Advance View: No more time left for denying

For years we’ve been told that climate change is going to be the unfortunate legacy we leave to our children.

But it turns out now that we don’t have to wait that long.

A new report by more than 300 top scientists has made clear that climate change is already here.

Although meteorologists are at pains to point out that weather is not climate, most adults can’t help but be struck by the remarkable changes in temperatures, seasons, and unusual weather patterns, discernible to even non-scientists, that have occurred in our lifetimes.

As the report makes clear, the changes are borne out by science. They are caused by human activity generating greenhouse gases, and they are happening more quickly than predicted.

Most of the effects are extremely detrimental. They include increasing numbers of hurricanes and tornadoes, heavy rains in some parts of North America, and drought in others.

On the West Coast, reduced snow pack, rising sea levels and ocean acidification, storm surges, and forest infestations are just some of the challenges likely to get worse in the future.

Those West Coast scallops you love? Kiss them goodbye soon. The coastal waters have already become too acidic for them to survive.

The question remains, what are we willing to do about it?

Despite widespread acknowledgement of concern, Canada’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions remain inadequate. Oil and gas production is one of our country’s largest contributors to the problem. Yet our government largely refuses to recognize it, much less move to mitigate it in any realistic way.

This latest report makes it clear, however, that the time to act is now.

Because a dramatically altered planet will soon be everyone’s problem.

– from the North Shore News

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