ways to address crises
The arts also help us move toward climate justice. Vision, insight, compassion, circularity, these all dwell in the words that connect us, the music that lifts us up, the visual mediums that help us see more clearly what we are and can be. Strong communities are inclusive, with a culture that promotes learning from one another.
Maintaining strong accountability, supporting and heeding experts, is critical in order for us to navigate through a future increasingly complicated by crises - including the COVID crisis and the ongoing climate emergency. The actions of our leaders must support us all. Let's come together to demand and orchestrate the better world we need to see - one that is safer, healthier and more vibrant! Lets turn this potential nightmare into a space for dreaming, doing and building up.
- Learn More:
- A win of sorts! New auditor general listens and does not pull any punches! See her reports here. AG’s Summary.
- Take Action:
- Hold your own MP accountable for climate justice! Hold the premier accountable. Here’s how to reach them: Ontario MPPs.
Blog #1 in the series - Funds for Good
Blog #2 - A Better Living
Blog #3 - How to Live
Blog #4 - An Everything Issue
Blog #5 - Environmental Rule
Music in the video reels by "aiti-maa"