Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wake Up Iggy. Climate Change Has Arrived and It's Here to Stay

I can understand why Slippery Steve Harper shuns climate change as a vampire to daylight but for the life of me I cannot grasp why Michael Ignatieff has to go the same route.

Global warming driven climate change is here.  Weather-related stories are on virtually every front page, every day.   Not only is climate change the new staple of the news business, they're almost never good news.

The World Meterological Organization warns that the climate disasters that have plagued the world over the past two months are entirely consistent with patterns predicted by climate scientists.  From the Toronto Star:

From smoke-choked Moscow to water-soaked Pakistan, a sweltering southern Ontario and the High Arctic, the planet seems to be having a midsummer breakdown. It's not just a portent of things to come, scientists say, but a sign of troubling climate change already under way.

..."There is no time to waste," because societies must be equipped to deal with global warming, says British government climatologist Peter Stott.

He said modelers of climate systems are "very keen" to develop supercomputer modeling that would enable more detailed linking of cause and effect as a warming world shifts jet streams and other atmospheric currents. Those changes can wreak weather havoc.

The article goes on with a survey of some of the weather disasters that have taken place of the past few months.   Read more here.

Look, global warming is happening.  It's not something to worry about in 2030 or 2050.  It's already here and it's going to keep getting worse and much worse if we don't address the problem.

You can't support the expansion of the planet's filthiest fossil fuel disaster, the Athabasca Tar Sands, and claim to be serious about the threats climate change poses to the world and our own nation.  In other words, you have to chose the Tar Sands or Canada.  It's that simple.

What's it going to be Ignatieff, bitumen or the Canadian people, short term profits or the welfare of future generations?   Once again you've planted yourself on the wrong side of an important issue but this time it's beyond important, it's critical and it's immediate.

Some devout Liberals claim the party can't afford to get rid of Ignatieff because that would weaken the party and hand Harper a majority.   If that's what you really believe you have to get this guy to change his mind on the Tar Sands and get a grasp of the global warming problem.  It's up to you to reset Iggy's priorities.

This is an issue the Liberal Party should absolutely own, one that is the LPC's for the taking.   As Stott warns, there's no time to waste.   Societies, including our own, must be equipped to deal with global warming.   Our government hasn't begun to get useful, reliable information out to the public on what's coming and what options we have for adaptation and remediation.   Harper has deliberately kept us in the dark and the Libs have let him get away with it.  

Environment Canada has all the information we need.  Force Harper to get that information out to the public and local authorities.   Without it we'll be hard pressed to effectively assess, plan and implement solutions.   That takes time and we've already wasted years thanks to an indifferent government and an incompetent opposition.   There is no more time to waste.


LMA said...

Iggy is happy to keep feeding us fairy stories about "cleaning up" the Tar Sands, and many seem happy to follow him along his path of denial. Unfortunately, there's a big problem with the defense mechanism of denial - it's really effective in reducing your anxiety level, but it prevents you from coping with reality.

If spilling 5 millions barrels of oil into the GOM, the calving of the Greenland ice sheet, and the weather extremes aren't going to bring about change, what the hell is it going to take?

The Mound of Sound said...

You ask a question that confounds everyone. What's it going to take? Canadian politicians dodge the question and try to take themselves off the hook by whining that we have to follow America's lead even as the U.S. isn't leading itself or anyone else anywhere. Worse yet, we pretend that we're keeping up with the U.S. when Tar Sands expansion will plainly cause to fall that much further behind.

The contradictions are glaring but, instead of addressing them honestly, our political elites wallow in hypocrisy masked by deception and hollow assurances.

I'm convinced that, as a Liberal leader, the current guy is even worse than his predecessor.

Anyong said...

Driving along the highway on Thursday, I mentioned to the other person in the car there was a lot of pollution low to the ground. She immediately asked me if I was, "one of those environmentalists who thinks the world is coming to an end because of climate change. "Yes", I replied I am one of those people who is concerned about climate change. That's just haze and besides, what's happening is God's will". It wasn't any good to say anything else as to her as the mind is closed. This is what most Canadians think of climate change. All while that is the case, how will we few move the government to do the correct thing? We don't have a hope in hell of doing so. .

LMA said...

Many seem just unwilling to deal with the whole unpleasant topic of climate change and pollution and the government is more than happy to oblige.

So while the Alberta government's recent Tar Sands greenwashing ads claim that land used for tailing ponds is required by law to be returned to a productive state, the reality remains that when companies such as Imperial Oil cannot meet such requirements they are simply given an extension, in the case of the Kearl plant until 2023.

At the very least, Iggy should be attacking the failure of the Alberta to enforce Tar Sands environmental regulations. Can't he even manage that?

The Mound of Sound said...

Unfortunately, Anyong, your friend's attitude is all too common among fundamentalists, including a good many in today's government. It's all their god's will so there's no need to act. It's curious why they take that attitude so selectively. For example, they're big on crime and punishment when, after all, their god will judge all in the afterlife and, presumably, it's his will that crime is committed. Their contradiction and hypocrisy is breathtaking. But when you cling to delusional faith, logic and fact aren't particularly relevant.

LMA, yes Ignatieff should be carrying this fight to Harper. It's a terrific issue and one on which Furious Leader is utterly defenceless.

I suspect Iggy senses that climate change could be a revolutionary issue and it probably is. That's because it challenges the existing order, upsets the status quo, and calls for new economic, political and social models.

Sorry to harp but climate change is but one of a number of potentially existential threats, all of which have to be resolved for any to be answered. There's a common thread that runs through them and 19th century free enterprise capitalism obstructs action.

Maude Barlow is quite right in saying that our planet's freshwater crisis is every bit as threatening as global warming. It very probably is and that adds to the problem that confronts us. These problems "confront us." They're in our face. They're tangible and their combined impact is genuinely cumulative.

Like it or not, and I'm not much happier with the idea of sacrifice than most, we're going to have to find a new means of distribution of assets other than supply and demand capitalism. However, if we insist on sticking with 18th century Industrial Revolution values, we had better be prepared to kill an awful lot of people.

Who knows, Anyong, perhaps your motoring companion is fine with that. You might want to ask him/her. People are already dying from the ravages of global warming and we, the major emitters, are principally responsible. Ask your friend if he/she believes Jesus is square with us inflicting death and suffering on the less fortunate masses? Ask your friend if they don't think that will be tossed into the mix on Judgment Day? And, if you get the chance to ask those things, do please let me know how he/she responds.

LMA said...

Keep harping on, MoS. The world is getting smaller and smaller thanks to the internet, and it's getting harder and harder to deny climate change and ignore the misery of other humans and animals while we live lifestyles of comparative luxury.