Climate Change: Crisis, Challenge, and Hope

It's time to recognize that climate change is an EMERGENCY and get serious about addressing it! Our lavish use of fossil fuels is risking runaway climate change, with feedback effects that can lead to mass extinctions (50-70% of species). There have been mass extinctions on this planet before from which bio-diversity recovered -- in some 50 million years.

Prime Minister Harper, December 2010, "Cancun Agreements"

Two JustEarth members were NGO delegates at the recent Cancun conference (UNFCCC COP16). At that conference Canada agreed, among other things to:

Federal MPs, August 2010, "We could balance the budget much faster if we really wanted to"

There are reasons--both of short-term economic advantage and long-term survival--for dealing seriously with climate change.

The forest fires in B.C. have already cost lives and resources. People in the interior are concerned about insurance rates and even the possibility of not being able to get any insurance, yet extreme weather events are expected to increase in frequency and severity.

Federal MPs, July 2010, Signs of Warming Earth ‘Unmistakable’

Last week when we wrote we stressed the emergency nature of the climate crisis, and the need for strenuous action.

This week we note the publication, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a United States federal agency, of findings that the past three decades have been the hottest on record. The Globe and Mail headline says, “Signs of Warming Earth ‘Unmistakable,’” as was well known. The report, State of the Climate, however, has the merit of drawing on data from 160 research groups in 48 countries.

Conservative MPs, November, 2009 (re effective climate change targets)

We are appalled by the remarks of the minister of the environment, Jim Prentice, excusing inaction by Canada on climate change for the next number of years. He (and you) seem to be unaware of the urgency of swift action. Mounting scientific evidence indicates that polar ice is melting faster than predicted, and global warming proceeding faster. This is no time to relax.

All MPs, February 2010

Climate sceptics have been enjoying great media coverage recently, thanks to some faulty reporting in the IPCC 2007 report, and apparently misguided cover-up.

Stephen Harper, March 2010

In his letter of February 24th to La Presse, "Une position sage," your climate change expert, Mr Bernier,  claims that "Canada is right to be prudent".

He argues that there is no scientific consensus on global warming. The fact is that the Academies of Science from 19 countries plus many scientific organizations that study climate science agree that humans are causing global warming. In fact 97% of peer reviewed climate scientists endorse this consensus position.

Senators, May 2010 (re Bill C-311)

We are writing to ask you to support Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, recently adopted in the House of Commons. You will know that this bill was studied extensively in committee. It has wide support from environmental experts and voluntary organizations. It is not, in short, a matter where we need long, sobre, second thought.   

Stephen Harper, June 2010 (re Environment Canada report)

We as taxpayers and environmentalists are very discouraged by the poor performance on climate change as reported recently by Environment Canada. The government's reduction goals were already far too low compared to those proposed by the world’s top climate scientists. Environment Canada now admits that we are unlikely to meet even these inadequate goals. We have to do far more than merely slow down the increases in greenhouse gas emissions.

Stephen Harper, June 2010 (re G20 agenda)

We join with the six Nobel Laureates in urging you to put climate change on the agenda for the G20 meetings.

Canada is both a major economy and a major per capita emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. We have the responsibility and the capacity to show leadership on this issue, as underlined by these distinguished Nobel Laureates.

Your excuse that the G20 meetings are to focus on the world economy misses the point. We cannot have a healthy world economy  with runaway climate change.