Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Hot, Hot, Damn Hot
NASA reports that 2010 is on track to be the hottest year on record. Today NASA noted that the past 12-months have been the warmest 12-month period recorded. And to top it off, the past four months ending in June have each individually been the hottest on record too. That'd be the hottest March, the hottest April, the hottest May and the hottest June ever recorded.
Does that mean we'll never see cold snaps again? Hardly. Weather is weather, it fluctuates, but climate change is less volatile, more consistent. So, hotter it is and it'll keep getting hotter until we mend our ways.
That's the key to this whole business. The climate is changing but so are we, mankind. Our world is changing and that alone changes us. Do you think the people of regions whipsawed by a succession of floods and droughts aren't changing? Of course they are. So are the people of low-lying islands and coastal regions. So are the people of permafrost regions.
Change is coming, it's inevitable. The only question is whether we're going to do anything to control it, to slow the change and perhaps even reverse it, and to adapt to it in the meantime. The question is whether we're going to decarbonize our economies, decarbonize our societies.
Of course in our global pariah, Canada, the leaders of both major powers see carbon as a medium of exchange, a commodity of international trade, regional and national wealth, and even a key to "national unity." To them it's all just a matter of cleaning up the filthiest fossil fuel project on earth - eventually, sometime, somehow. To this pair of cutthroat bastards it's as though paying lip service to Athabasca remediation is the same as accomplishing it, or close enough for government work anyway. Canada's Bitumen Bert & Ernie don't have much appetite for alternative, clean energy because that doesn't square with their vision of a century of mining, processing and selling tar.
Our Furious Leader, Harper, and his trusty sidekick, Stiffy, are Fossil Fuelers. They're Climate Changers, Global Warmers and it is indeed that cut and dried. Targets have been defined, lines have been drawn, and you're either on one side or the other. Twenty years from now the two of them will be footnotes, entries on lists of the weak, the greedy and the cowardly who had a chance to change things but didn't. It's too bad they chose Big Oil and the United States over the people of Canada and future generations of Canadians but, by not acting, that's just what they've done.
So hop aboard, strap yourself in and try to enjoy the ride. While you're kicking back why not take a look at predicted conditions for your area by 2030 and 2050 if we don't mend our ways. You'll have to dig a bit. Our government has all that information but doesn't seem to want to share it with us and, curiously enough, the opposition seems just fine with that too. Other countries, the Brits and Germans for example, get information out to their people so they can see what's coming, so they can get on with the lengthy process of assessing that information, planning and implementing programmes for remediation and adaptation. Canada's leaders, it seems, don't want you to trouble your gentle mind with that sort of information - because the more you know, the worse they look.