Posted by: trashee | September 24, 2007

Climate change, so what?

I thought I would put up a new post in response to this question posed by Doug Newton. This is a fair question that deserves some measure of response. Thanks for the question and thanks to Thorin as well.

Global warming / climate change – whatever. The important thing to note is that the Earth is undergoing some pretty dramatic changes as I write these words.
What more pressing ecological changes are there – aside from a change of a few degrees?
Absolutely none. Zero, Zilch. Why? Because every other environmental variable will change as a result of these few degrees.
And this is not a myth. We see it now in Ontario in the extreme weather patterns we have experienced the past few years. They are seeing it in the north as permafrost melts (read a story over the weekend about the booming biz in mammoth bones in Siberia as the frost melts and gives up its secrets!). It is being felt in Australia as massive brush fires are an annual occurrence. And they are seeing it in the SW United States as water is fast becoming a scarce commodity.
Which brings me to another point relating to the geopolitical and economic ramifications of climate change. As the weather patterns continue to shift and water and food supplies are impacted, it makes sense that sooner or later some of these impacted nations are going to get desperate.
One of the nations is Ontario’s – and Canada’s – neighbour to the south. And as someone stated in a presentation given to a group of us in Moncton last week, when the desperation kicks in, Canada has a great big target right in the middle of its forehead.
Yes, there are more issues in the Ontario election aside from global warming (duplication in the education systems, for example), but the climate crisis trumps all.
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Responses

  1. Climate change is a long term problem to be sure, however, a bunch of ecological issues are more important than climate change. Here are a few, in no particular order:

    a) Ongoing pollution of our air. Warm or cold, air that you can’t breathe without getting sick is worthless. Long before global warming wipes us out, air pollution will do the job. Some anti-pollution measures also impact global warming in a positive way, but the fact is, POLLUTION is an immediate, serious threat, whereas climate change is a longer term threat.

    b) Ongoing pollution of our waterways. Water that you can’t drink isn’t good for survival. If we don’t save the water, it won’t matter one bit whether there is global warming.

    c) Pyramid-scheme society… Canadian society is based on the idea that the young workers pay for the social benefits of the old retirees. This was great as long as more babies were being pushed out than old people retiring. With the balance of population shifting, this model is not going to hold for much longer. Unless real societal change is brought about, our economy, or standard of living, everything will go down the toilet. It’s not enough to encourage people to have more babies or bring in waves of immigrants… that fends off the problem, but doesn’t make it go away. Nobody is going to care about global warming when 20 million octagenarians are living in the street.

    d) Oil is running out… whether now, or in 50 years, realistically, oil will run out before global warming messes us up in a serious way. We should be working out realistic new energy technologies now so we’re not scrambling when the last drop is pumped out. Coincidentally, reducing oil dependence can (but doesn’t have to – ethanol and biodiesel) reduce pollution and global warming.

  2. “Thanks for the question and thanks to Thorin (http://www.squidzone.ca/) as well.”

    Thanks for the thanks 🙂

    But squidzone isn’t mine, it’s darin’s.


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