This time last year, the world watched as the Arctic melt hit a record low and more ice disappeared than ever before. On September 15 Greenpeace has called for an international day of action to bring together the millions of people who have spoken up to protect the Arctic. Large-scale, family friendly bike rides -- we call them Ice Rides -- are being organized across the globe.
In 1988, the environment was a top public concern, scientists spoke out and politicians said the right things. Global warming was a pressing and present issue. Now, 25 years later, carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, and we're already seeing the consequences -- more extreme weather events, melting glaciers and Arctic ice, rising sea levels, reduced water flows in rivers and climate-related illness and death, among others. The sooner we act, the easier it will be to overcome these difficult challenges. Every year that we stall makes it more costly and challenging, with increasing negative impacts.
During this past week Arctic sea ice retreated to all-time lows, shattering the previous record set in 2007 by an area roughly the size of (ironically) Alberta. This past week, the much-anticipated new and improved federal regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity plants leaked out. To no one's surprise, they are significantly weakened from what we had been told to expect.
Arctic sea ice has already melted to a record low this year. And summer's not over yet. Ice is thinning at a rate 50 per cent faster than scientists predicted, mainly because of global warming, and summer Arctic ice could soon disappear altogether. But companies largely responsible for the climate disaster are scrambling to get as much profit from the situation as they can. But the more we stall, the worse it will get.