“If we don’t protect nature, we can’t protect humans,” is the provocative thought that David Miller, Canadian World Wildlife President and CEO, used to kick off the terrific February 18th talk that he gave to the Toronto chapter of JUMP.
Recapping highlights from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris last November, the former Toronto Mayor displayed the same confidence and charisma that got him elected as he spoke engagingly about climate change, the effects it will have on our environment and economy and how we can all make subtle changes in our everyday lives to help reduce harmful emissions.
Mayor Miller emphasized that protecting the environment does not necessarily hurt the economy. If we support environmental initiatives that are underway, such as harnessing the power of the tides in the Bay of Fundy, Canada can become a leader in new technologies and garner investment from other countries, creating jobs for locals in the process.
Mr. Miller’s bench strength in municipal politics and experience as head of a leading environmental protection agency was in evidence. He shared insights on how reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions in cities will best be tackled by focussing on the 75% generated through transportation, electricity and the heating and cooling of office buildings. He pointed to three cities that have successfully implemented plans to become more environmentally friendly: Seoul in South Korea, Shenzhen in China and Melbourne in Australia.
When asked what we can do to help the cause, Miller recommended walking, biking or taking public transportation instead of cars whenever possible and taking the train instead of short-haul flights. He also advocated ensuring that homes and offices are properly insulated, thereby using less heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer.
In what was surely many observers’ first time encountering a public figure of such stature in such an intimate setting, David Miller did not disappoint. He was cordial and polite, exhibiting great wit and humour throughout the presentation by sharing such anecdotes as his appreciation for the‘fantastic coffee’ served at the Paris conference. This President and CEO definitely made it a pleasure to be a part of the group and we want to thank him for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak us and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.