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Is Climate Change a Four-Letter Word?

Canada
Alternet.Org
09/08/2010
Larry Powell

If it isn’t a “dirty” topic, why would so many people rather walk on hot coals than talk about it?      

I happen to be one who believes climate change is not only real and affecting us now, but is caused by the way we live on this earth as humans.

But don’t take my word for it. That is exactly what the world’s best scientific minds have been telling us for years. But nobody seems to be listening; or, even worse, refusing to hear!

And what about the skyrocketing number of deadly storms, both around the world and here on our own doorstep ? I’ve either been seeing them in the news, a lot, or experiencing them, first hand. Haven’t you?

I have sometimes tried to get people to tell me what they believe might be behind all this weird weather.

(I’m usually met with stoney silence or a noncommittal mumble.)

After all, the experts have also been telling us for years that, yes, climate change will not only bring more of these storms but more serious ones, too.
And it is!

Floods, droughts, blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, monsoons, mudslides, wildfires and heat waves are now everywhere. (But, I hear you saying, they always have been. Yes, that’s true. But there are now more and more of them and they are getting worse.)

They are inflicting death, destruction, hunger and heartache on increasing numbers of people at new and disturbing levels.

But is this just happening in faraway, exotic places? Not really.

Often, we needn’t look any further than the next town or the next farm!

Just ask the folks who keep track of such things, such as the Worldwatch Institute; Or, for that matter, the old-timer next door who is seeing conditions he/she has never seen in his/her lifetime, or the northern outfitter or First Nation’s resident who’ve been forced out by forest fires, or a farmer suffering from crippling crop or pasture losses thanks to unprecedented rainfall.

In other words, these patterns are, at the very least, consistent with the climate change theory, are they not?
If they were not, I’d be skeptical myself!

As a matter of fact, there are precious few scientists any longer who do not subscribe to the idea of climate change. And most of these “deniers” are either poorly qualified, connected to the oil and gas industry, plain liars or all three!

Another significant group within the climate science community is not quoted very often, even now, in this supposed age of awareness about the issue.

But they are not the sceptics. Far from it. They believe our planet’s plight is far more grave than the picture generally presented to the public. They’re predicting certain parts of the earth will be uninhabitable before this century comes to a close. These will include places where the only haven from fatal heat stroke will be in buildings equipped with air conditioning. While such a convenience is common to those of us who live in the west, it is far from it in “developing” countries where the vast majority of mankind lives.

Climate data have been showing for some time now that this latter group’s predictions may, alarmingly, be closer to reality.

Of course, it would be unscientific of me to single out climate change as the reason behind any given “severe weather event” which our planet might experience.

But on the other hand, just how scientific is it for the “climate deniers” to keep insisting that none of this is due to climate change?

And just how much longer can outfits like the Canadian Chamber of Commerce continue to obstruct meaningful action on climate change, clinging to the argument that fixing the problem will somehow inflict serious harm to the economy? Just recently,  the Chamber unleashed its misguided forces against the Climate Change Accountability Act, which would set significant targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Already approved by a combined opposition in the Commons, the Act still needs approval in the Senate.

Incredibly, the Chamber’s President, Perrin Beattie, (above) has been warning of direconsequences for Canadian workers and their families because meeting the emission targets would somehow chase economic activity and jobs to other countries!

Does Mr. Beattie actually listen to his own rhetoric?  He has rolled out this campaign in the midst of catastrophic flooding that has caused unknown economic damage to Canadian farmers, flash floods and sewer backups which have devastated homes, families, vehicles and other property in Yorkton, Saskatoon, Medicine Hat, Maple Creek, several communities in Manitoba, and washed out highways and rail lines, forcing detours which have cost the transportation industry millions.

Then there are the record heat waves in Ontario (and now in Manitoba) and tornadoes in Saskatchewan and Ontario.

And don’t forget the record relief packages Ottawa and the provinces have put together for flood-ravaged farmers and beleaguered homeowners in several regions.

Meanwhile, 2010 is shaping up as the worst year ever for hail, flood and tornado damage in Saskatchewan . There, insurance claims have already topped $100,000,000. And, as if God had something to do with it, damage has been described by the Regina Leader Post as “of biblical proportions.”

Add to that the more recent forest fires raging in BC (some in vast pine forests killed and made tinder-dry by beetles which are now thriving due to global warming); floods in Pakistan which have claimed over a thousand lives and displaced millions; deadly, record heat and wildfires in Russia and on and on.

Sounds to me, Mr. Beattie, this smacks more of human suffering and economic damage caused by climate change, rather than efforts to reduce it!

Dinosaurs like the Chamber are part of the reason we continue to endure stinking oil spills like the one in the Gulf of Mexico and more recently now in Michigan.

These have shamefully harmed so much of the natural world, not to mention the livelihoods and even the mental health of ordinary folk who make their living, both from the sea and otherwise.

People like Mr. Beattie would have us believe, moving away from energy sources heavy with greenhouse gases, to cleaner, more sustainable supplies, would somehow cause “serious harm” to our economy!

I’m sure glad, Mr. Beattie, that our present system isn’t causing any such harm! (Sarcasm intended.)

By the way, hats off  to Canada’s Global National News network and its anchor, Kevin Newman. Newman is the first journalist in this country who actually has had the courage to address the elephant in the room by showing the ever-more-obvious linkages between destructive storms and the scourge of climate change!

 

The news content in this section is responsibility of the information agencies and does not necessarily reflect the position of the Government of Mexico on this or other related topics.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.

    

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