This is one we're not going to be able to duck. We can't kick this can down the road. It's already underway, one of the knock-on effects of existing global warming. It is the thawing of the permafrost across the far north. And it's going to cost us dearly.
Dmitry Yumashev and a team of researchers at Lancaster University have studied the effects of melting ice sheets in the Arctic and concluded that an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide and methane from melting permafrost, coupled with added absorption of heat from the sun due to a lack of sea ice reflecting sunlight away from the surface of the Earth, will lead to an increase in the cost of global warming by a staggering $70 trillion. That is ten times the amount of economic benefit that might be derived by easier access to mineral resources in the Arctic and lower shipping costs across the top of the world.
The study, entitled “Climate policy implications of nonlinear decline of Arctic land permafrost and other cryosphere elements,” was published on April 23 in the journal Nature Communications.
...“It’s disheartening that we have this in front of us,” says Yumashev. “Even at 1.5 C to 2 C, there are impacts and costs due to thawing permafrost. But they are considerably lower for these scenarios compared to business as usual. We have the technology and policy instruments to limit the warming but we are not moving fast enough.” That lack of urgency is precisely what the Extinction Rebellion protesters, Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Bernie Sanders are talking about.
...The studies continue to pile up, but most countries are still pursuing a business as usual path, risking the very existence of the human race and every living thing on Earth to preserve the hegemony of fossil fuel companies. If there is any record of humanity’s all too brief time on Earth left after we die off, perhaps whatever species comes to inhabit the Earth in a few million years from now will shrug and look to William Shakespeare to explain the insanity that lead to our demise. “Lord, what fools these mortals be,” wrote the bard.Coincidentally, Captain Pipeline was discussing climate change today and yesterday. One was on Twitter where the prime minister observed, quite righteously, that, without a healthy environment, there would not be a healthy environment. I think he stole that line from David Suzuki who later called JT a 'twerp.' Then there was this epiphany from yesterday.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned that cities across Canada will experience more frequent flooding because of climate change and governments need to adapt to this new reality.
"We're going to see more and more of these extreme weather events more regularly," he said during a visit to an evacuation centre in the city of Gatineau.
"It means we have to think about adaptation, mitigation and how we are going to move forward together."What he has to think about is how we are going to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030. Everything else is bullshit.
We know that little Canada with just 0.5 per cent of the world's population is in the top 10 nations for total greenhouse gas emissions and in the top three for per capita greenhouse gas emissions. Top ten, top three. Despite that we've got a Liberal prime minister and his would-be Conservative successor both hellbent on ramming through a mega-pipeline to flood world markets with high-cost, high-carbon, low-value bitumen.
He's dead wrong when he preaches we must think about adaptation and mitigation when we need to be thinking about how a succession of political leaders, Libs and Tories, have betrayed us on climate change and the cost future generations will have to pay for their cowardice and neglect.