Global Climate Disruption is Here

Here in Canada, Newfoundland is still recovering from last week’s Hurricane Igor, which brought never-before-seen destruction to its Bonavista and Burin Peninsulas. Following that severe weather event, the central coast of British Columbia was hit with severe rains that have caused mudslides, cut off communities, and destroyed roads and bridges.

90-year-old Carrie Ricketts from Knight’s Cove Newfoundland said, after being stranded by Igor, that she’s never seen anything like this. Her daughter told CBC news:

When I heard her voice cracking on the phone and she said to me, ‘Winnie if you saw the devastation, ah, you wouldn’t believe it.’ So, she is being shaken now to her roots.”

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, Steven Waugh, Emergency Program Coordinator for the Central Coast Region, said:

It was shocking, absolutely shocking, how much water has come down here in such a short period of time.”

This video from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sums up the global climate disruption that is going on right now:

We have to believe what we are witnessing with our own eyes — floods, fires, melting ice and feverish heat. From smoke-choked Moscow to water-soaked Pakistan, to soaring temperatures in the US and a deteriorating landscape in the High Arctic, our planet seems to be having a breakdown. It’s not just a portent of things to come but real signs of very troubling climate change already under way.


Please join with those of us that are taking action to protect our planet – it’s the only one we have. The movement is growing; just this week, over 100 people were arrested in front of the White House yesterday, after gathering to call on the Obama administration to abolish mountaintop removal mining. Among the people arrested is Dr. James Hansen, NASA scientist whose knowledge of the threat of climate change has prompted him to become an activist.

Need some ideas and inspiration? It’s not too late to get involved in the global 10/10/10 work party in your community. Go to for more on this amazing global movement.

More links:

National Resource Defense Council

Coalition of the Willing

Warming Atlantic Linked To Hurricane Igor Devastation in Newfoundland

Much of the east coast of Newfoundland was devastated by Hurricane Igor on Tuesday. Roads have been washed out, electricity is gone, communities have been cut off from help, and one man has been washed out to sea. By now, at least 30 communities have declared a state of emergency.

The news coverage that I heard yesterday had locals emphasizing the unusual strength of Igor. The town clerk from Bonavista interviewed on As It Happens on CBC radio said he’d never seen winds that strong or rainfall that heavy in his lifetime – and Bonavista is on a windy, wet peninsula! Sam Synard, the Mayor of Marystown was quoted in The Star as saying:

We’ve never seen such a violent storm before.” Synard reported that more than 200 millimetres of rain was dumped in 20 hours, “and very few, if any communities in the country, could deal with that amount of rainfall.”

My heart goes out to Newfoundlanders – “The Rock” is one of my favourite places on earth. The header photo on my blog was taken during a visit last September.  I wish the good people of Newfoundland Godspeed in their recovery from this devastation.

Unfortunately, the warming of the atmosphere and the resulting warming of the ocean which has happened as a result of our unbridled burning of fossil fuels in the last century is making severe weather events like this more and more frequent. The economic as well as the human toll will only increase (the Newfoundland government is predicting it will take at least $100 million to repair the damage from this storm). Recent research has shown that we are experiencing more storms with higher wind speeds, and these storms are more destructive, last longer and make landfall more frequently than in the past. This is our new reality, in Canada and around the globe, as the Arctic ice and the permafrost melt, and the oceans get warmer.  We are starting to reap the destruction that we have sown, and it’s not going to be pleasant.

It’s time for all of us to demand that our governments, particularly at the federal level, start addressing this issue in more ways that just preserving Canada’s claim to the Arctic so we can dig up more oil and gas! For ways to do this, check out Cheryl McNamara’s recent post on Bill C311 – the Climate Accountability Act, or go to my “Action not Apathy” page.

More links:

National Geographic: Is Global Warming Making Hurricanes Worse?

Union of Concerned Scientists: Hurricanes and Climate Change

Popular Science: Hurricane, Climate Change Link Explained

Real Climate: Hurricanes and Climate Change – Is There A Connection?

Canada, Russia expected to win Arctic claims at UN

The following photos were taken around Marystown, on the Burin Peninsula, by Andrew Lundrigan, and posted on the FB page “Hurricane Igor Hits Marystown”