A Layman’s Understanding of the Problem
Possibly our Prime Minister’s number one challenge and numero uno on his political agenda is Climate Change, and so it should be. Climate change is the looming disaster enveloping the world. There is no doubt in the science world (Scientific Consensus on Global Warming) that the abundant industrial and domestic use of fossil fuels, coal, oil, and gas, has been and still is the main contributor to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere and acidification of the oceans. Over the last 250 years, basically since the beginning of the industrial revolution, mankind has been incidentally contributing to this global warming. Will it be the end of the world? No. Just the end of the world as we presently know it. Can we stop the advance of global warming? No, but it can be slowed if we as a people limit our use of fossil fuels and slow down the emission of GHGs (Green House Gasses).
If the peoples of the world, the nations of the world, do not take mitigating action to slow climate change to a minimum, basically cutting our release of GHG emissions overall by more than half, Climate Change will have devastating results. (Climate Change Threats and Impacts)
- Melting ice caps resulting in rising sea levels more so in tropical climes but effecting coastlines in North and South America, Europe, Australia. Many low level areas and islands will cease to exist and others under severe threat to flooding costing our nations multi trillions of dollars.
- Warmer temperatures resulting in increased epidemic diseases many transmuted from tropical diseases costing our health systems multi trillions of dollars.
- Warmer temperatures resulting in changing farmlands forcing farmers to adapt agricultural practices using far less water and undoubtedly far less meat production world wide.
- Melting glaciers leading to many rivers in North and South America and Europe to flow at minimum levels along with the connected lakes. Fraser, Skeena, Columbia, Athabaska, North Saskatchewan, Bow, Red River, Yukon, Mississippi, Colorado, to name a few. (Climate Change and Its Impact on our World’s Major Rivers)
- Warmer temperatures resulting in increased drought leading to extensive fire hazards especially in forested and grassland areas.
- Warmer ocean and land temperatures resulting in increased and more severe storms along with massive increases of storm damage resulting in trillions of dollars per year in repairs and massive losses of life. By the mid 21 century tornadoes could be commonplace from April to October across the Canadian prairie provinces and into northern Ontario and Quebec.
- Warmer temperatures resulting in less fresh water overall will most certainly lead to less non-contaminated water. More and more the lakes, rivers and groundwater across Canada and all of North America will become increasingly polluted. The costs of supplying potable water, water we use to bathe, cook, wash dishes, wash clothes, flush toilets could become enormous and prohibitive to many smaller communities.
Where does Canada stand? Of the 17 OEDC countries Canada is the 3rd worst emitter of GHGs per Capita. Conference Board of Canada
“In 1992, Canada signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), under which it committed to stabilizing GHG emissions at 1990 levels by 2000. In 2000, however, Canada’s absolute GHG emissions were 22 per cent higher than they had been 10 years earlier. Canada went on to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, pledging to reduce GHG emissions to 6 per cent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. As of 2010, however, absolute GHG emissions remained 17 per cent above 1990 levels.”