Why a two degree Celsius increase in the global average temperature is a big deal

On Monday, January 21st, 2013 in Articles by Elizabeth

The International Energy Agency is warning that shooting past two degrees Celsius average global temperature will have “dire consequences.” And the World Bank is talking about 3.5 degrees of warming as being “devastating.” These are not environmental agencies. They are conservative, economically-oriented institutions. They are “establishment” with a capital E. Their language is increasingly alarmed, and yet nothing happens.

I think part of the problem is that even when experts understand the peril in which all human society is placed, those who are alarmed are afraid to sound “alarmist.” Translating the impact of two degrees, 3.5 degrees, and even higher levels of warming into language that is clear and unequivocal is not a project for the faint of heart. Let me try to explain two key factors in the IEA, World Bank, IPCC, and other projections.

The first is that these agencies do not yet say there is no chance of avoiding the two degree of warming threat which all countries, including Canada, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper personally in Copenhagen in 2009, have pledged to avoid. What is said is that if the collectivity of nations maintain current plans for climate action, the total impact is to allow greenhouse gases to continue to rise. On current policy trajectories, we fail miserably in our stated objectives. Only with the kind of urgent and comprehensive economic transitions undergone by nations at war can we avoid over-shooting two degrees. And even then, we are not guaranteed success.

Two degrees global average temperature warming is not a goal. It is to be avoided. It represents a level of human-caused climate impact which ensures dangerous levels of climatic destabilization. Many low-lying island states point out that at two degrees, they will be permanently inundated.

Yet, in a country like Canada that experiences minus 40 Celsius in winter and plus 40 Celsius in summer, it does not sound like a lot. Our failure to stress context allows the number to become meaningless. Only when it is explained that the difference between global average temperature today and in the last Ice Age was only five degrees Celsius does it become clear that two degrees global average temperature change is huge.

The second is to translate two degrees, three degrees and so on global average temperature into a language that actually says what it means. Given that two degrees is dangerous, what do words like “dire,” “devastating,” and “catastrophic” mean?

To understand a worst case-scenario for humanity due to the climate crisis, you need to understand the concept of positive feedback loops. Burning forests release carbon, warming the Earth faster to cause more forest fires. Melting Arctic ice reduces the albedo effect that bounced the sun’s heat back to the atmosphere. Without ice, the sun’s heat is absorbed in dark ocean water, warming the ocean faster, melting ice faster, further reducing the ice cover.

As the warming climate melts the permafrost, methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is released from what was once locked away. The methane further warms the earth, melting more permafrost and releasing more methane. These are examples of positive feedback loops, of which there are many more.

At some point in the human-caused surge in atmospheric greenhouse gases, we could unleash an unstoppable release of warming forces. This is called “runaway global warming.” The worst case scenario is that the planet becomes more like Venus—uninhabitable for all, but some microbes or bacteria able to cope in high temperatures. I don’t think it will come to complete extinction of humankind and most of our fellow travellers on Planet Earth.

However, it is hard to imagine how human societies, civilization itself, could survive the loss of the Western Antarctic ice sheet, leading to the flooding of all coastal cities; or permanent states of drought in food producing regions; or tens of millions of refugees fleeing famine and floods. These are not far-fetched events. They could occur in the lifetimes of our own children.

In Ronald Wright’s best-seller, A Short History of Progress, he reviewed a litany of once magnificent civilizations that snuffed themselves out. One line, a piece of graffiti Wright repeated, sums it up: “every time history repeats itself, the price goes up.”

Wright was interviewed recently for a brilliant piece by Chris Hedges (“The Myth of Human Progress,” truthdig.com, Jan. 13, 2013). Wright pondered our inability to address an impending disaster that could eliminate us from the face of the Earth. “We’re Ice Age hunters with a shave and a suit,” said Wright. “We are not good long-term thinkers.”

So next time you read that the International Energy Agency thinks we could face “dire” consequences and the World Bank warns impacts could be “devastating,” don’t yawn and turn the page. Find a way to join the movement demanding a planned, aggressive transition away from our dependency on fossil fuels.

We have a profound moral obligation to protect our children and their children from what many increasingly see as unavoidable. Not unavoidable because we lack the ingenuity, technology and creativity to avoid two degrees; we could do so and experience an increasingly healthy economy. Those who believe it is unavoidable simply cannot believe we will bother to try. Let’s make 2013 the year when it all turns around, when the community of nations decides to give humankind a future as well as a short history of progress.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May represents Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.
Originally printed  in the Hill Times.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lee-Norton/100001540320789 Lee Norton

    2 degrees warming is greater than the earth has seen for millions of years. Man has never lived in such a world.

