Sunday, February 11, 2007

Green Enlightenment?

Lynn McDonald, University Professor Emerita at the University of Guelph calls for a "Green Enlightenment on the Worldchanging Canada blog. She writes,

...change of the scope needed will require a major "paradigm shift," for which we will have to re-examine our values, beliefs and expectations for lifestyle. And so far, governments have failed to give leadership. Several provincial and more municipal governments have at least acknowledged the need for concerted action on climate change, short of coming up with concrete plans, which cannot go far enough without federal involvement.

All this will require careful work. Citizens can help start the process by setting out a framework for a climate change plan. The fine tuning can only be done in concert with government departments and technical experts, but citizens can and should lead. Just as the initiative for change in the 18th century Enlightenment came from outside government, so also might this.

Town hall meetings and "think-ins" at universities, colleges and community meetings could help to spark ideas and promote citizen involvement. Professional associations, faith communities, First Nations, unions, all kinds of voluntary organizations, should be asked to draw on their particular experience and expertise. We have a long way to go to, but there is now a growing consensus that fundamental change is needed.
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