Congratulations to our new Climate Champion for the month of March. Many people in our community will recognize John Manuel. John is a long time member of the Golden community, currently retired and sitting as a councillor for the Town of Golden.
John was nominated and chosen as March’s climate champion because he incorporates climate action in his day to day life and is a strong advocate on Golden’s town council.
Calvin Beauchesne of Wildsight Golden’s Climate Task Force asked John a few questions on what he does that makes him a Climate Champion.
Calvin: What things do you do in your everyday life to reduce your impact on the environment?
John: I keep my heat turned down including lower in my bedrooms which saves energy and money. I have a car but usually walk. After a while I don’t even think about driving unless it is a longer distance or a heavy parcel is involved. I try not to buy things I don’t really need.
Calvin: Do you think other people could do these things more to reduce their own environmental impact?
John: I think others could do these things but there are different things people can do also that may work better for them like growing more of their own food. Much of our food is transported thousands of kilometres to us.
Calvin: What motivated you to get involved in politics and do you think it has been an effective way to advocate for environmental issues? .
John: I ran for council as I was retired and thought I had the time and interest to make a positive contribution to my town. I think it is one avenue to work for a better environment and I think the town has taken many measures in response to Climate Change. Town council is one place to work for a better future but it is not the only place. Wildsight Golden makes contributions as does Protect Our Winters, the Local Food Matters group and St. Andrew’s Bargain Basement. I am sure there are many people and groups helping meet the challenges of Climate Change in their own diverse ways and we have a better community because of all of them.
Calvin: Would you encourage others who are passionate about environmental issues to do the same?
John: We need to transition to renewable energy as our current petroleum and oil dependence have played a large role in getting us where we are. The renewable energy plan involves working with other regional communities who have experience and assistance that we can benefit from as we start on this path. I voted for the declaration of a Climate Emergency as I think there is value to a clear statement of what we consider vitally important. I am retired but I think everything we do now may make a large difference for my younger relatives and friends.
Calvin: You recently voted in favour of the renewable energy plan and climate emergency declaration. Why do you think it’s important that Golden both transition to renewable energy and declare a climate emergency
John: There are many things I would like the town to do in the future but I don’t know yet what they will be. We are learning as we go, the town, as well as everyone else. An example is that we now take a look at the climate impact of our actions as part of our decision making process. A year ago we weren’t doing that and I think we are one of the first local governments to take this step. We need to learn from each other.
Wildsight Golden chooses a new climate champion every month. Email Wildsight Golden to nominate April’s Climate Champion by March 15th, 2022.