Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, according to a recent report prepared by government scientists. In parts of Canada’s north, this warming is progressing at thrice the rate of the global average.
While, since 1948, other countries have increased temperatures by roughly 0.8 degrees, Canada has been touched by a 1.7 degree increase. As the report notes in its headline statements, “this warming is effectively irreversible,” and “further warming,” it anticipates, “is unavoidable.”
These changes to our temperature can be expected to increase freshwater shortages, wildfires, and floodings. Ecosystems, principally those of our oceans, will be adversely affected by the melting of snow and ice.
Our only option to slow down this rapid increase is to “reduce carbon emissions to near zero” and to cut “emissions of other greenhouse gases substantially.”
The progress we are making towards this goal is not heartening. In Quebec, for instance, the CAQ’s recent spending budget has been heavily criticized for its lack of investment into an ecological future. Over a six year period, it has planned to devote only 1.3 billion to fighting against the effects of climate change. 410 million of this amount will go to large industry to help them “transition.”
On the federal level, it is already assumed by Environment Canada that the moderate Paris Agreement presents unrealistic goals. Furthermore, the popularity of the Conservative Party in the polls has been a foreshadowing of dark, foggy days to come.
Even our media has given global warming the cold shoulder. The CBC’s coverage of large-scale climate protests this past March, was limited. It has a history of dismissing climate concerns in its reporting. Furthermore, as activist Brent Patterson notes, many journalists working for Canada’s larger outlets, like Rex Murphy and Peter Mansbridge, make significant amounts of money giving speeches at the petroleum industry’s events.
It is interesting, maybe in a very twisted way, how revealing the climate crisis is about our democracy. While the people are organizing in larger numbers to protest inaction, the powers of control remain largely unmoved.
The state and its media are fine with allowing corporations to continue ravaging the planet for profit. It does not matter that the opposition is relatively small, only 100 companies being responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. Power is much more terrified of confronting shareholders, than of facing a quickly heating Canada.
Written by: Tree Hugger Helguero