    • Rob_Vann

      Neither has almost every other species alive today..Not a good place to be at the top of the food chain.

      • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

        Not while you’re deliberately destroying the food chain, while relying more and more upon what you’re deliberately doing everything you can to destroy.

        Humanity may yet be the first species in the history of this planet to deliberately allow a tiny segment of it’s own species to cause it’s own extinction.

        It really is a 50/50 proposition at this point…

    • Lesa Lal

      Didn’t we have an ice age at one time??????

      • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

        We were “guaranteed” to be on the way to one in the early 70′s. It never happened.

        Something about “solar cycles” and “proximity to the sun” and similar “unimportant facts” that didn’t fit with the then-current fearmongering propaganda.

        We’ll likely learn in a few short years that the same basic processes are in play today.

        Of course, this doesn’t negate the need for us to stop pumping poisons into the environment, or to keep using toxic, non-renewable resources as fuel when the annually-renewable sources they replaced have never been unavailable…merely quashed by corporate greed and government ineptitute, and a wilfully ignorant public who either didn’t know any better, or, as today, simply didn’t care.

  • Rene Ariens

    I solemnly pledge to do all I can to make 2013 the year of turn around and actively participate to bring about the major change of direction the world needs right now!

    • Lesa Lal

      Good … that stop the multi-nationals that are polluting our world all in the name of profits. Get the word out.

      • Francien Verhoeven

        Stop buying their products. Problem solved.

  • Francien Verhoeven

    By choice I have no dishwasher in my house. By choice I buy at second hand stores as much as I can. By choice I have installed an on-demand heater which only heats my water on demand. By choice I let you know that there is much we can do on an individual level. What is Ms.May doing on an individual level to reduce global warming? What are you doing?

    • Debrah

      She is one of the few voices speaking up in Parliament. And what makes you think that she doesn’t ALSO do a the things you mentioned in her own home. Maybe you need to get politically active as well, like she is. What more can you do?

      • Francien Verhoeven

        Perhaps Ms.May does the very same things I do for reducing harm to the environment but somehow I doubt it. She’s taken on an airplane ride much more often than me, for instance.

        You suggest I need to get more politically active. But I am very active politically speaking. I commented on these boards, which in itself is a political activity. And I am not afraid to use my full name when commenting politically.

        What more could I do? Well, perhaps I could warn people that misinforming them is not the way to go. Here are some facts to re-consider (in contrast to Ms.May’s explanation of things):

        “The Navigable Waters Protection Act has always been about navigation. From the day it was enacted, the goal has been the safe and efficient movement of marine traffic.

        The recently passed Navigation Protection Act emphasizes this longstanding objective, and it will ensure a balance between the public right to navigate and the need to build works such as bridges, wharfs and docks.

        Nothing in the Navigation Protection Act diminishes the powers of Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and various provincial authorities to continue to protect the environment, fish and fish habitat, and species at risk. As well, there is no impact on pipelines which will have to be approved by the National Energy Board.

        Our navigation plan is in line with our government’s commitment to cut red tape, streamline the regulatory process, return to balanced budgets, and encourage long-term economic growth and job creation.”

        Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities

        Enjoy the day!

        • http://www.facebook.com/peter.karwacki Peter Karwacki

          Ummm,. what about that “triggering an environmental assessment thingy? Obfuscation, half truths, jargon, and bull crap.

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            But that’s what “politics” has devolved into. Obfuscation, half-truths, jargon and bullshit, all backed by YOUR tax money, which is never quite enough, so there is “always a need to increase government revenues.”

            Government was never suppposed to be a “profit-generating enterprise.” It was supposed to perform functions for society in the least expensive manner possible.

            Things sure change when the bosses do nothing but listen to the lies their employees tell them…

        • Andy Wynden

          Posting 1152 comments on various news sites is also hardly political. It’s a waste of time, of which you obviously have plenty. Your voice is among the millions that is drowned out in the vast information available on the internet. Let me know when you find 1 (one) person who will tell you that your comments changed their mind. You’re orating because you want to be heard, and because no one will listen to you in the real world.

          • Francien Verhoeven

            Thank you for reading my post and responding to it. Doing some political work yourself……..

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            Luvvyalikeabrudda. d;o)

        • Kevin Aubie

          Mr lebel, your science denying, demagogue filled, corporate facist government is at the core of the problem.

          Your meaningless title from an illegitimate government holds no weight among progressives.

          For individuals who might want to hear what you have to say, might I suggest Infowars or conspiracy central for your soapbox of half-truths corporate spin and general right wing nonsense.

