We are living in a world that is nearly a degree warmer than the average over the past 100 years. The realities of a one-degree world are harsh. Canada has taken a global position to ensure that emissions grow far and above the climate limit, a limit that they were a part of setting in 2009. So what is going to be our climate legacy?
The spin from the federal government on this year's Canada's Emissions Trends report was that Canada is making "significant progress" towards its emissions targets, and this progress is the "result" of federal climate policies. While there is some good news in the report, the federal government is overstating its own efforts to tackle greenhouse gas pollution and understating the challenge facing federal and provincial governments in reaching our climate commitments.
In a recent poll Canadians cited the economy as their most pressing concern. There is mounting evidence a green economy would deliver greater economic growth and more jobs compared with continuing with business as usual. The green economy isn't just better for the environment; it's a better economy.
If the Earth were in distress, say, heating up to dangerous temperatures, the public would band together. We'd all scrutinize the problem to help climate scientists and environment ministers find a solution... wouldn't we? Many people wouldn't. When the issues are really complicated, some would avoid the crisis altogether.