Is Canada Criminally Negligent on Climate Policy?
Posted Dec 4, 2009 by William Rees
[Excerpt] In the lead-up to Copenhagen, the Canadian government's (non)policy on global warming borders on the criminally negligent. This may seem to be an outrageous assertion, particularly to those lost in the thickening fog of deception churned out by climate change deniers, but please bear with me for a moment.
First, climate change, particularly global warming, is an undisputed fact. The mean global temperature has increased by .8 Centigrade degrees over the last century, glaciers are melting, the Arctic sea ice is disappearing, deserts are expanding and sea levels are rising-all ahead of climate model projections.*
Second, while it is true that Earth's climate is primarily determined by various non-human factors, including solar output and shifting ocean currents, there have been no changes in these sufficient enough to explain ongoing temperature increases.
Third, by contrast, human activities have significantly increased atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Carbon dioxide is up 38 per cent from a preindustrial 280 parts per million to 388 ppm today. Other GHGs have climbed proportionately even more -- but the CO2 increases alone are more than sufficient to account for the observed warming.
Fourth, increasingly severe weather events are already displacing or killing tens of thousands of people annually and this trend is likely to worsen...
Originally published December 2, 2009 in The Tyee