        • JennR

          Many people in E May’s riding knows that she does everything in her power to be mindful of the environment. At the moment there is no other option than planes to travel between the west and east coast. On the other hand people will see her traveling ‘walk on’ on the BC ferries – something not many MP would consider – so she is setting an example while she works tirelessly for her consistuents and the better health of the globe.
          As for the Navigation Protection Act, I hope more people will dig a little deeper to find information that provides an accurate picture. Canada has done well over the years, if we can only look towards one product and believe that that is all we are capable of ‘merchandising’, then we become Johnny One Note; Canada needs a diversification of its industry – we have great people – surely we can do that and at a pace that defies greed and thinks to the future.

        • Denialawareness

          Sorry Francien, but I see nothing about The Navigable Waters Protection Act in this article; thus no misinformation. Are you on the wrong page or something? Maybe you are one of the Conservative government’s paid commenters that I read about today on CBC and CTV…. hmmm….

          • Francien Verhoeven

            OH my! You must be one of those no-name people who believe that nobody, absolutely nobody would vote CPC out of free will. In your mind, people who vote CPC must have done so with a gun held to their heads. You are so far removed from reality. Perhaps you should meet some people who are for real, you know, like me. This is my real name. I am not afraid to say publicly that I voted CPC for the last three elections and will do so again because there is no better alternative.

            Ms.May is not telling the truth about the NWPA. She doesn`t want to tell the truth because it inconveniences her and her supporters. Better to hang onto make-belief stories to keep the supporters herded in a circle.

            Very grown-up eh, to be told lies over and over again. I dare you to ask Ms.May what aspect of the changes to the NWPA have impacted environmental protection laws. Ask her and see what she will come up with.

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            She…”if that IS her real sex”…has nothing of value to add to any discussion.

        • Penny

          The National energy Board, as you very well know, no longer has the last word on pipelines. Pipelines no longer need the approval of NEB, and you know that! That power was handed to Cabinet in #C38, I believe, although I may be wrong about the bill #.

          If the water protection was always only about Navigation, why were ALL Canadian waters protected for over a 100 years? Just an oversight? Love of “red tape”? The USA won’t be happy when our bitumen chemicals, which have been found in lakes as far way from the TarSands as 90 kilometers, find their way to American waters. That was only the farthest lake studied, so the damage may have gone further. Air & water don’t require passports.

          Easier to build bridges, roads docks, wharves etc? For whom? Not the cottager, but the resource corporations who need to build these on a gargantuan scale.

          Severe budget cuts to Environment Canada hamper their ability to protect anything, especially since their scientists aren’t allowed to say anything about anything.

          I haven’t added links as I expect you know all this.

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            The plan is to eventually reduce reliance on petroeum fuels, but only AFTER profits have been taken for a long, long time to come, and then, only after the vast majority of resources have been completely depleted, and there is no other choice left.

            The next “finite resource to deplete and profit from” will be LITHIUM.

            Nobody wants to see annually renewable, locally producible food, fuel, plastics, building materials, et cetera…so there is absolutely no honest or open discussions about them.

            It’ll be a problem ONLY after the wealthy see their profits declining. ONLY after governments see their fraudulent tax “profits” declining.

            Nobody cares that every government position was once either non-existent (i.e: Cost us NOTHING at all!) or in the real economy, which “used to contribute” to the economy. EVERY “government job” is justified with the idea that “we’re saving money” because of the fraudulent notion that it’s cheaper, since we “claw back” up to 30% of the government worker’s incomes in income taxes. Too bad that this still means that it’s costing us 70% of a “real job”, in addition to the loss of a “real job” in the “real economy” to the tune of 100% of that “real job”, as well.

            EVERY “government position” has a REAL cost of 170% to the people who “believe” that we’re “saving money” by removing these people from the “real economy.”

            And yet, we’re completely surprised that we have so much less taxes in the pot to draw from…so many more government agencies and enployees to pay for…so many more taxes to pay on everything…

            Boy…I wonder why that happens?


          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            Should have added links. More people never look into things of any important unless it’s easy to click on at the very second they are first made aware of it. They’ll probably forget about it in 30 seconds anyway, but the links might have held their attention for a minute or two longer than usual, anyway. Might have set a new mental precedent…for some…

          • Francien Verhoeven

            Penny, what can I say. No-name people can say whatever they want. There are no sources to check out any of your statements. And if I would add a credible source you would not believe me in any case.

            No-name people can say whatever they want. If no one believes them anymore they can just post under another name. So much fun, isn`t it, when you don`t have to back up anything you say. You are a no-name and can say whatever you want to. Who believes what no-names have to say, eh!

