Putting a price on pollution is what good ancestors do

“[W]e pay for our pollution because we love our kids, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. We have a duty to pay for our pollution for them… because there’s absolutely no escaping that we put our kid’s health, safety, air, drinking water, and food at risk when we pollute.”

That’s the message Gen Squeeze Founder Paul Kershaw shared on Parliament Hill this week:

We’re reminding Canadians why most of us supported paying for our pollution in the first place. The answer is straightforward, and it doesn’t involve complicated rebate calculations. We pay for our pollution because our kids are counting on us to leave them a healthy planet — and we betray them if we don’t.

Paul echoed familiar parental wisdom:  “when you make a mess, you should help clean it up.” When Canadians let themselves off the hook for cleaning up their own pollution messes, they’re betraying that family value.

Paying for our pollution isn’t like choosing between the no name or the premium brand — it’s not a consumer preference. It’s more like handing over your maxed-out credit card bill to your grandkids, with the full knowledge that climate change charges devastatingly high interest on the overdue debt.

Paul reminds us that “we don’t actually have a choice to pay for our pollution, or not. We have a choice to pay less now — and get a rebate — or burden our kids to pay more later… No one’s going to put on our tombstones ‘I avoided paying for my pollution’. But we just might add ‘I did all I could to be a good ancestor’.”

Are you worried that our changing climate is putting your legacy as a good ancestor at risk? 

Tell us what you’d want to say to your great-great-grandchildren in 2100 as they inherit the world we’re shaping now. Will they look back on today’s adults with gratitude and appreciation? Or with disappointment and anger?

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