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Most people understand that human-caused climate change is a real and serious threat. True, some still reject the mountains of evidence amassed by scientists from around the world over many decades, and accepted by every legitimate scientific academy and institution. But as the physical evidence builds daily, it takes an incredible amount of denial to claim we have no reason to worry.
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As well as being a faulty assertion, pointing out the many uses for fossil fuels in an attempt to reject the need to reduce reliance on them is actually an argument in favour of burning less coal, gas and oil. Fossil fuels are useful for many purposes, so why extract, transport and burn them so rapidly and wastefully?
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In this "post-truth" era, with a climate-change-denying U.S. administration, those who want to keep humanity wedded to outdated, polluting technologies have been emboldened. It's up to the rest of us to cut through the misinformation and help humanity get on track to a cleaner, healthier future.
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We aren't arguing about what colour to paint the local hockey arena. It's about the science concerning one of the most dire issues facing humanity. So for starters, how about if we don't ask how to "reconcile" public opinion before knowing what the science says?
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When it comes to climate change, the math and science are clear -- but not to everyone. The arts can be powerful allies in helping us all understand the severity of the challenge and the urgency for action.
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Much like climate change, the effects of Donald Trump's election will not stay on the southern side of the border.
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Secretary Clinton landed many zingers during the first debate, but perhaps the most memorable exchange came when she raised the omnipresent issue of Trump's refusal to hand over his taxes. There's a clear, insidious answer. Trump has repeatedly cast himself as an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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Life evolved to live within limits. It's a delicate balance. Humans need oxygen, but too much can kill us. Plants need nitrogen, but excess nitrogen harms them, and pollutes rivers, lakes and oceans. Ecosystems are complex. Our health and survival depend on intricate interactions that ensure we get the right amounts of clean air, water, food from productive soils and energy from the sun.
Global average temperatures are hitting record highs every recent month and year, and atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are rising steadily, to levels unheard of in human history. Arctic sea ice is vanishing at unprecedented levels, mass bleaching is killing the Great Barrier Reef, and record-setting droughts, floods, heatwaves and extreme weather are happening around the world.
Mass media is the main place where people should be learning of the threat ahead. Largely because of inadequate reporting by mass media, most Canadians are not well enough informed or angry enough to demand action by government and non-renewable corporations.
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Why does Elizabeth May get a media beating for stating we have another terrible example of our need to be very, very serious about climate change? Just like other catastrophic events, a given tragedy is proportional to the tough questions that necessarily follow. "But not now"? May was immediately berated by Justin Trudeau, other politicians, some of the media and social media. The charge? She was "trying to make a political argument out of one particular disaster." How's that? Stating that climate change is political, instead about science, is exactly the problem.
America was so preoccupied with fear that it made the entire world afraid. We were all so terrified of each other that our silent killer slipped into our homes without protest. They say that there were some people who tried to warn us... but we didn't listen, and we paid the price.
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Would you be surprised if I told you that Canadian corporations are contributing to a legal challenge against the U.S. government's foremost program to tackle climate change? That they are helping to fund an army of lawyers and lobbyists aggressively challenging climate regulations south of the border?
Unlike other species with no ability for self-reflection, humans are able to tell themselves fictions and myths, religious or not, to mollify and placate. Denial enabled early Homo sapiens ignore the realities of their fragile circumstances. But while the capacity for denial enabled continuance of the human species, at this stage of the game in our present evolution, our individual and collective undoing may be inevitable.
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Politicians convinced themselves and the compliant mainstream media that the accord all 195 countries signed was an amazing breakthrough document. The agreement is jam-packed with lofty language and idealistic goals. However, it is totally lacking in legally binding mechanisms that will hold governments to emission limits.
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A new global survey suggests Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have a fine line to walk at an upcoming international conference in Paris.