        • Linda

          So tired of Hearing those corporate talking points parroted endlessly. With all due respect sir, The Harper agenda is a disastrous plunge over the cliff toward runaway warming, making Canada one of the world’s worst climate offenders. I frankly am ashamed that Canada has taken this grossly irresponsible turn towards massive extraction of fossil fuels at the very moment we should be innovating alternative energy technologies and efficient effective public transportation systems. Public transit is a service, not a business- and the intent should not be Profit, but providing infrastructure for the benefit of all citizens. A resident of Stratford Ontario, home of the world famous Festival Theatre, we are being threatened with the cancellation of all train service. It’s already been cut in half. The economy of this town will be irreparably damaged by this 1% style of ‘economic strategy’. There is a long slow corporate coup taking place in Canada, where oil and gas lobbyists have unrestricted access to highly placed politicians and other citizens must go on hunger strikes to have their voices heard. This is not my Canada. Take note sir: change is coming.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Anhaga Jean Chard

          May was the politician who TOOK THE TRAIN to cross the country when campaigning.

          • Francien Verhoeven

            Oh, yes, I know that she took the train when on the election campaign. And how is she traveling these days…..Or are we no longer in danger of global warming a-coming…………….scary, so scary……..(and in the meantime, PM Harper`s favourable numbers are climbing..climbing…climbing…………….Canada being well on it`s way to a renewed competent leadership. Savour it.

    • CoryH

      I think we have to stop fooling ourselves that by recycling and reducing
      and reusing we will solve the problem… we need a larger action plan
      via policy and legislation, and government commitment. Of course our
      personal changes and efforts are beneficial – but are only a small part
      of a bigger solution!

      • Francien Verhoeven

        The three R’s r a help, no doubt. And if everyone would have as small a carbon footprint as me there wouldn’t be much global warming, I can assure you.

        But I think people should stop fooling themselves in believing that a carbon tax on everything will be the solution. It won’t.

        • Andy Wynden

          M. Francien Verhoeven. Get rid of your fancy insulated house with carbon-based plastics EVERYWHERE, stop using any form of transportation but your bare feet, and get on the majority of the world’s page when it comes to carbon footprints. Your ignorance is only unmatched by your arrogance when it comes to these issues.

          Politically, we need to support our leaders who want to IMPLEMENT LEGISLATION to REGULATE people like you, who have a hugely misguided notion as to what will prevent climate warming like the kind that Ms. May is speaking of this article. The world needs to be protected from people like you who think that “if everyone practiced the 3R’s like they did, the world would be just fine”. The problem is on a societal level, and that requires both social and policy change before it will be solved.

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            All that’s really needed is to replace “open carbon loop” non-renewable fuels, wherever possible, with “closed carbon loop” fuels, which are annually renewable.

            This can be hemp, flax, or really pretty much all of the “oil seeds” which were available, and used, prior to the advent of petroleum distillate fuels.

            We could also reinvest in tracks, as well. Since the oil and car companies bought up and closed many of the rail lines in North America, the reliance–surprise, surprise–on cars and trucks for both transportation and delivery of goods has caused the price of fuels to skyrocket with the “increased demand” which they artificially created by shutting down so many rail lines.

            This has led to the point that today, where it used to be cheaper to take the train, it is now cheaper to drive in many instances.

            Of course, we could also use biodiesel in trains…if there was a will to make the MINOR adjustments to their engines. Currently, there is no such will on the part of our employees to change anything for the better for Canadians.

            Perhaps the best thing that we, as Canadians, could do for ourselves would be to register ourselves as foreign or multinational corporations? At least that way, the “Government Harperius” would listen to US for a change…

        • Charlotte White

          You are naive if you think that enough people will change on an individual level in the absence of re-workings to world market forces. The current market has major accounting flaws that do not respect real-world physics. Putting a price on emissions and environmental degradation HAS to be part of the solution.

      • JennR

        I agree CoryH. and that is why there must be a way for having our voices heard – see my post at 45

      • Denialawareness

        What would be cool is some leadership! Rather than a government which increasingly backs out of global agreements and continues to support tar sands which result in environmental devastation, we need a more enlightened, more highly evolved PM.

      • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

        Right. We keep concentrating on the symptoms, and completely ignore the cause, while “new causes” are quietly created in the background, “just in case we accidentally stumble on a cause and fix it.”

