For release December 03, 2009
500 Canadian Scientists: Climate Change happening faster than we thought, Canada must do more
Today, more than 500 Canadian scientists issued an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper warning him of the dangers of climate change and calling on his government to do more to fight it.
“The most recent research tells us that climate change is happening even faster than we predicted”, said Andrew Weaver, Canada Research Chair in Climate Modeling and Analysis, University of Victoria. “Each year that we delay taking sufficient action costs us and future generations more and increases the difficulty of succeeding.”
The letter comes at a pivotal moment in history, as world leaders prepare to meet at a United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen (December 7-18). In the letter, the scientists expressed their support for strong, global action to address climate change and sent an urgent call-to-action to the Canadian government.
“Our political leaders need to recognize that you can’t negotiate with the laws of science,” said John Smol, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change, Queen's University. “The only way to have a chance of stabilizing the climate is to move much more aggressively on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Canada currently ranks last among the G8 nations in tackling climate change according to the 2009 G8 Climate Scorecard issued jointly by WWF and the global insurance company Allianz. Leaders in Canada’s scientific community agree that not enough is being done in Canada to address the problem.
“Climate warming is expected to cause greatly increased incidence of forest fire and permafrost melting, which could greatly amplify it in an uncontrollable way,” said David Schindler, Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology, University of Alberta. “It will also cause huge financial losses due to the effects of drought on agriculture and hydroelectric generation."
“We have the science, the technology, and the ingenuity we need to solve this problem,” said Gerald Butts, President and CEO of WWF-Canada. “We owe our children and grandchildren a living planet. That means taking action now.”
The letter was coordinated by WWF-Canada and can be found online at www.wwf.ca/scientistsvoice. A related ad will run in newspapers on December 5.
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