Now the enemy is us

On Friday, there was a National Day of Honour and the opening of the Afghanistan casualty memorial in the beautiful setting of Waverley Park. This was a moving day for me since my oldest son is a major in the Royal 22nd Regiment (“Van Doos”) and served two tours in Afghanistan.

Our soldiers’ struggle was to fight al-Qaida and the Taliban, and to establish some freedom for especially the children and women of Afghanistan. But what about our kids here? Who is making the ultimate sacrifice, or even a little sacrifice, for our children’s future?

Who is fighting to stop the potential horrors caused by present and future environmental destabilization resulting from global warming? For example, very violent storms, devastating droughts and forest fires, and wars over water and other life’s essentials?

Some of us thanked and honored our soldiers on Friday, but most folks in town paid no attention to their sacrifice for us, just as they pay no attention to the destruction, the great potential for anarchy and harm to our children’s adult lives that will be caused by our dependence on a carbon-based economy.

The Canadian military will not save us from ourselves. We must become “soldiers” against our own war on our environment, the basis of all life on Earth. It is our turn to sacrifice; stop the tar sands development, fight for green energy and green-energy jobs and businesses, and a green economy.

Ironically, the enemy now is us. We, you and I, must fight a battle against our own greed, comfortable complacency, inertia, and the illogic of ignoring the reality, and immediacy, of global warming.

Ed Shields