Residents of two suburbs in Victoria woke up Sunday to find someone had put notes on their cars shaming them for contributing to climate change.
The notes, left on cars throughout the communities of Oak Bay and Fairfield-Gonzales, put the blame on working-class Victorians for damaging the environment — by driving.
“Yes, this is a climate crisis. Yes, you are the problem,” the flyer reads.
“While thousands of us are walking or riding bikes to work everyday in an effort to minimize our carbon footprint, you have clearly missed the memo or don’t care.”
Residents of the community were not impressed by the flyer: one mother took to social media to share her disappointment.
“This sort of shame-based propaganda has never ever converted a person to its cause, as it immediately puts the recipient on the defensive. Anyone else in Oak Bay wake up to this handbill on their car? Incredibly ignorant and condescending,” Chantal Branson wrote on Facebook.
Branson told local media about her experience waking up to the offensive flyers.
“My neighbour texted me to ask me if I had a note left on my windshield – her young son found, and read the one left on their car,” she said.
Branson took particular offence to a latter passage that suggests that she hates her children for driving a gas-powered vehicle.
“For me, as a single parent, I don’t have the means to upgrade our family vehicle to an electric or hybrid, especially not one that can transport the number of people we do, as we often carpool and transport children on field trips and to sporting events,” she said.
Compared to the rest of the world, Canada’s carbon emissions are minuscule. China produces 19 times more carbon dioxide than Canada, while the United States produces ten times more.
Despite this, Canada is one of the few countries which puts a carbon tax on ordinary people who produce emissions through activities like driving cars.
British Columbia, which has had a carbon tax for ten years, has barely made an impact on its carbon emissions.
Similar acts of climate-shaming have sprung up around the world since environmental activist Greta Thunberg began shaming people for using airplanes in her native Sweden.
The person or persons who spread the flyers have not been identified.