Climate: big speakers and small actions

Monday evening I attended, as every month, the meeting of the municipal council of my municipality, Deschambault-Grondines. The meeting went as usual, with its litany of decisions taken in advance and “unanimously”.
At the very end, one of the councilors read to us in its entirety the “Universal Citizens’ Declaration of Climate Emergency (DUC)” and proposed that our municipality join, as do other cities like Montreal and Sherbrooke. What was done. Unanimously. Some citizens said they were proud of this decision, which was applauded. A first to my knowledge.

We were informed that concrete actions would be announced shortly. For example: the municipality could stop selling bottled water during events. A citizen also suggested the organization of volunteer groups to collect waste along the river.

Now let me tell you a little story.

In the heart of a bucolic village, on the edge of the majestic St. Lawrence, is a jewel of local, organic and sustainable commerce, with its jovial public market, its picturesque general store, its cozy bakery, its tempting chocolate factory and its cafĂ©. – friendly burns. A real pride for elected officials, a tourist attraction, hallelujah.

Meanwhile, a little further up the land, far from the blue waves and the mythical Chemin du Roy, the other face of Deschambault-Grondines: welcome to Motocross Deschambault. An equally legendary place where championships are held throughout North America and beyond, where you can also practice, take classes and even send your children to camps to initiate them, from the age five years, to this beautiful outdoor activity. A great place. Open 7 days out of 7.

A lot of noise, a lot of gasoline spilling happily in the air, in the soil and ultimately in the water of Deschambault-Grondines, into our wonderful St. Lawrence River.

But it does not matter. When pickup truck convoys are towed along with trailers loaded with mud-covered gear, a merry band of volunteers with large plastic bags and eco-friendly and equitable water bottles will pick up the scraps we’ve left behind. to fall so as not to dirty our tanks.

Two faces, two realities, two solitudes. The beautiful smiling face that is presented to tourists, Quebecers, French and even Chinese, and the grimacing face of the big ordinary fun , quivering and smoking.

Since it seems unthinkable, even unimaginable, even at the time of the climate emergency, to simply eliminate motorized sports, could we not at least limit its use, regulate its use? As for Motocross Deschambault, the municipality could very well declare that, for example, Sunday is closed. Totally closed. Out of respect for birds and frogs (and maybe for humans too). Farmers were not allowed to spread manure during a period of high tourist traffic.

Take a stand for true demand of determination. Bravery. Make decisions that will displease. For just causes. Are we able to do the right thing? Our children are watching us. And they will follow.

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