by JOHN AMAGOALIK Something quite extraordinary happened in Ottawa during the first week of Decembe
I am concerned by lobbying that downplays man made climate change, or “global warming.” Some deny the existence of global warming, stating that a growing number of scientists do not believe in it. Reasons are not expressed for this disbelief, nor are statistics quoted for the number of scientists believing or refuting it.
Yes, causes and trends in climate are tricky to prove, and prediction of the effects in any one region are uncertain, however there are concrete reasons for applying a precautionary strategy nevertheless.
Some facts were beyond dispute, and known for decades: carbon dioxide, and other “greenhouse gases” trap the sun’s energy in our atmosphere: these gases, have increased due to human activities: 30 per cent more carbon dioxide means more energy is trapped in our atmosphere.
Our climatic engine has been revved up. Ecosystems, and human kind dependent on these ecosystems for food, health, wealth, and recreation, will feel the impacts of climate change, whether they involve warming, cooling, increased droughts, floods, or no change, in a particular region.
Furthermore the “economic costs” of reducing emissions that industry warns us of, in fact often provide beneficial economic, social, and environmental side effects.
Take for example one of the worst offenders, inefficient cars. Promotion of lightweight hybrid electric cars, public transit, and cycling, in addition to mitigating climate change, would stimulate new industries and jobs, reduce costly oil imports, and reduce smog, acid rain, and traffic casualties.
Arguments against emission reduction agreements are valid from the viewpoint of particular industries, or regions, not society as a whole. These localised interests could be accommodated through the proposed trading of emission quotas between, and within countries.