Climate Change

Cities Should Take the Lead on Climate Change

By Ryan McGreal
Published May 24, 2007

The Toronto Star reports that Sierra Legal has released a new study on climate change, finding - surprise, surprise - that cities are the most promising places to reduce greenhouse gases.

Canadians eager to push the government for action on the environment and climate change should stop wasting their time on federal and provincial politicians – who are delivering little more than "green rhetoric" – and focus on local leaders who have the power to get things done, says a new report obtained by The Canadian Press.

The power, yes. Raise the Hammer has been making the same argument for two years, since we first heard about an international movement to get cities to adopt the Kyoto Protocol.

As for the motivation...

Right now, Hamilton has an historic opportunity to take the lead on climate change through a comprehensive re-ordering of our priorities and ways of doing business.

Unfortunately, in another common theme at RTH of late, our City Council is so tepid, so fearful of change, so damned mediocre that they let opportunity after opportunity slip through their - and our - fingers.

Long after the leaders have blazed a path, Hamilton limps along and slowly, reluctantly sets up a watered-down version of the robust plans that mature, responsible cities have already established.

It's become a cliche, but one day we will have to look at our children and grandchildren and answer why we knew so much and had so many chances - but did so very little.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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