"We've done a lot to create the problem [of climate change] and done nothing to solve it," says Emily Rideout, one of the participants in Fossil Fools Day actions in Halifax.
Climate justice activists across North America are taking action today saying, "Climate change is no laughing matter, but our leaders are a joke!"
"Harper doesn't grasp the science [of climate change] let alone the moral issues," says Rideout. "I'd like to see Canada adopt a science-based target, pull out of the tar sands - or at least put a moratorium on development. Instead, we're cutting eco-energy programs and funding."
The federal government suspended the popular ecoEnergy retrofit program yesterday, which helped homeowners make their houses more energy efficient.
David Bush is with the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, the organizers of Fossil Fools Day in Halifax. As part of today's actions, they'll be holding simultaneous pledge drives at campuses across the city, encouraging students to sign the G20 Youth Climate Pledge, and promise to take action to hold the Canadian government responsible for its failure to take action on climate change.
"The G8 and G20 are the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions, now and historically," says Bush. "The mode of western development is unsustainable and it's being pushed down everyone else's throats."
Climate change is "a justice issue" according to Linda Scherzinger, a member of the Nova Scotia Coalition for Climate Action and the Interfaith Coalition for Climate Justice. "The people who are suffering the most and will be suffering the most in the future are people who have not been part of the cause," she says.
Rideout agrees. She points to how the Canadian government failed to consult with First Nations downstream from the tar sands, who are being disproportionately impacted by the pollution.
"Canada has a moral obligation to act," says Rideout, who his not optimistic about the current government making change. "I'm optimistic about change happening from the bottom up," she says.