April 24, 2011

Vancouver sinks, Harper fiddles?

People’s Voice Editorial

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has projected that global sea levels will rise at least 28 cm by the year 2100. But according to Dutch researchers, “regional variations” mean that cities such as New York and Vancouver face higher rises. Indeed, many scientists believe the IPCC’s figure is a huge under-estimate.

The potential flooding of much of Vancouver (including the suburb of Richmond and the city’s airport) is just one negative consequence of global warming. A new Environment Canada report, published in Geophysical Research Letters, warns that Stephen Harper has done little to prevent “dangerous” climate change. The study suggests global greenhouse gas emissions “must ramp down to zero immediately” to avoid a 2 C rise in the planetary temperature. Allowing temperatures to climb more than 2 C could wipe out thousands of species, melt Arctic ice and trigger a rise in sea level of several metres.

Environment Canada scientists were not available for interviews – not surprising, since their boss treats such news as a firing offence. But the hypocrisy of the Harper government is obvious. While the Conservatives agree at international meetings to help keep warming below the 2 C threshold, they promote expanded use and exports of oil and coal that drive up emissions.

As University of Victoria climatologist Andrew Weaver says, “We have to start transforming our energy systems now. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, now. We should be weaning ourselves from our dependency on oil, not trying to expand it as fast a possible.”

Any other course of action will likely result in the deaths of millions of our children and grandchildren. Conservative candidates should be warned that their “family friendly” party already has the blood of future generations on their hands.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular stories