It’s getting hotter in here…

Pre-Copenhagen negotiations have been going in in Barcelona this week, and things aren’t going well.   Earlier this week, a group of African nations walked out of the negotiations to protest the unwillingness of richer nations to make real cuts to their emissions to avoid climate change.  The African countries were making the point that they will disproportionately pay the price for unchecked climate change, and that developed countries have a legal and moral responsibility to take decisive measures to stop the impending climate disaster.  Eventually, a compromise was reached that allowed negotiations to continue but by the end of the week Yvo de Boer, UN’s top climate official, announced that too little progress has been made to for a treaty to be signed at the summit in Copenhagen next month, and it may take another year to reach a binding agreement.   CBC news reports that “Countries most vulnerable to climate change said Friday they were incensed that rich nations were rethinking the timetable for concluding a global treaty that would hold them to legally binding targets for cutting emissions.”

For a detailed analysis of the Barcelona talks, check out Bloomberg.com’s update and the Huffington Post’s blog from Barcelona.

The only comfort I can find at this point is that negotiations will continue, rather than ending with an inadequate agreement in December.  But scientists are warning that the longer we remain in the danger zone—above 350—the more likely that we will see disastrous and irreversible climate impacts.

In the meantime, I’m going to take some comfort in the smell of pumpkin muffins baking in my oven.  The recipe that I used is from recipeZaar.com, but I made a few changes (wholewheat flour and bran rather than white, and half orange juice/half buttermilk, and a lot more spice).  I’ll work on posting a page with my changes and a picture of the muffins.

Hope you have some comfort food in your day, too!

Count Down to Copenhagen

33 days left until the first meetings start in Copenhagen, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.  This is the world’s chance to reverse climate change before we have gone too far down the road of irreversible changes to our planet, according to leading scientists.  Unfortunately, it is politicians, not scientists, who are going to be at the table in Copenhagen.  Here in Canada, where I live, we have Stephen Harper at the helm.  Mr. Harper was a climate change denier for years when he was in opposition, and now he makes semi-politically correct noises about the environment, because Canadians do care about this issue.  But the Conservative Party’s power base remains Alberta, the home of the horribly polluting and carbon dioxide emitting tar sands.  So while Mr. Harper and his government make some sounds about doing something about climate change, there’s not much will for change there.  Canada has received the “Fossil of the Day” award from the Climate Action Network so many times that it recently received the “Colossal Fossil” or Fossil of the Year award, because of its inaction on this issue and its willingness to go the extra mile to thwart genuine action internationally on climate change.  What an embarrassment for Canadians!

As we approach Copenhagen, get active – call or write a letter/email to your elected representative – local and national.  In Canada, contact  Stephen Harper, and Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment.   Let them know that Canadians care about the future.  Once you’ve contacted them, and you still feel that you would like to do more, find out what’s going on in your community.  The time is now.  Remember –  350 or bust!

350 or bust!

I’m a mother, an educator, and a writer and I am very concerned about the inaction of our leaders on climate change.  So, I decided to start this blog as one carbon-neutral way of dealing with my anxiety as UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen gets closer.   I’m a newbie to blogging, so please accept my apologies for any mistakes!

I don’t understand the climate skeptics who insist, despite overwhelming and credible evidence to the contrary, that climate change isn’t happening.  Or if it is, it’s just a natural phenomenon because “the climate has always changed”.   As the 350.org website states “Two years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2 remained above 350 parts per million”.   I guess the certainty of skeptics in the face of all the evidence is disturbing because they don’t seem to entertain the idea that THEY MAY BE WRONG.

If the scientists and others who insist that climate change is real are wrong, the worst that we’ll get are some changes in the economy and less pollution (and maybe even cheaper, local energy sources).    And with regards to the economy, to echo the skeptics, one could say that “the economy is always changing and adapting”.    But if the skeptics are wrong, well, we- and future generations –  really are up the creek without the proverbial paddle.

Well, from the consequential to the prosaic, as life often is.  Time for supper.  Cheers.

Christine