Mary Gorman – screenwriter, founding member of Save our Seas and Shores and grand prize winner of the Green Heroes Award was invited to present at the Citizens Climate Lobby first national conference. This recognition by a national NGO is an important breakthrough for our work in protecting the Gulf. Kudos to Mary Gorman!
New Glasgow News Sueann Musick
November 14, 2013
MERIGOMISH, NS – Mary Gorman will be taking her concerns over climate change and its effect on the ocean to a larger stage this weekend.
As founding member of the Save Our Seas and Shores coalition, Gorman will be a guest panelist at the Citizens Climate Lobbyists first national conference on Sunday in Gatineau, Que.
CCL is a growing organization of local volunteers in the United States and Canada in favour of a revenue-neutral carbon tax to help decrease the high amount of carbon emissions.
“The oceans are vast carbon sinks,” said Gorman. “In the 200 years since the industrial revolution began, our oceans have absorbed about 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released into our atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide dissolves in the surface water and forms carbonic acid, lowering the pH of ocean waters. The more CO2 the oceans absorb, the more acidic they become. There are serious concerns about the ability of marine ecosystems to adapt to acidification. Organisms that form calcium carbonate skeletons and shells will be greatly limited in their ability to form these outer protective shells. Commercial species such as lobster and shellfish are vulnerable to this impact.”
Gorman said the economy cannot continue to exist if government leaders ignore climate change. For example, she added, the Calgary floods and the recent typhoon in the Philippines are perfect examples of enormous costs if we don’t acknowledge that the climate is changing.
“What are natural disasters costing us?” she asked. “It is dumb economics to ignore our natural world. It is a giant credit card that is maxed out,” she said. “We can’t borrow anymore and we aren’t even making minimum payments.”
She said the conference is a good chance for her to inform people on a national level about the fragility of the ocean as well as share her views on the opposition to drilling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition says the Gulf of St. Lawrence’s multi-billion dollar renewable fishery and tourism industries deserve protection. The group wants the government to place a moratorium on oil and gas exploration so that these industries are not in jeopardy like those hurt in the Gulf of Mexico this past summer.
Other guest panelists at the conference include Dr. Shi-ling Hsu, author of The Case for a Carbon Tax, Sam Daley-Harris, founder of the anti-poverty organizations Results and current CEO for the Centre for Citizen Empowerment and Transformation as well as Celine Bak, president of Analytica Advisors and co-lead of The Canadian Clean Energy Coalition.
Cathy Orlando, national manager for Canada’s Citizens Climate Lobby, said Gorman was invited to be a guest speaker at the national conference because she supports a carbon tax and it will allow her to speak about her concerns in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
She said a carbon tax is levied on the carbon content of fuels such as coal, gas or oil and the extracted revenue is collected by the government and returned to Canadian citizens in the form of rebate cheque.
Experts believe the extra tax will force users of these fuels to cut down on their consumption in order to save money, alternatively looking at more natural sources of energy.
She said members at the conference and those of the CCL will be lobbying members of parliament to instate a carbon tax in Canada.
“Political will is keeping this from happening,” said Orlando. “There is a lot of fear in what a carbon tax will entail, but we know that we can have a low carbon economy and everyone can come out ahead.”