Thursday, October 11, 2018

It's Almost Too Late

Without doubt, the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a sobering call for urgent action to prevent complete climate catastrophe. The 12-year window provided by the report should leave no one in doubt about the dire situation the world is facing. And yet, the decisive political leadership required to mitigate that disaster is lacking, as the following two letters from Star writers amply demonstrate:
How can any leader of any party in any country deny the inconvenient truth that the biggest threat to all people everywhere right now, including Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, is climate change?

How can they say carbon pricing is taking money away from the people and taking away jobs? Some jobs close and others open. Carbon pricing made polluters pay for ways to fight pollution. If you can afford a vehicle and the costs of driving it, why on earth do you think you can’t afford a dime a litre to offset your carbon footprint?

Time is running out — the latest figures, based on 6,000 scientific studies — give us only 12 years to get rising temperatures locked into a 1.5-degree C increase. More than that, which is where we are headed, causes the unthinkable.

Our oceans are already turning to acid. With a slight increase in temperature, we start to lose insects. And without insects we have no food.

Anyone who has a child, a grandchild or is under the age of 45 should not squander the slim margin left for offsetting disaster. Each of us should be taking whatever measures we can right now to help save this threatened planet.

Do not trust any leader who is not working with the federal government as an ally on policies aimed at mitigating the damage we are causing. Wake up. Pay up. It is not about jobs. It’s about lives.

Demand more integrity. More facts. Perhaps if the Star started putting climate change information on the front page every day, readers would start to realize that all other news is inconsequential by comparison.

Janice Lindsay, Toronto

In light of the report issued Sunday by the UN panel on climate change, Ford and Kenney appear as buffoons on the deck of the Titanic entertaining a drunken mob of ignorant upper-class twits with jokes about conspiracy theories, while Trudeau and McKenna scurry around rearranging deck chairs.

A scared hysterical crowd of steerage passengers are trapped below chanting, “What do we want? Carbon fee and dividend. When do we want it? Yesterday!”

For the sake of my granddaughters and all that is bright and beautiful in the world, will you clowns move your bums and fix this mess!

John Stephenson, Toronto


  1. If only their concerned indignation was more widespread and, more importantly, lasting. As these jarring reports are released I begin a deathwatch to see how many days before they're down the Memory Hole, scrubbed from media notice and seemingly washed out of the public consciousness.

    Two, back to back studies, reported that, in the preceding 40 years, mankind had wiped out fully half of terrestrial and then the same of marine life. (It's obviously grown worse since) Those stories held traction for less than a week and I've not noticed any mention of them in the intervening three or four years.

    We've lost a component of our civilizational drive chain. The engine revs for a bit but there's no drive shaft to connect to the rear axle. Nothing happens. There's no movement.

    Information, knowledge, forewarning doesn't spur us to action. The consequences that information warns us to avoid finally may get traction but, by then, it's too late for remedial action. We just settle for ever more robust but increasingly less effective adaptation measures.

    1. I was also struck, Mound, that the IPCC report wasn't front-page news in every major paper. The fact that it wasn't reveals a great deal about our apparent death wish.

  2. "Buffoons on the deck of the Titanic" -- a chillingly accurate characterization. Lorne.

    1. I thought it was particularly apt, Owen, in light of the gravity of our situation.