Harvey, Irma further proof climate change is real
change is real and its getting worse with each passing
year. What more proof do you need than the recent devastating
storms that have hit Texas, Florida, Cuba and the leeward
islands in the eastern Caribbean?
the time this week’s paper hits your doorstep, Hurricane
Irma will have done its worst in Florida. Thousands of
people will be displaced and billlions of dollars in property
damage will be incurred from one end of the state to the
that only tells half of the story. Before it hit the Sunshine
state, Irma wreaked havoc in the Caribbean, literally
wiping out islands like Barbuda, where 95 per cent of
the buildings have been destroyed and 65 per cent of the
population is now homeless; St. Maarten; Anguilla; and
the Virgin Islands.
it made landfall in the Keys. the eye of the storm travelled
the entire length of the north shore of Cuba, battering
it with 160 mph winds and 25 foot high waves.
of the worst hit places in Cuba was the Sabana-Camagüey
Archipelago which includes popular tourist destinations
like Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria where the boys and
I spent part of our vacation just four short months ago.
Irma is the second most powerful hurricane ever recorded
over the Atlantic. It was fueled by record warm waters.
a world away in the western Pacific, Southeast Asia has
been hit with an unprecedented number of typhoons and
tropical storms this year, and cyclones in the Indian
Ocean have destroyed villages in Bangladesh and caused
more than 200 deaths.
change is also to blame for an increase in the number
and intensity of wild fires in B.C., California and Australia.
terrifying thing is that these weather events will only
intensify and become more frequent as we continue to pollute
the atmosphere and pussyfoot around the issue.
know it’s hard to talk about climate change and global
warming when the National Capital region has just experienced
one its coldest and wettest summers in recent memory,
but that too was a product of climate change.
what can be done about it? Well for one thing, the world’s
governments need to take the issue more seriously. The
Paris Climate Agreement was ground-breaking in that every
country in the world save Nicaragua, which held out for
a more stringent agreement, and Syria, which was locked
in a civil war, signed it.
United States under climate change denier-in-chief Donald
Trump, has since pulled out, however, individual states
and cities remain committed to the goals of the agreement.
even if every country met those goals, it would still
result in a 1.5°C increase in mean global temperatures.
level of optimism in the world’s countries being able
to meet the goals set out in the Agreement is not very
good. Depending on which analysis you read, global warming
will likely increase by 2°C-2.5°C over the next 20 years
unless more is done.
world’s biggest polluters are motor vehicles and commercial
airliners. According to FlightAware which keeps track
of such things, there were an average of 9,728 commercial
planes in the air at any given time during the past year.
Those planes emit a witch’s brew of particles that add
to the problem of global warming.
the pollution caused by planes is nothing compared to
the pollution caused by motor vehicles. The sad part is
that we can stop motor vehicle carbon emissions overnight.
If the world wants to get serious about combating climate
change it needs to bring an end to fossil fuel powered
motor vehicles sooner rather than later.
and Britain both want to ban fossil fuel cars by 2040.
Norway has an even more ambitious plan to ban fossil fuel
cars by 2025. Canada has set no such target, at least
not yet, but it should and it must.
only thing preventing a world wide ban is the fossil fuel
industry which would see oil sales fall dramatically.
So sad, too bad.
necessity is the mother of invention than the recent extreme
weather in Texas and Florida should provide the necessary
incentive to develop affordable alternative energy vehicles
on a massive scale and end fossil fuel transportation
sooner rather than later.
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