    • http://twitter.com/DavidLaing3 David Laing

      In the past year my wife and I have trippled the insulation in our attic to R62 and replaced north-facing windows with energy efficient fibreglass ones. That plus caulking around windows, doors and baseboards has dramatically reduced both gas and electricity consumption in our house. While not vegetarian, we have increased our plant protein intake and virtually eliminated red meat from our diet. For trips under 30km, I ride my bike to do errands and leave the car in the garage.
      We consider everything that we buy and we reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. Where possible, our purchase dollars go to: certified B-corporations, cooperatives espousing the Rochdale principles and corporations with a proven track record of social responsibility.
      I advocate for a new form of capitalism, one that doesn’t depend on endless growth. Last summer I became a (David) Suzuki Elder and I try my best to live by the principles articulated in the Declaration of Interdendence as written for the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro https://sites.google.com/site/eldersdsf/config/pagetemplates/declaration-of-interdependence

      • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

        Don’t worry. Our fraudulent currency system will make all of those changes that you “thought” would save you money cost a whole lot more anyway.

        Nobody even looks at the SOLUTIONS…nobody cares about the CAUSES…everyone is completely consumed by the SYMPTOMS.
        Yes, Suzuki, too.

        • Francien Verhoeven

          Everybody wants to blame everyone and everything EXCEPT the self. Wonderful world, isn`t it, eh……….

          Your no-name is very long. You must be really scared to state your real name. Feeling powerful behind such a long no-name….When will you be mature enough to be capable of posting under your real name……..when the earth becomes flat again…….perhaps…

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            Funny how you continually revert to avoiding any subject that actually might have any value at illustrating anything which might be of benefit to anyone, for any purpose, choosing instead to distract from any and all topics presented.

            I think that you’re really a politician…only politicians spend ALL of their time refusing to discuss anything of any real importance, and continually attempt to subvert the minds of others into concentrating on distractions to keep them off target, off topic, and off their guard.

            Perhaps you feel that using your “alleged” real name gives you some sort of “moral authority” which precludes intelligent discussions?

            I have yet to see “your name” associated with any statement with any value whatsoever, therefore, if you ARE using your real name (which I sincerely doubt), you are doing nothing but allowing yourself to be outed as an imbecile to the entire planet, while never presenting anything of value. To anyone. I expect that those who know you personally have already long been aware of this…but now, you have reinforced their knowledge GLOBALLY.

            If that is your real name, why don’t you post a scan of your birth certificate, home address, a family photo, your SIN, and your recent passport if you want anyone to “believe you are who you allege to be under cover of the name you have ‘created’ on the internet.” If you REALLY want to prove you are who you say you are, how about posting your bank account and PIN number as well. I mean…WE can’t be too careful about what WE believe, either, you understand…

            In the meantime, perhaps you would be wise to simply shut your mouth when you intend to refuse to contribute anything of any value to any given discussion. If, of course, you possess enough intellectual capacity to understand such a concept, of course…which, given the evidence we’ve all seen thus far, is a very shallow pool from which to draw.

            I await the posting of the previously noted documentation. Waste no more of our tie without this information. Be certain to have it officially notarized prior to posting, and include a copy of the notary’s acknowledgement and proof of validity of the documents you provide.

            Or just shut your fool trap.

          • Francien Verhoeven

            All I have read of your post is your last line: “Or just shut your fool trap.“

            Have you looked in at open comment boards lately…..and have you found any debate going on between your people and the rest of the world……..because if you have, and if you have found the time to climb out of your protective cocoon here, then you will have noticed that debating about the issues is not possible because everything is thrown into the HARPER HATE fest atmosphere, the only atmosphere you like so well.

            I have given up a long time ago to try and debate with you people. Stay within your protected cocoon and keep believing in surreal happenings while the rest of us get on with real life.

            (still too afraid to post your real name, coward…..)

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            Immaterial. Inconsequential. Devoid of any substance or value.

      • Francien Verhoeven

        Good for you and your wife, David. Now if u would take the time to convince most of the posters here to do the same, instead of no-names being in the robotic mode of attacking the government none-stop. perhaps then the world would become a cooler one, eh.

        • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

          You really are a one-trick pony, arent you?

    • Lesa Lal

      Global Warming is not the problem … the gutting of the planet is .. in the name of profits. We have had free energy since the beginning of the lightbulb .. google Tesla. Yet governments ignore this … We need to stop falling for these fallacies and lies and look a the real problems we are facing. TAR SANDS anyone … our dependence and oil and gaz that is poisoning our water, land and air.

      • Francien Verhoeven

        Tar sands, Tar sands, blah, blah, blah. Tar sands, Tar sands, blah, blah, blah.

        (but in the meantime Lesa Lal commutes around at will, consumes to her heart`s desire and warms her house all possible because of oil and gas resource extraction)


  • Maxiview

    Non compliance in consumerism and Stop Harper!

  • verderojo

    As usual, you have hit the nail on the head! The lack of attention to climate change is surreal, starting with the corporate media. It is not in the short-term interests of corporate powers to accept the irrefutable evidence. In a rational world, climate change issues would be front page headlines.

