I have a confession. I’ve been really low these past weeks.

I haven’t been able to shake a terrible cough. There’s just so much to feel sick about. The Kavanagh hearings in the US, the climate denier in the White House, Doug Ford and other provincial leaders rolling back on climate action… And then the mother of all bad news: the latest report from 91 of the world’s scientists on climate change.

This UN report is nothing short of terrifying. The scientific community have pushed the panic button, revealing what 1.5 degrees of global warming (beyond pre-industrial levels) would likely mean. Widespread heatwaves and fires across the northern hemisphere. The loss of most of the ocean’s coral reefs. Prolonged droughts and famines. Increased conflict. Literally millions of people losing their livelihoods, their future, their lives.

And all this climate chaos will really unfold between 2030-2050. That’s just around the corner. This tragic, stoppable genocide will likely unfold in our lifetime. The heartbreak and despair of all this presses hard on my chest. Perhaps yours too.

So what’s the answer to this wicked problem? There is no silver bullet. Instead we need multiple solutions… A shift to a new economy and a new way of living not based on endless consumption. Policies to move to renewables, a price on pollution, support to workers in transition, corporate leaders to drive the shift to a circular economy, technical innovations, letting women and Indigenous people lead, new belief systems, and transformed relationships with each other and nature.

As a Greenpeace supporter, I know you’re not sleepwalking into climate chaos. We’re all doing our part. Individually we’re driving less, flying less, eating less meat, divesting from fossil fuels and pipelines and getting out to marches, sending letters and petitions and all the other ways to get our leaders and society to wake up. But it can’t just be up to us individually – we need to tackle the root causes, together.

As Greenpeace, we will intensify our efforts: to make the polluters pay for pollution, to phase out the tar sands as quickly as possible, to end coal in China and India, to protect the carbon rich Boreal forest, to save the Arctic from oil exploration and to build the people power needed to truly bring about systems change.

One thing is clear.  We are all in this together. We are all part of a living universe. Not only are we interdependent as human societies, the fate of mother earth is our fate.

Let’s hang in there together.

Joanna Kerr

Executive Director, Greenpeace Canada

P.S. Of course there are things that we can all do right this minute. Here are just three: