Statement: Why We Burned Our Passports…

By Kelly Reinhard and Tooker Gomberg, Den Haag, Netherlands.

A statement from Kelly Reinhardt and Tooker Gomberg explaining why they burned their Canadian passports at the C0P 6, Nov. 25, 2000.

Yesterday we burned our Canadian passports in outrage at the behaviour of the Canadian Government at the World Conference on Climate Change in Den Haag, Netherlands. We are investigating renouncing our Canadian citizenship.

Canada emerged from the UN Climate Conference in Den Haag as the worst country on planet Earth, according to a world-wide coalition of environmental Non-Governmental Organizations, Fossil-of-the-day. We are ashamed of Canada’s position as presented by Member of Parliament Lloyd Axworthy, Privy Councillor. While planet Earth sinks deeper into a climate crisis, Canada pushes for bigger loopholes to avoid taking desperately-needed action. Canada has proven its allegiance to the petroleum industry to the detriment of the Canadian people and the world. Canada has held the planet back from achieving a global agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and for this we are deeply distressed.

Canada is already feeling extreme impacts of climate change, and should be at the head of the pack, not at the back. The Arctic is in the midst of a massive meltdown. Northern people are reporting climate unknown in their oral history. The Inuit have no word for sunburn, for thunderstorms, or for robins because they have never had these experiences before in their history. The Canadian government’s own scientists confirm that northern Canada has already warmed by 2-3 degrees and that in the next 50 years it will warm by 10-15 degrees. That rate of warming would mean the end of the Arctic, and the meltdown of the planet.

The efforts by the United Nations to build a framework for reaching the Kyoto Protocol have failed due to the non-cooperation and greed of the most polluting nations: Canada, the US, Japan, and Australia.

We believe the Government of Canada is behaving in a criminal fashion, and is complicit in massive crimes against humanity and the planet, by failing to act with due haste when faced with the threat of profound ecological damage which is already resulting in unprecedented human suffering and death.

We ask that the people of Canada, and the people of the Earth, immediately begin working towards a 60 – 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and demand action from their governments, based on the science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The phase-out of fossil fuels is imperative, along with the transition to sustainable energy. Our survival depends on it! Until the government of Canada moves in this direction, we cannot be co-conspirators in their lack of action that would destroy human lives and eco-systems.

This is a very serious matter; at no time in our history have we faced such imminent danger. Desperate times call for bold initiative.