When we write about climate change, we are often very careful to use the disclaimer, “although you cannot link any one weather event to climate change, the patterns are emerging…”. This is of course true, but it also seems to do a grave injustice to what is really going on; the devestating and growing numbers of ‘once in a century’ droughts, and floods, and forest fires, and tornados (etc.). This is exactly what scientists have told us to expect with global warming, so why are we so sensitive about connecting the dots? Bill McKibben (350.org) wrote this excellent opinion editorial that appeared in the Washington Post that does an excellent job of asking ourselves just that:
“Caution: It is vitally important not to make connections. When you see pictures of rubble like this week’s shots from Joplin, Mo., you should not wonder: Is this somehow related to the tornado outbreak three weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, Ala., or the enormous outbreak a couple of weeks before that (which, together, comprised the most active April for tornadoes in U.S. history). No, that doesn’t mean a thing.”
Read the entire Op-Ed here (it is well worth the read)
In case you missed it last week, Canada reported its greenhouse gas emissions for 2009 to the United Nations. In the lead? Ontario. Although partly due to the recession, the closing of coal fired electricity plants meant that Ontario managed to significantly cut down its greenhouse gas pollution. Combined with the Green Energy and Green Economy Act that is building Ontario’s clean energy future, they just might set the example for the rest of the country to follow.
Over the coming months as we move towards a Provincial election in Ontario in early October – lets make sure that Ontario and all of its political parties know that making Ontario a leader in the clean energy economy is a priority for the province, the country and our shared climate.
Comeclean.ca is a group of organizations that want to make sure Ontario voters have the information they need when they talk to their candidates and when they cast their ballots. Their latest project asks all parties (Liberals, NDP, Green and Progressive Conservatives) how they feel about keeping Ontario a leader in the clean energy economy of the 21st century. Check out the party responses here.
“My advice to Stephen Harper is to rise above the tribal politics that has permeated Ottawa since 2006. Environmental issues transcend political boundaries. Seek the advice of Brian Mulroney, Jean Charest, and Lucien Bouchard. Listen to Elizabeth May as well as Nathan Cullen and Denise Savoie from the NDP and Stéphane Dion and David McGuinty from the Liberal Party. They all share a passion for environmental sustainability. Canadians want a functional Parliament that recognizes that it’s not a choice between the economy and the environment. Canadians want their economy to thrive in a healthy environment. They want Conservatives to conserve.” more.
Reports: Property assessed payments for energy retrofits
The David Suzuki Foundation
This series of three reports examines local improvement charges as a financing mechanism for housing energy retrofits. The first report discusses how a similar mechanism could be used in Ontario to finance retrofits to make homes more energy efficient, reduce overall energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and save homeowners money. The second compares this mechanism with other options.