Friday, November 27, 2009

Stephen Harper is Blindsided by 3000 Scientists Who Tell Him to Smarten Up

This is no longer a game and the Fraser Institute can't help him now. We risk being suspended from the Commonwealth if we don't do something. Jim Prentice says it will be years before we can reach an agreement on climate change. We need to tell Jim Prentice it will be years before he ever gets near the environmental portfolio again.

Shamed into attending Copenhagen, if the PM is only going for photo-ops then he should stay home. We've seen enough of them.

The Liberals announced their environmental platform yesterday, so where is the Reformer's environmental platform? They've had four years and three ministers, and still nothing. And if they're going with the fraudulent carbon intensity, then they all need their heads examined.

3,000 scientists tell federal government to 'act now' on climate change
By Margaret Munro
Canwest News Service
November 26, 2009

Scientists have turned up the heat on the Harper government and are calling for urgent action on climate change.

"We must act responsibly. We must act now. We must act in concert with other industrialized nations," leaders of organizations representing more than 3,000 scientists said in an open letter to parliamentarians Thursday.

They note that the "eyes of the world will be on Canada" at the international climate talks in Copenhagen and "urge the government to negotiate an outcome that will rapidly and adequately address climate change."

The letter is signed by the presidents of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the Canadian Geophysical Union, the Canadian Association of Physicists, the Canadian Society of Soil Science and the Canadian Society of Zoologists. They represent more than 3,000 researchers, including experts studying how rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are altering the planet's climate and ecosystems.

Many are also federal scientists including oceanographer Bill Crawford, president of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and a senior researcher at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He said the unprecedented letter grew out of the increasing "alarm" about the lack of concrete action.

"We see an urgent need to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and we'd like Canada to play its role," Crawford said in an interview with Canwest News Service.

The letter indicated the Harper government has had plenty of warnings and advice from its own scientists.

"Rigorous international research, including work carried out and supported by the Government of Canada, reveals that greenhouse gases resulting from human activities contribute to the warming of the atmosphere and the oceans and constitute a serious risk to the health and safety of our society, as well as having an impact on all life," the scientists said.
Current and future impacts are "well documented," they said, and include loss of summer ice in the Arctic Ocean, reduced snow-cover, increased melting of glaciers and permafrost, increased evaporation from lakes and wetlands, more extreme weather, severe urban heat waves, increased forest fires and disruptions in agricultural, forest, and energy production.
"Major initiatives and changes are needed to adapt to our new climate,'' they said.

The scientists note that Canada is one of the largest per capita greenhouse-gas emitters on the planet and said "human activities must be optimized to significantly reduce emissions starting immediately."

"With vigorous action we can develop more efficient processes that reduce emissions, improve the quality of air we breathe and the water we drink, maintain the integrity of our ecosystems, and open new economic opportunities," they said.

An international science team issued a report earlier this week warning that climate change is occurring faster than expected. It said drastic emission reductions are required to keep global warming to 2 C, which is considered tolerable. If emissions are allowed to continue soaring "business as usual," the report estimated global mean temperatures will climb four degrees to 7 C by 2100 "locking in climate change at a scale that would profoundly and adversely affect all of human civilization and all of the world's major of major ecosystems."

Crawford can understand why people might want to tune out such a gloomy message, but said the threat is very real.

Thursday's letter doesn't say how much Canada's emissions need to come down, but there is wide consensus that deep cuts are required.

Canada's greenhouse emissions remain on a "significant" growth trajectory, according to the latest greenhouse-gas inventory from Environment Canada that noted the country's emissions are now 33.8 per cent above Canada's 1997 Kyoto commitment.

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