Almost all of our communication about climate change and sustainability is about how bad things are going to get if we don't change our ways -- floods, droughts, crop failures, coastal cities underwater and so on. All the evidence of how we are screwing things up can overload people, but when they see a new world arriving that might be better than the old one, they get excited.
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Comedian Scott Vrooman argues the media does not treat climate change like the five-alarm crisis it is, yet they have no trouble treating ISIS as a dire emergency. In Episode 2 of his election web ser...
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Reflecting back, given the seriousness of the crisis as it is now being described internationally, it is difficult to understand how Toronto's protests and climate talks were allowed to be so meaningless. These weaknesses, plus deplorable reporting by mainstream media, are responsible for millions of Canadians being poorly informed and not taking the threat of potentially disastrous climate change seriously.
There indeed should be some kind of negative payoff for vehemently arguing against the betterment -- and now survival -- of humanity. Some kind of recompense for assaulting moral progress and engaging in deception, manipulation and overt falsehoods.
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On Tuesday April 21st, Joe Oliver presented his first budget as Finance Minister. Its 518 pages have been universally described in less than flattering terms. It is really the Conservative platform dressed up as a budget -- long on promises, short on funding. It's been obvious for years that climate change is not a priority for this government, but to produce a 518 page document that is the basis for the Conservatives' next election platform and not mention the existential threat of the century is truly appalling.
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Canada's climate is about to change dramatically. You see, spring arrives next month. Sorry if that sounds anticlimactic, but in this country, changing seasons always mean changes in climate. Understanding why that happens can help us understand and dismiss one of the most commonly held fallacies about today's changing climate.
The Heartland Institute's recent International Climate Change Conference in Las Vegas illustrates climate change deniers' desperate confusion. Personal attacks are common among deniers. Their lies are continually debunked, leaving them with no rational challenge to overwhelming scientific evidence that the world is warming and that humans are largely responsible.
Stephen Harper is 55 years old, makes his home in Alberta, goes to an Evangelical church and, presumably, votes for the Conservatives. According to a new poll, that puts the prime minister in the high...
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This is an excerpt from Capt. Trevor Greene's new, self-published book. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott kept his most noxious campaign promise early this week. He repealed the country's tax on c...
This sort of bleating about how difficult the road is for the religious politician is stunning. We are witness to an era of dominance when North American politicians proudly and arrogantly proclaim their religious righteousness and Christian bravado. The worst of it is seen, almost daily, in the once proud Republican Party.
You can still go on road trips. But instead of visiting China, why not visit those countries that are heavily investing in sustainable, renewable resources? You wouldn't have to go far. Just a quick trip to California. With "the world's eighth-largest economy in 2013," accepting that climate change is a reality -- it is quickly moving away from its dependency on fossil fuel. Certainly B.C. could follow suit.
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We have to question whether climate denial is an exception or the norm in the Canadian government, and even if our government's case of climate denial doesn't extend into the Prime Minister's Office, our policies are out of step with believing in, understanding and taking action to solve the climate crisis.
What's outlandish is attributing massive changes in climate to increases in carbon dioxide, a trace gas that represents so miniscule a fraction of our atmosphere that it must be measured in parts per million. Established science had historically held natural forces to drive climate.
Stephen Harper and the government of Canada are in climate denial. While politicians and civil servants acknowledge the existence of climate change, this government's policies on energy development and climate change are in stark denial of and run in opposition to the a safe climate future.
The IPCC just released the first of four chapters of its Fifth Assessment Report. It shows scientists are more certain now that humans are largely responsible for global warming. When they say 95 per cent certain -- as the latest report does regarding human contributions to climate change -- that's as close to certainty as science usually gets. Evidence for climate change itself is "unequivocal."
Sometimes I wish I could be a climate skeptic. It would be such a relief to remain optimistic about the future of the world -- despite all the evidence to the contrary. On Friday the world's top scientists released their latest gloomy assessment of global warming and the message was clear: we need to find a way to stop burning fossil fuels or risk imperilling the planet.