We Must Adapt To Global Warming
Tuesday April 10th 2007, 10:52 am

I certainly wasn’t dreaming of a “white Easter”, but we got it anyway. In some areas in Nova Scotia we received 30 cm of snow on Easter Sunday, which is more snow than we saw all winter. There were plenty of Easter bunny snowmen on front lawns. In the area I live, we received about half that amount, which was still too much for spring. It is melting fast, so it should be gone by the end of the week. The snow didn’t stop spring in our neighbourhood yesterday. The tulips were poking through the snow in my backyard. Some teenage boys were playing basketball in T-shirts across the street, then stopped for a snowball fight. In most of Canada, this spring has been much cooler than last year, and we don’t like it.

I know Canadians shouldn’t feel this way, but many of us are waiting for global warming to start. We want the milder winters, less snow and ice, and longer growing seasons. Canada is a great country, except for our cold weather. With the warmer temperatures, we may also have rising water levels in coastal areas, heat waves which will effect people living in cities, and more extreme storms. We will have to learn to live with these events, because no matter what environmentalists tell us, there is nothing Canadians can do to change it.

Canada produces only 2% of the earth’s greenhouse gas. Even if we make drastic changes to the way we live, it will make little difference to the amount of gas emissions produced. The main culprits are the United States, which produces 25% of the emissions, Europe at 45% and China and India. China and India are developing nations, so there are no restrictions on their emissions. Their emissions will be increasing every year, and no efforts will be made to make reductions to it.

There is another school of thought about global warming with some scientists. Because of the popularity of Al Gore’s, An Inconvenient Truth, scientists who think differently are thought by many people to be either wrong, or have been paid off by the oil industry. There are some scientists who feel that there is no evidence that global warming will lead to a catastrophe, and may be beneficial. They feel that there is ignorance about normal weather and climate, and that the recent increase in strong hurricanes is part of a natural cycle, and has nothing to do with global warming. They believe that many people, including Al Gore, don’t know what they are talking about, and are providing misleading information.

Whatever maybe the truth about climate change and what is causing it, it is coming and we must adapt and climate-proof ourselves. We should be putting as much effort and money into protecting the vulnerable areas in Canada, as the public feels we should be putting into curbing greenhouse gases. Unfortunately, Canada has no national adapation strategy yet, and we aren’t even interested in putting any money into the research. Even the latest UN report on climate change advises countries to prepare for the impacts of climate change that cannot be avoided. The only way the government will start to pay attention to this good advice, and start acting on it, is from pressure from the Canadian public. We must think about adapting to the changes which are coming, as much as trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

Have a good day,