Beth stormed from the all-candidates meeting. “It’s so frustrating,” she said as Tony struggled to catch up. “Only two parties have any hope of forming a government. One will win the election and be in power for five to ten years, then the other one will replace them. It’s been like that since I started paying attention to politics.”

“It’s our reality,” Tony replied. “What’s your point?”

“They’re like Tweddledum and Tweedledee. They sound different at meetings, but their actions are indistinguishable. How can one choose between them? And the country’s so out of touch with reality that we’ve become climate change pariahs. We’ve made no progress lowering our emissions since 2005—730 megatons per year then and 729 in 2020. One measly megaton in fifteen years.” She took another breath but didn’t break stride. “We have ten years to reduce it by another 218 megatons. No way we’re making it, but both leaders have the gall to stand up and glibly say, ‘trust us, we’ll get there’.”

Tony grabbed her hand and dragged her to a bench in a tiny urban park. “Campaigns on social media are having an effect. Look at our website. ClimateChange&U has thousands of followers, and they’ve documented substantial reductions in their carbon emissions. Many businesses are following our lead and making similar progress.”

“Yeah, fine. The government steals credit for those efforts, but they’re a drop in the bucket. We need drastic moves like slashing the subsidies for oil companies to expand tar sands production.”

Tony pulled out his phone and jotted a few notes. “You’ve given me an idea. We can make your points on our website, and I can estimate the carbon emission savings our followers have made. We can show individuals are doing their bit and ask why governments aren’t doing more.”

Beth shook her head. “We’ve been there, done that. The only solution is a new party that focuses on this one issue, because it’s the defining issue of our times.”

“That’s a drastic choice. I’d rather take on Tweedledee and Tweedledum.”

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1 year ago

A story that hits home, Alan. I assume you are talking about Canadian government, but you could very easily be talking about the Democrats and Republicans of the United States. They both seem equally unable to make real changes. Do you honestly think it’s possible to have one party in either of our countries? Is it really advisable? It’s such a conundrum. Theoretically we need the checks and balances of a two-party… Read more »

Paul Lewthwaite
Paul Lewthwaite(@paul-lewthwaite)
1 year ago

Yes, ‘good old’ politics gets in the way of progress or a move in the right direction, but I’m with Tony – try and reshape what you’ve got rather than create another party from scratch.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
1 year ago

Thank you for your story, Alan, and for giving us a glimpse into the Canadian political world. I agree with Fuji about our two parties in the US – they may sound different in rhetoric, but they seem the same in inefficiency. I would wish for a Planetary Climate Tribunal, which somehow has been given the ability to make massive changes quickly. Something along the lines of the United Nations, maybe with… Read more »

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Same here in our area, climate change is not valued much. Sometimes, I think that those politicians prefer and pray that there will be a calamity that will come due to climate change so that they have a reason to withdraw the money from the treasury called the calamity fund so that they have something to steal and put into their pockets. This is a very sad truth, Alan. I agree with… Read more »

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
1 year ago

This is a great story, Alan. How I wish climate change was one of the agendas of the government in my country. It’s not mentioned even as a passing word. It’s so appalling. Probably because they have more sensitive and bigger issues to attend to. SOS.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

Your story shows the problem in a nutshell, Alan. The political parties seem to be too careful to take the measures that are needed, maybe because they are afraid to lose voters with unpopular decisions. Maybe, as you are hinting, it will be up to businesses and individuals to take initiatives without waiting for the politicians. A good and important input. Is this taken from your book?

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

Alan, this is a very relatable story. I like the natural flow of the conversation. You could easily distinguish between the viewpoints of your characters. Well done.

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