Tyler Hamilton’s column in The Star yesterday made the point that Russia’s current struggles with fire and drought could well become our problem in the future, if moves are not made to address the rapid climate changes that are occurring from our warming of the atmosphere. He posits this scenario:
Dozens of cottages have been destroyed and smoke from the affected regions has engulfed Toronto. Premier Dalton McGuinty declared a state of emergency and warned residents to stay indoors.
Meanwhile, low water levels and unprecedented power demand from air conditioning have forced rolling electricity brownouts across the province, with Ontario’s coal fleet – scheduled for complete shutdown by 2014 – operating at full capacity and making the pollution much worse.
Ontario is in no way alone. Heat and drought have devastated this year’s prairie wheat harvest, causing market prices to double on fears there will be a global wheat shortage.
In an follow-up to this article on Clean Break, Hamilton said that he received an email from a frustrated Environment Canada scientist with regard to the data that his department has available on the rising temperatures. The email mentioned the current muzzling of climate scientists and said:
“government scientists were very unhappy” that this science, funded by Canadian taxpayers, was not being made known and easily accessible to the general public.”And yes, I fear reprisals if my name is attached to anything,” he wrote.
One of the links provided by the scientist shows that the Canadian national average temperature for the spring of 2010 was 4.1°C above normal, based on preliminary data, which makes this the WARMEST SPRING ON RECORD since nationwide records began in 1948. The previous record was in 1998 which was 3.2°C above normal. THIS IS THE SECOND SEASON IN A ROW TO SET A RECORD FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES.
I’m posting the graph full size here, because in the past links to Environment Canada information on our changing climate have been changed or deleted when I revisit the site.
The second link shows graphically how temperatures are expected to rise between now and 2100 in Canada and throughout the rest of North America.
As Hamilton states,
This data, against the backdrop of the Russia heat wave and Pakistan flooding, should be front-page news.
Why isn’t it?
From the NASA Earth Observatory, satellite pictures of the fires and smoke in Russia from August 4:
This could very well be in our future, if our leaders don’t start to lead on this issue.
Go to 350.org for ideas and inspiration on what you can do to encourage them, or check out my action not apathy page. We’re all in this together – remember that you will have to look your children and grandchildren in the eyes in 20 years when they ask you what YOU did about the climate crisis while there was still time.