Monday, November 09, 2015

We Just Keep Breaking the Wrong Records

We can't say we weren't warned - again and again and again. Think of it as being parked smack atop a level crossing and deciding to enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch. Somebody in the back seat says, "hey, what's that?" and then, "it's a train." A couple of minutes later another warning, "look, it's almost on us. We've got to go." And then the driver looks up just as the train smashes into the side of the car.

Now the World Meteorological Organization is sounding "Last Call."

Greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere have reached a record high in 2014, the World Meteorological Organisation says.

Graphs issued by the United Nations agency showed levels of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, climbing steadily towards the 400 parts per million (ppm) level, having hit a new record every year since reliable records began in 1984.

Carbon dioxide levels averaged 397.7 ppm in 2014 but briefly breached the 400 ppm barrier in the northern hemisphere in early 2014, and again globally in early 2015.

The rise in carbon dioxide levels was being amplified by higher levels of water vapour, which were in turn rising because of carbon dioxide emissions, the WMO said.

Levels of the other two major man-made greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide, also continued their relentless annual rise in 2014, reaching 1833 parts per billion (ppb) and 327.1 ppb, respectively. Both increased at the fastest rate for a decade.

The UN panel of climate scientists estimates that concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are at their highest in at least 800,000 years.

Our driver, the new prime minister, the opposition leaders, and all of our premiers, will be in Paris for the December climate summit. They'll be getting the "Last Call" warning. Justin is going to decide the future of his little kids, everyone's little kids. Let's hope he sees it as their future, not their fate.

If he does want a future for all those kids, from Canada and every other country, he's going to have to act forcefully and now. He'll be up against a lot of people - people like Stephen Harper - and corporations - the Fossil Fuelers,  who are ready to write off all those kids. It's a decision that shouldn't be tough but there are plenty who are determined to see that it will be and some of those are in Justin's own party.

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