Who knew change was possible?

People often tell me that politics is useless, that change can't and won't happen. Often my friends who say this aren't thinking back in history, to changes that have happened for the better, and the social movements that helped get them there.

I just tweeted that wind power at this moment is producing over twice the amount of electricity in Ontario than coal (data can be found at: http://www.ieso.ca). This is a significant accomplishment which happened because of advocacy that pushed change by the PC and Liberal governments.

Today the Ontario government announced that the coal plant in Thunder Bay would be switched to use cleaner burning gas.

The drastic drop in coal use and now steady increases in renewable energy happened because of organizations being formed around and campaigning on the removal of coal generation and the building of green energy. Groups like the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Green Energy Act Alliance were champions, along with others like Greenpeace and WWF. Groups including medical and nursing associations helped with data and increasing voices. These groups have swayed public opinion and massive letter writing helped move the agenda forward. Government champions were useful too, but would have been impotent without active support from the public.

There's much more to do to emphasize conservation and demand-side planning, building a smart grid, and being more aggressive with community power. If you want to make a difference on energy and climate, for a green and nuclear-free future, there is hope and you can make change - beginning with small conversations and hard work.

from: "Sustainability is Step One" http://darcyhiggins.blogspot.com

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