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GREENINGS: It’s time for climate truth not trinkets (Dec. 2022)

December 13th, 2022 · No Comments

Support organizations that actually care about our children’s future

Usually around Christmas I like to write about ways to lower our personal environmental footprints during the holidays, but none of that matters in the face of the complete political failure we are facing. This year, rather than buying gifts for kids or grandkids, they need you to get out there and fight for them. 

We know that climate change is harming children’s mental health, but what’s harming them isn’t the fact that we had yet another record-breaking warm autumn, it’s that the adults in their lives go about their days like nothing is happening. Kids are rightfully scared about what the future holds for them. They don’t need another set of Lego or the latest gaming console; they need the adults in their lives to show them that their future matters. 

Never underestimate the intelligence of children, especially teenagers. They understand that Pakistan is flooded and crops can’t get in the ground. They know what drought in California means for the future of agriculture there. They know that forest fires are destroying crucial carbon sinks. 

What’s most important though, is that they know that COP27 was yet another fossil fuel-dominated intentional failure. They know that John Tory won’t do anything to reduce fossil fuel car emissions. They know that Doug Ford is razing the Greenbelt. They hear the news and the adults around them, and they seek information themselves. They know that we, the adults, are doing nothing. They know we handed Ford a majority to take away food-growing capacity—their best chance at surviving the coming food shortages. They know we, the adults who are supposed to protect them, have failed them. 

This Christmas, show the kids, especially the ones old enough to understand, that you care about them. No more pointless toys that have a three-month life span. If you can’t get out there and protest on their behalf, donate in their names to organizations that are fighting to protect the Greenbelt and other worthwhile environmental causes. 

Environmental Defence ( is doing some great work to protect the Greenbelt in the face of destruction. This must be fought tooth and nail. Ford using immigrants as an excuse to raze farmland is on par with his racist track record, but we all know it’s just another gimmick. This daughter of an immigrant is here to call out this racism. Instead of razing farmland, he could prioritize density in existing transit corridors, or, get this, reverse the Harris-era cuts that downloaded community housing to cities in the first place. 

Thanks to the Star and the Narwhal, we now know that developers who moonlight as party donors bought “undevelopable land” shortly after Ford’s win and now suddenly stand to profit. This is textbook corrupt behaviour. We are living it, and our children will pay the price for it. The media needs to be brave and use the word corruption—dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power. This man was on record saying that he would not allow development of the Greenbelt. His party accepted money from developers, and without any public consultation, he did a 180 and opened up ecologically sensitive wetlands for future flooded basements. 

Another great place to donate this Christmas is a charity called Nature Conservancy ( This organization buys and protects large swathes of land, usually ecologically sensitive ones, and manages them. Governments have proven themselves untrustworthy. Organizations like Nature Conservancy can at least be a buffer against the kind of developer land grab we have in the Greenbelt. They depend on donations to buy and maintain land that will be essential for us to have any hope of mitigating the worst of the climate crisis. 

This Christmas, look the young people in your life in the eyes and tell them exactly why you aren’t buying them the latest gadget that will be next year’s e-waste. Tell them why you will do everything within your means to fight for them to enjoy even a taste of the luxuries we currently have as we age, like adequate food supplies. Tell them that your immediate desires—like flying off to Cancun for a week—are secondary compared to their future of floods and forest fires. Tell them you love them. Tell them you care, and show them by your actions. 

Terri Chu is an engineer committed to practical environmentalism. This column is dedicated to helping the community reduce energy and distinguish environmental truths from myths.


Tags: Annex · Life · Opinion