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Her 3-Year-Old Son Convinced Her to Take Action Against Climate Change: Can He Convince You?

Her 3-Year-Old Son Convinced Her to Take Action Against Climate Change: Can He Convince You?

This is a guest post by Emma Pullman, freelance writer and researcher with Leadnow.ca

Amy Snider doesn’t fit the profile of your typical activist.

She’s a stepmother of two, mother of one and an ESL instructor at the University of Regina. Her husband is a professor in English Literature. She grew up in Vancouver and moved to Regina in the 1990s to go to school. She pursued a Master’s degree in English and traveled the world before settling back down in Regina. What brought her back? Love.

When not working full time, Snider volunteers at a community-supported agriculture project and spends time with her family.

Snider is hosting a rally outside of her MP Andrew Scheer’s office in Regina on November 16 as a part of Defend Our Climate, Defend Our Communities. The national event will bring thousands of Canadians from coast to coast together to oppose pipelines, reckless oil sands expansion and runaway climate change.

Snider says she’s never really done anything like this in her life. But she has read about the science of climate change and is concerned. “I feel really pessimistic about where things are heading with the environment. It disturbs me that more people don’t take it more seriously.”

Snider was concerned enough about the state of the planet that she and her husband wondered if they should even bring kids into the world. “We really didn’t feel like it was a responsible choice.”

But she says her son, Jakob, who is now three, is the main reason she is organizing the rally on November 16. “We need to hold out at least a bit of hope for the future,” says Snider, “and [hope] is something I guess I must have or else I wouldn’t have decided to have a child or to host an event like this.”

To parents out there Snider wonders, “If you have children, how can you live in such denial of the environmental problems in our world? “Maybe it’s a survival mechanism,” she reasons. “But to do nothing, to not even consider it, baffles me.”

“When I think about how we teach children to share and think of others, I can’t help but think of how hypocritical we are being as adults who so often put their needs and desires before others. If we are going to live together on this planet, we need to work together to preserve it.”

Of this government’s environmental record she says, “It’s short-sighted thinking. The typical business mentality is to make as much profit, develop as much as possible at any cost. They seem to only think about profit and development today or for the next election. It doesn’t seem to matter to them how much the cost of dealing with climate change will be in twenty years — it won’t be their problem.”

Snider is hoping that Conservative MP Andrew Scheer (Regina-Qu’Appelle) takes notice. “In my wildest dreams he’ll say, ‘there are people in my riding who care about the environment’ and will do something about it.”

She also hopes this event will draw attention to the issue to a broad cross-section of people. “If doing this can … get one or two more new people on board, I’ll consider it a day well spent,” said Snider.

On the topic of a changing climate, Snider is concerned that we’re running out of time. “We have to stop living in denial. The science is there. Its not disputable anymore. If you don’t know what the situation is, please find out. It’s real, it’s happening and it’s going to start affecting us more and more.”

But Snider is still cautiously optimistic. “I have a tiny hope that it’s not too late and that we can slow down the effects of climate change.”

She says that once people realize how easy it is to make changes in their lives, they can feel really good about them. “No one can do everything but if more people cared and did something, at least it would be a start. Once you start making changes you realize it’s not a huge sacrifice.”

Snider wants her son to have similar opportunities to the ones she had. She wants him to be able to go hiking in the mountains if he wants, to swim in the ocean, to have a family and a job. She doesn’t want him to face the dire consequences that runaway climate change would have on his community and the world.

“I want to be able to sleep at night knowing I’ve at least done something so I can tell my son Jakob that [his] father and I were aware of what was going on and we did as much as we could to make things better.”

Leadnow.ca is an independent community that brings Canadians together to hold government accountable, deepen our democracy and take action for the common good.

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Photo Credit: Leadnow.ca

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86 comments

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7:44AM PST on Nov 25, 2013

It is hard sometimes to remember that as parents we are responsible for the world we leave for our children. Kudos to Amy for standing up for that future - we should all take inspiration from her work.

12:28PM PST on Nov 15, 2013

Inspiring.

4:43PM PST on Nov 14, 2013

Thank you.

1:28PM PST on Nov 12, 2013

Being environmentally friendly is a great boost to self esteem in a totally symbiotic way :-) Millions of people all over the world are doing amazing things to try to arrest and heal the damage humankind has wrought (most of it unknowingly) on the Earth and it's flora and fauna. But without major shifts in priority from the top down from profit driven to the source of all (wealth included) in our man-made world, and this being reflected in policies and legislation, all our collective efforts will not halt the climate change juggernaut from thundering over the tipping point and crashing into a mass extinction event.
In the UK we have a Minister for the Environment who voted against the EU ban on neonicotinoid pesticides which have grave implications for the bee populations. Which doesn't bode any confidence that the present government has any intention of putting anything above short term profits for the few.

3:47AM PST on Nov 12, 2013

It will take BOTH carbon capture and storage AND replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy. It will be necessary to buy coal as mineral rights since coal seems to be selling for about $85/metric ton of carbon content and it will cost $25/ton of CO2 captured=$91.67/ton of carbon content, and there is no way any solution to global warming can be politically feasible unless fossil fuel firms get the money they are so convinced they are entitled to. Same for algal biodiesel replacing tar sands diesel and we will need to buy tar sands as mineral rights. Same for natural gas left in fracked wells when it is replaced by methane dredged from where it is leaking from unstable seabed deposits near mouths of rivers. It will cost about $1.35 to capture CO2 from burning gas per MMBtu now selling for about $3.60/MMBtu. Paying that $1.35 will increase price of gas by 37.5%, so it have to be phased in over several years.

1:26AM PST on Nov 12, 2013

thanks for sharing

12:50AM PST on Nov 12, 2013

thanks for sharing

3:30PM PST on Nov 11, 2013

Thanks

11:14AM PST on Nov 11, 2013

ty

9:00AM PST on Nov 11, 2013

Thanks for sharing!

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