Musings from a Mom on Climate Change

Day 4 into the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, and my initial caption for my posting today was going to be “Living in the Age of Stupid”.  But as I began to write, I remembered that this is the Weekend of Action for a Real Deal around the globe.  Mothers, fathers, daughters, sons and grandparents around the world will be gathering en masse to send our leaders a message that the world needs real, binding, and ambitious agreement.  While there are incredibly diverse ways of being human, we have this in common. We are all someone’s son or daughter.  Many of us also have children of our own. My daughters are why I can’t give in to pessimism and hopelessness.  They are worth fighting for.

Recently, I’ve heard skeptics argue that  “fear mongering” regarding the dire planetary emergency we are in should set off warning bells. Fear = untruth seems to be their argument. As a parent, I know when fear is a healthy thing to employ. When my daughters were younger, if one of them went too near a hot stove, I didn’t stand back and point out to her that 1% of people who have touched a hot stove believe that it isn’t harmful. If one of them went near the edge of a precipitous cliff, I didn’t stand back and engage her in debate about the odds of surviving a fall.

California’s Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger explained it like this:

If 98 doctors say my son is ill and needs medication and two say ‘No, he doesn’t, he is fine,’ I will go with the 98. It’s common sense—the same with climate change. We go with the majority, the large majority.”

"I'm with Stupid" Snowmen

Rising Temperatures, Rising Seas

Today on CBC Radio’s National Science Show Quirks and Quarks the topic will be “Rising Temperatures, Rising Seas“.  Sea levels have already risen 20 cm over the last 100 years, and are predicted to rise up to a meter over the next 100 years due to climate change. As the Quirks website states:

this increase in sea level would have vast impacts around the world, especially in heavily populated low-lying river deltas, like those in Bangladesh, China, southeast Asia, Egypt, the southern US and British Columbia.

Click here to listen to the program, or tune in to CBC One at noon today if you are in Canada.

If you haven’t already checked out the 350.org website to find or organize a Vigil for a Real Deal during the Weekend of Action December 11 – 13, do so now!

Grist in Copenhagen: How føcked are we?

Tck Tck Tck – 13 days to go until the Copenhagen climate talks.

One of my favourite environmental news and commentary websites, Grist.org, is following developments leading up to Copenhagen, and will be sending several people to cover the conference.  Grist calls itself “A Beacon in the Smog” and offers environmental reporting with a humourous – albeit often dark – twist.  Check out the “Gristy guide to the COP 15 climate talks” here. Below is a video of comedian Eugene Mirman, who will be covering Copenhagen for Grist.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yC2fbInlug]

But of course the UN climate talks in Copenhagen are very serious business.  The folks at 350.org and TckTckTck are calling on people around the world to hold a “Vigil for Survival” in their community on December 11. Go to this link to find out more.