EARTH DAY, APRIL 22
Posted by strattof on April 22, 2012
Sunday, April 22, is EARTH DAY, a time to reflect on the catastrophic damage we are doing to the earth systems that give us life, and a time to start taking action to reverse that damage
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is currently 35% higher than it was in 1832 at the beginning of the industrial revolution. At 393.65 parts per million it is also well over the upper safety limit of atmospheric CO2, which is 350 ppm.
- The leading cause of this increase in atmospheric CO2 is the burning of fossil fuels.
- Climate change is mainly the result of CO2 levels rising in the earth’s atmosphere.
- Many scientists believe that climate change is the single biggest threat the earth is facing today.
FAT CAT CANADA
While Canada is one of the richest countries in the world, it has one of the worst records when it comes to taking action on climate change:
- Canada ranks first among G8 countries for increasing green-house gas emissions.
- Canada ranks 54th out of 60 on the 2012 Climate Change Performance Index.
- Canada is by far the biggest defaulter on its Kyoto climate commitments. Emissions, rather than decreasing, have shot up. By 2009, they were 24% above 1990 emission levels. In 2011, Canada became the first signatory from the rich world to withdraw from Kyoto.
TAR SANDS MADNESS
- Tar sands production generates as much as 20% more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil. It accounts for 5% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Tar sands development is Canada’s fastest growing source of emissions.
- The Canadian government subsidizes the tar sands industry to the tune of $1.3 billion per year.
- To protect the tar sands industry from being adversely affected by climate change policy, Canada engaged in obstructionist tactics at the 2011 international climate change conference in Durban South Africa. These tactics led to Canada being dishonoured with the Fossil of the Year award – for the fifth year running. They also help to keep the world on the path to catastrophic global warming.
TAR SANDS: COMING TO A PROVINCE NEAR YOU
Oilsands Quest, a Calgary-based company, has a lease on 651,565 acres of northwestern Saskatchewan and is in the process of developing Saskatchewan’s first tar sands project.
RUNAWAY GREENHOUSE EFFECT
“After the ice is gone, would Earth proceed to the Venus syndrome, a runaway greenhouse effect that would destroy all life on the planet, perhaps permanently? While that is difficult to say based on present information, I’ve come to conclude that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.”–Dr James Hansen, NASA climate scientist
WHAT YOU AND I CAN DO
- Let Prime Minister Harper know that we want the federal government to stop subsidizing the tar sands industry and to start investing in renewable forms of energy: email@example.com or 613-992-4211.
- Tell Premier Brad Wall that we don’t want the province to develop tar sands oil, the world’s dirtiest oil; rather we want the province to invest in the development of renewable forms of energy: firstname.lastname@example.org or 787-9433.
Support the work of the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan: http://www.cleangreensask.ca/
- Live cleaner and greener: ●Buy less stuff ●Reuse and recycle ●Turn off lights when leaving a room ●Turn down the thermostat ●Use fans and blinds instead of an air conditioner ●Turn off the computer when not using it ●Turn off power bars at night ●Use a clothesline instead of a drier ●Use a push lawn mower ●Walk, cycle, car share, ride the bus ●Support neighbourhood businesses ●Eat less meat ●Eat locally produced food whenever possible.
E V E RY D A Y I S E A R T H D A Y