    • Lesa Lal

      Climate change is another program to sell you fear and sell carbon credits on the stock market. Of course climate changes. What we need to do is to adjust to it. 2 degrees increase in Canada would be very much welcomed and in the warm countries would be tolerated. Use some common sense. Our climate is controlled by the sun .. you want to fight with the sun? The earth has been around for billions of years and people are lapping up this b.s. … And in the meantime we are killing our forests, polluting our water, poisoning our air all in the name of multi-nationals who just need to make more profit. WAKE UP … IDLE NO MORE.

      • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

        Carbon credits, in “plain English”:

        Polluters buy “carbon credits” from non-polluters, so that the polluters can continue to pollute as much as they want, while non-polluters make a bit of money on the side, and continue to not pollute.

        The “carbon credit brokers” collect fees for the sale of carbon credits, and for the transfer of carbon credit from non-polluters to polluters.

        Net effect: LOADS of money is made by “brokers”, but no change at all in the output of pollutants into the atmosphere is represented by the entire process.

        As always, a “political solution” is designed with corporate profits in mind…but NEVER what it is said to be about.

        If the government ever did “accidentally solve a problem”, they would do everything in their power to “immediately repair the damage to corporate profitability.” The tobacco tax scandal in the 90′s that nobody remembers is a good example.

        When it was found that up to 85% of all Canadian tobacco products were sold to the states and smuggled back to avoid the oppressive overtaxation which brought a pack of smokes to almost $7.00, the Canadian government actually FIXED THE PROBLEM by reducing taxes to a mere 2-300%. Overnight, US-Canada tobacco smuggling was OVER.

        Of course, you can NOT solve a problem with a solution that “only works for the people who pay for it all.” Corporations and governments MUST be the only people who receive a benefit in today’s world…so the Canadian government set about making certain that this “accidental fix” was undone.

        Canada has now raised tobacco taxes to such a degree that a pack of smokes is now at or over $10.00, and since they bankruptd all of the US-Canada tobacco smugglers, this left the door open for foreigners to fill in the newly recreated tobacco smuggling market. Boy, did they ever take advantage of that!

        Today, we have a far, far more profitable international criminal tobacco smuggling market which is no longer run by US or Canadian citizens, and no longer provides Canadian grown tobacco, from Canadian companies or farms. NOW the smuggled tobacco products are from China and India…where they are NOT manufactured with the same “quality standards and regulations” in place in Canada.

        Obviously, profits in this newly and deliberately re-created international tobacco smuggling system are considerably higher than they were before…but the most important thing is that the government fixed a problem out of their own greed and lust for more of YOUR tax money…realized their “error in actually fixing a problem citizens WANTED fixed” and set about making a new problem, with far worse consequences for the people who pay for it all.

  • Debrah

    I would also challenge all of you environmentalist types to cut back on the animal products that you consume. One of the leading contributors to climate change/global warming, whatever you want to call it, is the production of meat and other animal products. Between the devastating impact of animal waste on our water systems around the globe, and the endless production of food to feed the animals that you eat (and the subsequent loss of forested lands which are the lungs of the planet) and the fossil fuels used to produce grains and hay and to ship animals all around the world and then the varied effects of processing, that particular luxury item is having an impact that is less than stellar. Cutting back on animal products is not only good for the planet, but it’s also good for you.

    • JennR

      A good point Debrah, that I for one easily forget. I’ll do my part.

    • Denialawareness

      I agree Debrah. Raising awareness leads to a new sort of peer pressure away from the mass meat eating culture!

    • CMScleanair

      Debrah, not “all of us environmentalist types” are meat eaters. In fact, there are more per capita vegetarians in the environmentalist faction than anywhere else. I agree with your point, but derogatory comments will get none of us any further ahead. If you want to point fingers, do it at China and some of the other Asian countries which eat not only cows, but every living thing that walks, swims or flies. It is largely due to those nations that sharks are endangered along with whales, tigers, rhinos and other assorted near-extinction species. We need education, but time is running out. In China at the present time, less than 50 percent of the population owns a car, yet have you seen the skyline in Beijing? That is because you can’t, due to smog and pollution so thick that people wear face masks to breathe. Within 10 years, the rising economy of China will put millions and millions more cars on the road. That alone could be enough to shove the temperature up those two degrees.

  • Margaret Paul

    Absolutely wonderful article Elizabeth. It makes the point perfectly. Thank you again.

  • Matthickey

    Get the gun.
    Stop Harper.

    • Francien Verhoeven

      Afraid to use your real name? Afraid your employer will see that you are doing the commenting during office hours? Oh,my! Be brave – use your real name.

