Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Climate Change Reality: Herders

A video from Oxfam showing the effects of climate change It's the poor people who are suffering for our pollution right now. However, it won't be limited only to them in the future. Farmers in Quebec are already starting to feel the consequences. Soon, the general population of Canada will start seeing little changes in everyday life due to climate change.


  1. Soon? I don't know where you're from but vast parts of Canada, particularly the North and the West, are already feeling the impact of global warming.

    Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as the interior of British Columbia, are facing severe and extended drought. The warming has prevented the winter kill off of the mountain pine beetle resulting in the destruction of vast regions of forest. Here on the coast we're seeing record temperatures, warming waters, species migration (anchovies, giant sunfish, Humboldt squid), undernourished whales now migrating from the Bering up into the Beaufort in search of food, loss of snowpack and much more.

    Climate change is already upon us and we're in one of the most advantaged countries. Even the American south is reeling with, for example, drought forcing the abandonment of some 800,000 hectares of prime agricultural land in California's San Joaquin valley.

    And the thing is we're just getting the first taste of this. Even if we stopped all carbon emissions today, we would still be in for greater warming and associated threats for most of the remainder of this century.

    It sometimes amazes me how Easterners have such a weak grasp of what's happening in our country.

  2. The Mound..."It sometimes amazes me how Easterners have such a weak grasp of what's happening in our country." When you speak of Easterners, do you mean Ontario and Quebec?

  3. The Mound of Sound,

    The general population of Canada lives in cities. We still haven't started feeling changes in basic life yet. As I mentioned, farmers in Quebec are starting to feel the consequences. However, the rest of us in cities haven't felt much yet.

  4. born and raised in Ontario but, yes, we do consider Ontario and Quebec part of Eastern Canada. And O&D is spot on - urban populations don't have the same sense of the onslaught of climate change. Their ecosystems were altered long ago, the result of concentrations of population and activity. As a rule, the more pristine the environment, the more noticeable climate change is. That's especially true for the far North.

    Take, for example, the dreaded Humboldt squid. Until this year we considered it a denizen of the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. Then it set off all manner of alarms in San Diego when hundreds of the creatures (that can easily kill a man) washed ashore in early summer 2009. Six weeks later hundreds more came ashore at Tofino on Vancouver Island.

    Individually taken, these things could simply be anecdotal evidence but when taken collectively the inescapable conclusion is that climate change lies at the foot of all of it.

    Decades ago we used to get an El Nino almost like clockwork every 7 years. Now we get them seven out of ten years. This year we saw the first "El Nino Modoki" or mega-El Nino that extended clear across the central Pacific. "Modoki" is Japanese for "same but different." That's an understatement.

    Last summer, Nadine and I rode our motorcycles to Port Hardy on the north end of the island. We stayed at a new hotel (3-years old). It was insufferable. Guests were literally baked out of their rooms. When I asked at the desk why there was no air conditioning they replied that, three years earlier when the place was built, no one could possibly conceive needing it in Port Hardy, even in the peak of summer.

    The town was suffering economically as well. Much of the population are loggers. Due to the excessive heat and drought the forest fire hazard was too severe to allow the loggers into the forests. They were all pulled out and sent home. No logging, no income.

    The unfortunate reality is that, yes, it is happening and, yes, it isn't being noticed much in the urban centres but, when it finally becomes unavoidable, you'll feel the impacts much more than we do.

  5. And while we watch the climate changes happening, our esteemed leader, Campbell, is planning to put another dam on the Peace, which will destroy forests and farmland in the north, where we will soon be dependent for our food supply. Instead of promoting strategies to reduce our consumption of energy, and other scarce resources, he promises to provide more energy for the future so that we can continue to overconsume.

  6. "Campbell, is planning to put another dam on the Peace"

    Yes, eastern Canadians have been wondering about that. How can BCers accept the incredible devestation brought on with more dams on the Peace river? How does a mega project like this even pass the environmentl assessment? I assume you want hydro power because it is cleaner than fossil power. There is no way that a fossil fired power station poisons water with mercury, kills fish and causes this must destruction at this scale. You people must make a decision; pollute the air through fossil burning or destroy your incredible province through dams, simply because you want to sell power to the USA. Remember, these mega projects are really just a permanent monument to the premier who built them. The Campbell Dam, I'm sure he like the sound of it already.

  7. It is time someone clarified where Eastern Canada happens to be located. Eastern Canada happens to be the Atlantic provinces. They are dumped upon by central Canada's pollution as well as the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.


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