Climate change

Resident concerned about Colin Mayes' comments on the environment

After reading Colin Mayes’ column in The Morning Star, I felt  it was rather  negative about activists, which I assume are non-government organizations that are critical about government policies related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and man-caused climate change.

I did not feel qualified to challenge his facts and sources, but was pleased to see the recent, excellent response by climatologist  Claude Labine.

Many Canadian citizens are deeply concerned about what is happening to our environment and our global ecosystems, and I am proud that individuals and scientists are speaking out. Canadian scientists are a relatively small group compared to the many prominent scientists working around the world trying to  make sense of what is happening to our global climate and weather.

The Journal of Environmental Science and Technology surveyed more than 1,800 climate scientists worldwide and they overwhelmingly agreed that climate change is a serious problem now.

The Himalayan Mountains of Nepal  (mentioned by Colin Mayes) are a vast complex, region that are challenging to access.

Some climatologists discovered that some of Nepal’s glaciers have been melting more quickly in recent decades and retreating faster than anywhere else in the world.

Villagers in the foothills of the mountains have experienced more disasters caused by flooding and landslides.

Some deniers have challenged  the science behind the scientists’ predictions. As research continues, climatologists will be able to better understand how fast the glaciers are changing and predict the effects.

Citizens of Miami and other parts of south Florida are near the present sea level which has been gradually  rising. Storm surges have caused flooding in some neighbourhoods.

Some scientists are predicting a calamity for Miami especially if groundwater aquifers become contaminated by sea water. If long-term predictions are correct, parts of Miami could become uninhabitable. A large investment in engineering projects is already necessary to hold back the ocean.

Many developers are challenging the scientific evidence and not accepting predictions for further warming  and sea level trends.

Considering the frequency of extreme weather events in  coastal areas of the country, the U.S. government has accepted that  climate change (and unpredictable weather) is a national security threat.

In Canada, many provincial leaders are increasingly aware of the need for better planning.

Here in B.C., the provincial government is  overhauling its 1909 Water Act to respond to current and future pressures related to climate change. Greater public awareness of the protracted drought in parts of the U.S., and increased demand for water has motivated politicians to take action.

Protecting our fresh water and the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) will become even more important over the next decades. Political leaders in Calgary, Canmore and High River, Alta. have been forced to evaluate the need for infrastructure that can withstand unpredictable weather events.

Canada has received poor ratings for its measures to reduce green house gas emissions, largely due to the expansion of the energy sector.

The tar sands in Alberta is one of the largest contributors of green house gases which will contribute to global warming for decades. The LNG plants planned for the B.C. coast will greatly increase our annual GHG  emissions.

We need a critical review of the need for so much rapid development.

Why are we in such a rush to ship our coal, oil and natural gas to Asia?

These natural resources should be valued as the heritage of future generations, and should not be shipped out at bargain prices when they will be worth far more in the future.


Doug Anions