I’m just reading the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s document, “Sustainability in Sight” and I’m going to share with you a quote they use from a now ten year old document, “Go Green: Ontario’s Action Plan on Climate Change (2007)”
“Scientists, and most notably, the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have shown that the earth’s climate is changing dramatically, and human industrial activity and the burning of fossil fuels are largely to blame.
Before the Industrial Revolution, the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the earth’s atmosphere was about 280 parts per million. We are now at about 380 parts per million. At 380 parts per million, coral reefs are dying, glaciers are melting, seas are rising and an estimated 35,000 people died in the 2003 European heat wave. According to the IPCC, without significant action to reduce emissions, CO2 concentrations may reach 750 parts per million this century….molecules of CO2 remain in the atmosphere for up to 200 years. Which means the CO2 molecules produced by the first cars, the Wright brothers’ plane and the first coal-fired electricity plants may still be airborne.”
Of course, as recently as this past month we have seen even more climate related horrors. Hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, they have ever been part of our reality. But as much as they are described as ‘natural disasters’, we now know, through analysis, that the frequency is unnatural. The conditions that create these climate events today are exacerbated by the much more dense amount of CO2 in our atmosphere, as well as other Greenhouse Gases, which have been created by the dependence on fossil fuels which let the genie out of the bottle. Fossil fuels have made many very, very rich and that is a significant reason why change to clean energy is an ongoing issue.
Thankfully for us in Ontario, we now do not depend on coal, a significant producer of CO2. That was a political decision based on decades of research and the results to the health of Ontarians is now documented.
From ‘Ontario Clean Air Alliance’:
“Phasing out the use of coal fired electricity in Ontario was an enormous achievement, the greenhouse gas reduction equivalent to taking 7 million cars off the road.”
Ontario Clean Air Alliance has a website and access to documents such as “Up the Stack: Coal-fired Electricity’s Toxic Impact”
But there are still those who argue that its either not enough, or a ‘tempest in a teapot’.
When looked at through the lens of Sustainability, which is what we do here at SC, from every pillar whether environmental, social, or economic, this is a multi-generational view for the ability of citizens to manage their lives effectively without harming or infringing on the lives of future generations.
Now on to the next challenge to sustainability, land use!
Your comments are always appreciated.