What Planet Are We Leaving To Our Grandchildren?

“It is crucial for all of us, especially young people, to get involved. This book, I hope, has provided some assistance in understanding what policies we need to be fighting for—and why this will be the most urgent fight of our lives. It is our last chance.”
—James Hansen

Today is the third Monday in February. In Canada we call it Family Day, the first long weekend of the year. I’ve made sure we had family events every day of the weekend which included playing card games with the kids and seeing a movie with my Dad. But today I’m feeling a bit more reflective: I’m thinking about my family’s future generations: the children that my children will have. My grandchildren. And then of course I start to think about the planet my grandchildren will live in.

Of course, I’m not the only person who has expressed concerns about the planet our grandchildren will inherit. In fact, someone’s even written a book about his concerns. Dr. James Hansen is one of the most respected climatologists on Earth so his words have significance. He was among the first to bring attention about the threats posed from greenhouse gas emissions to a U.S. Senate committee back in 1988. And although he would much prefer to just continue to work as a scientist rather than an activist or an advocate, he’s been affected by what he sees around him. It’s hard to sit idly by when you see the harm happening before your eyes and you think about what your children and grandchildren are going to face. As Hansen explains in his book, he didn’t want to ever be accused by younger members of his family that he didn’t speak out when he knew the extent of the problem better than almost anyone.

Storms of My Grandchildren” is Hansen’s first and only book.  Continue reading

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Should Senate Committees Ask if the Earth is Flat?

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”
—George Bernard Shaw

This past Wednesday, a meeting of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee took place. During this meeting, the Committee was supposed to ask the EPA Acting Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe about the EPA’s proposed regulations that would limit emissions from coal-fired power plants. Rather than do that, they decided to focus on climate change and our role in it.

Discourse and debate are always important. But the approach the Committee members took (particularly the Republicans on the Committee) was akin to debating whether the Earth is flat, or the sun is the centre of our solar system. In a particularly notable example, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) even questioned data from NASA and NOAA proving that 2014 was the hottest year on record. How did he refute the facts? By quoting from “The King’s Speech” of course: Continue reading

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Judge Declares: Newspapers Should Strive for Accuracy

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
Buddha

What happens when a Canadian climate expert sues a prominent national newspaper such as the National Post? Justice, apparently. This past Friday, a judge decided the Post had published several articles that were both inaccurate and defamatory to this scientist’s character.

British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Emily Burke declared that Dr. Andrew Weaver should be awarded $50,000 in damages from the newspaper. She stated that the Post had damaged Weaver’s credibility as a climate scientist because it had published articles that had portrayed him as “untrustworthy, unscientific and incompetent; and that he distorts and conceals scientific data to promote a public agenda and receive government funding.” When in fact he had done none of those things.

It turns out the decision has little to do with the science behind global warming or climate change, however. In fact, Justice Burke actually defended the Post’s right to be skeptical of climate science in the decision, but said that the newspaper had been dishonest in its degree of skepticism. In the words of Justice Burke: Continue reading

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Once You Feel Global Warming, It’s Already Too Late

I came across this great commercial about global warming I wanted to share. It tugs a little at the heart strings, a technique which can always be argued as a cheap emotional way to make a point.

Sometimes when logic and science don’t convince people, emotion may be the only tool we have left.

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Is Ours a Lost Generation?

Some of my friends have vast email distribution lists for funny or amusing emails of which I happen to be one of many recipients. I’m sure you can relate. Some of these emails are lame and some are titillating (and typically NSFW).

But every once in a while I get one that gives me pause. One that makes me see things a little differently. Those ones are special.

I got this particular video called “Lost Generation” a few years ago and posted about it. It’s definitely worth a second look if you saw it back then. It was produced by the AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons. Although it touches on global warming and climate change briefly, its message is much broader in scope, but also a little spine-tingling. Watch it and see how brilliantly and elegantly they turn a situation that seems hopeless into one that is much more inspiring.

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