January 16, 2014 |
Extract from : http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs
When an old fisherman says, "We used to go out at low tide and gather a bucket of clams, but now there’s no low tide, only high tide and higher tide," it’s compelling. (Credit: Kim Deslandes via Flickr)
By David Suzuki
Ian Mauro, an environmental and social scientist at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, recently toured Atlantic Canada, interviewing fishers, hunters, farmers, businessmen, First Nations and local politicians about climate change. The result is a powerful film, Climate Change in Atlantic Canada, with people from different walks of life sharing observations about what’s happening all around them.
When an old fisherman says, "We used to go out at low tide and gather a bucket of clams, but now there’s no low tide, only high tide and higher tide," it’s compelling. The mayor of a small seaside town tells of repeated storm damage to seawalls that costs more to repair than the community can bear. Coastal towns contemplate raising houses or moving them above anticipated new sea levels. The anecdotes add up to an overwhelming warning that social, economic and ecological costs are rapidly mounting and we must take climate change seriously. As one person says, "If you don’t believe it, just look out the window."
We’ve elevated the economy above all else and demanded continued growth. Now the chickens have come home to roost, climate change has kicked in and the costs of dealing with more frequent and severe extreme weather-related events like floods, heat waves, fires and storms are swelling.
In 2009, 192 nations gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark, to negotiate our climate fate after the Kyoto Protocol expired. While failing to set concrete targets for greenhouse gas reduction, delegates agreed to limit emissions to keep temperatures from rising above 2 C by the end of the century — an easy promise for politicians whose office tenures will end long before then, leaving no one accountable for failure.
We must also shift to renewable energy sources in direct proportion to the phase-out of fossil fuels. And we must put a stop to deforestation.
Let’s seize the challenge and start the transition now. Experience informs us that many unexpected or even predictable benefits will follow. Delaying further only gets us into deeper trouble.