Australia Taking Action on Climate Change

tree with climate knowledge

Australia (like Canada) has a well-deserved reputation of being a laggard on climate issues and being one of the worst polluters on the planet. The recent Australian election results will likely change that. Australians have been suffering the effects of climate change in the form of increased flooding and devastating fires.

The new coalition government has ambitions to reduce the damage the country does to the planet while ensuring that the people in the country reap the benefits of a green economy. Let’s hope Australia‘s efforts push other commonwealth countries to increase their environmental efforts.

“It’s a very clear illustration of the concern that Australians have and their desire for climate action,” says Amanda McKenzie, CEO of the Climate Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to climate change communication. The hope is that the new Labor government will quickly improve Australia’s poor track record on carbon emissions.

“There is no more important time to be talking about energy and climate change in Australia than right now, and what we’re inheriting is a decade-long failure to tackle these issues of climate, energy, and security,” says Madeline Taylor, deputy director of the Centre for Energy and Natural Resources Innovation and Transformation at Macquarie University in Sydney.

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This Electric Truck Sees You

Let’s be honest, trucks cause a lot of harm but current infrastructure means we rely on them to deliver both long and short distances. Many companies are looking to replace the reliance on trucks with better trains and more efficient long haul journeys. When trucks get into cities a new challenge arrives which electric trucks are better suited for.

Old school trucks powered by dead dino juice need large engine compartments which block the driver’s view of humanity. New electric models will make our roads safer by literally letting the diver see more.

Electric trucks are a good thing all on their own. But what makes this company’s offerings interesting are that they are specifically focused on safety in urban environments. As Ars Technica explains: “The truck features a central driving position, with a minimum of blind spots, that places the driver at an appropriate height to spot vulnerable road users like cyclists.” Safety isn’t an incidental consideration, either. Volta is foregrounding safety—for people outside the vehicles—in its official marketing, as seen on the company’s Twitter feed.

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Ontario: Go Vote!

vote sign

It’s Election Day in Ontario, so if you’re in the province go practice some democratic action. Basically every party is trying to make the province better except for the one in power, so go vote for anybody else. Last election the planet-destroying and inequality increasing Conservatives won with a minority of voters, so just getting out to vote can make a difference. The good news is that more people asked for mail in ballots than before, which could mean a more engaged citizenary.

Go vote!

More than one million people – about 9.92 per cent of eligible voters – cast a ballot in advance polls, according to Elections Ontario. The agency said it has sent voting kits to 126,135 eligible residents, a sharp increase from 2018, when only 15,202 ballots were doled out that way. Voting kits must be received by 6 p.m. on election day and can be mailed or dropped off at a returning office.

How do I vote?

Ontario residents can vote in person on election day (today, Thursday, June 2) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET at their assigned polling station, based on the location of their current residential address.

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Check out Elections Ontario.

BC Decriminalizes Hard Drugs

beer

British Columbia has learned that punishing drug users doesn’t stop drug use or the negative impact drugs have on our society. The province decided to shift from a punishment approach to drug control to a health focussed approach, as in they will help people get off of drugs instead of incarcerating them. The first step in that process is to decriminalize the drugs in question, note this is not legalization (like alcohol and marijuana).

The goal of decriminalization is to reduce the harms of arrest and drug seizure on individual users, officials said, and to reduce the stigma around substance use that prevents people from seeking health care or accessing adequate housing and employment.

“In the short term, decriminalization will stop seizures and arrests and connect people with services and supports,” said Malcolmson, noting that reducing stigma will be a long-term goal.

Fear of arrest and of losing employment, housing or custody of children often prevents people who use drugs from accessing harm reduction and health supports, or from telling family and friends about their substance use.

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Canada Implements Handgun Ban

Mass shootings in the USA have tripled in the last few decades with mass shootings becoming an almost daily occurrence. Canadians are no strangers to mass shoutings either, with too many happening within the country. Obviously, that’s not good. The Canadian government has responded to this dangerous increase in firearm usage by banning certain guns, limiting others, eliminating toy guns that look like real ones, and to try and reduce the inflow of guns smuggled into the country from the States.

It’s good to see Canada acting to enforce existing laws while increasing limits on who can legally use a gun. In this case it’s a clear example of policy before police.

Canada’s government introduced legislation Monday to implement a “national freeze” on the sale and purchase of handguns as part of a gun control package that would also limit magazine capacities and ban some toys that look like guns.

Authorities do not expect a run on handguns in anticipation of the freeze, in part because they are so heavily regulated already, an official said in a briefing.

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