Government scientists have produced a new report on climate change in Canada, and it’s beyond grim. The details trigger thoughts of hoarding and maybe selling the house and moving to higher ground. To a millennial, the findings should inspire naked fear.
And, says the report, there is simply no doubt about the cause. Climate change-skeptic conservatives will, of course, disagree, but here is what the scientists say:
“Canada’s climate has warmed and will warm further in the future, driven by human influence. Both past and future warming in Canada is, on average, about double the magnitude of global warming.”
It is effectively irreversible. The antidote prescribed in the report is politically impossible, at least right now: “Scenarios with limited warming will only occur if Canada and the rest of the world reduce carbon emissions to near zero early in the second half of the century.”
“Ocean warming and loss of oxygen will intensify with further emissions of all greenhouse gases, whereas ocean acidification will increase in response to additional carbon dioxide emissions. These changes threaten the health of marine ecosystems.”
Those are just the highlights. The main takeaway: if climate change worldwide is much more frightening and immediate than we all thought, as the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported six months ago, it’s at least twice as bad in Canada.
To the Trudeau government, this is core-mission stuff. Last week, scientists from the environment department were brought in to the Prime Minister’s Office for briefings. The report will be public and online Tuesday, and Justin Trudeau and members of his cabinet will be pushing the issue as something bordering on a national emergency, which is not an unreasonable way to characterize it.
Normally, you’d think findings like these would penetrate deep into voters’ minds. Climate change, with reports like this one and that of the IPCC last October, is becoming an issue of economic self-interest.