      • Anti

        Oh grow up…. how do we know , and nor do we care ,if you are using your real name, its the comment and rationale behind the copmments thoughts, that is important, plus I used that name as i post on a lot of places and as i am ANTI how this world is being ruined I thought it apt, but tough if you cannot get your head around that..
        And if you really believe what ANY minister of Harpers says you are one delussional person.. the whole idea of the navigatable waterways crap is so they can put oil pipelines over under or in them and nothing else… but hey you think on to how not having a dishwasher and cutting meat will help us all out.. try giving your TV up and stop listening to BS and propoganda..

        • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

          Google “Emperor Harperius Mandatorius Minimus”. d;o)

          • Anti

            I looked it up, very good, and so true, but dont get me going on about ‘bought and paid for ‘Heir Harper , or I shall get an ear full from “oh so proud of using my name, sucking up to Harper’s crowd” Francien, she will probably give you a bashing too not using a ‘real name …Lol

        • Francien Verhoeven

          At first I found comments like yours to be funny, as if you really don’t understand reality. But now I find comments such as your hilarious.

          I never said I had cut out meat. I have not watched tv for quite some time. Oh, and your excuse for not wanting to use your real name is priceless.

          Not using a real name while at the same time telling others to grow up! Oh, you are sooo courageous! Priceless. Hilarious. You can say whatever you want. No responsibility to live up to. Without stating your own name you can say whatever you want. Who cares what no-name people say? I don’t care what they say. Without stating your name, all is fake.

          • Logan Ashley

            Why fight, argue, and insult each other? You only draw yourselves further from mutual goals. We all want a world we can be proud to pass on to the younger generation. I speak to all. Sorry to post on yours specifically, Francien.

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            You’re right, but this “Francien” character seems to do nothing other than attempt to distract everyone from any real issues or discussions, and as such, is nothing more than a typical politician.

            If we cared at all about “the next generation”, perhaps the first thing we could do would be to stop poisoning and drugging them and destroying their mental capacities?

          • Francien Verhoeven

            This “Francien`character is the real deal. You, on the other hand, are within character of a fake name, a swine none the less.

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            Avoiding any legitimate issues again, I see?

            Why am I not at all shocked.

          • Francien Verhoeven

            Actually, I posted several interesting posts here last night. Insightful posts concerning legitimate issues but when I do so you will not respond. You have not responded to the following, which I first posted last night:

            “All we need to address is human greed. Companies create customers by feeding into this human greed and wants. And companies like to increase this feeding because ultimately companies are run by humans, and therefore by greed. If humans would be less greedy, consumption would be less, and with less consumption comes less of a demand for oil and gas. But of course the real topic of greed will never be discussed by the protesters because it would include themselves as being part of the problem. Now, who would want to solve those problems!“

            I wonder if you would like to respond to this today…….

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            You are not worthy of serious attempts at discussion, as you continually devolve into nonsensical non-topics of no meaning.

            Once you grow up a little, and stop your incessant and useless anti-topical moronicism, then I might be able to take ANYTHING you say with less than the total volume of the WIndsor Salt Mines.

            Until then, no. This will be my final response to any of your useless, self-aggrandizing, distractionary tirades.

          • Francien Verhoeven

            Of course this will be your final response. Such answer is always given by the people who pretend to be serious about debating anything, except when anything under debate comes in front of them, they step back and try to push the ones who do have an opinion against the wall of being worthless.

            Your response is so predictable. It happens all the time. You are a coward by being afraid to debate the real underlying issues with me or anyone else.

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            Do you ever even TRY to concentrate on ANY actual issues?

            Did you get too many mercury-laden shots when you were a baby?

            Is your local water supply fluoridated?

    • Korry Zepik

      Please be very careful about what you say. Do not think for a moment that your comment has not been noted. Remember that our current government considers anyone who is vocal about the environment and social justice a “security risk”. If I were you , I would now consider myself officially “watched”.

      • Anti

        I hear what you say, but I have been vocal for a long time, this tyranny is pure madness , and to sit back and say nothing is something I just cannot do,if liberty and freedom are not worth speaking out for then you get what you deserve, no liberty or freedom at all,

        If more people were vocal we would not be in this position now.. people need to start caring for each other and where we are living and what we are living on, and not just worry about the small confines of self and keep your head down, as we have been programmed to do, so the tyranny that is unfolding can be performed as and when these retards see fit by changing laws to fit their latest frauds and crimes..

      • Lesa Lal

        I know I am on the officially watched list. Don’t them them scare you. Say the truth.

    • Rob_Vann

      Ah..an American amongst us,

      • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

        Not to worry…THEY are getting OUR failed and fraudulent statutes just the same we we always manage to get the worst of theirs…what comes around goes around. d;o)

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.karwacki Peter Karwacki

    Battle of Wits: Elizabeth May versus Stephen Harper – May wins.
    But as was said, we are not long out of the trees and not good at long term thinking.

  • Debrah

    Another thing that can be done if one is truly concerned about the environment is to cut back on how much animal products you consume. Every aspect of producing food animals is a direct attack on the planets health. Between the clearing of forests, the production of the many tons of food that these animals must eat, the animal transportation issues that span the globe (all in the name of eating animals) to the effects of the tons of pesticides and herbicides that are used on their food and the animal waste, has on global water, we are poisoning our environment.

    At least cut back. I’m not even going to ask you to quit, but at least cut back on how many animals you eat every week. On demand water heating is good, houses situated to take advantage of solar heat, etc., buying local, recycling whenever possible, all great things to do if you love your planet and add one more thing, cut down on animal consumption. That is something we can all do and it won’t hurt a bit.

    • Kevin Aubie

      Excellent post. Many people fail to realize that every single time they open their wallet, they generate Co2.

  • Anti

    I find it sickening how ‘most’ of our elected leaders have no concept or contact with nature and how it provides our needs, such immoral ignorance for short sighted profit is uncoinscionable, how do you educate these ignorant people blinded by illusionary power and money? I would love to be able to clear the lot out and start again with people who have EMPATHY for ALL LIVING things…
    Kepp shouting out Elizabeth, your a lone voice that needs to be taken heed of….I just hope you do not become prey to the bribery that has brought us to where we are today with our representatives who know little of any use, other than their arrogant ego.

    • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

      The saddest part of it all is that people have been brainwashed into the wilfully ignorant belief that hmans are the only living “non-animal” on the planet which has “absolutely no ties with nature” and that we are “not a part of nature.”

      And yet, whenever we eat toxic foods and treat the results with laboratory-designed toxic chemicals, for some strange reason, we find ourselves getting sicker and sicker. The rates of all manner of disease contionues to rise higher and higher. We are all completely amazed at how the costs for what as have come to “believe” is our “health care” system–which has no care or clue as to the “causes” of disease and concentrates ENTIRELY on manipulating symptoms of long-established disease–continue to rise, even as the number, names and conditions which are classified as “diseases” also continue to rise…exponentially.

      It seems that the more toxic chemical pharmaceutical concoctions are created in laboratories worldwide, the more new diseases “are created on paper” to make use of these “wonderful new toxic chemicals.”

      We refuse to label toxic foods as toxic. We refuse to label GMO foods as even containing ANY corporate-designed GMO “phude” plants. We refuse to even think about the true causes of disease, while being completely astounded that, “for some completely unknown reason”, we simply can’t get ahead of the next new disease outbreak.

      All of this is based on the same things. We continue to produce and release all manner of toxic chemicals and petroleum-based products into every inch of the planet. ALL petroleum-based plastics are created with TOXIC CHEMICAL PROCESSES…and yet, we honestly wonder why we keep getting sicker.

      ALL petroleum-based fuels release toxic chemicals and “greenhouse gases” into the environment, and yet we are dumbstruck as to why the planet keeps getting hotter.

      People like to talk about “potential future eventual changes that we might think about undertaking at some possible point in the future, after we take another few decades/centuries/millennia to debate over the veracity of existing scientific data in the confines of corporate-controlled government offices…” and yet, we wonder why NOTHING of any real or lasting value ever comes of all of the “talking.”

      We ARE part of nature, no matter how we may intellectualize the false belief that we are not.

      We ARE destroying the natural balance of the entire planet, on all conceivable levels.

      We ARE ignoring what we are doing, in order to suit corporate profit and government control agendas.

      We ARE going to kill off the entire planet if we don’t wise up, take a long hard look at the realities of the situation, and act in an intelligent, responsible, and CORRECTIVE manner…and we’d better get on it fast.

      • Anti

        But.. how do we turn this around? our elections are pure fantasy, all levels of officialdom are now on steroids for crushing liberty in the name of ‘democracy’

        If you look world wide there seems to be conflict deliberately provoked by the Terrorist States of Amerika, is this the old Cause, Conflict, Solution heading for world domination under one control? it appears that way the conflicts have been stirred up everywhere getting peoples against each other ,ruining countries ways of life over alleged ( and highly unbelievable) terrorists, and then the Solution will come, that Amerika will need to take care and sort it all out…and I have every belief that the Rothchild’s families of many inbred Banksters ( Morgan, Chase et al) are right up there pulling the strings,

        a few quotes from Rothchilds unfettered arrogance:-

        “Give me control of a nation’s money
        and I care not who makes the laws.”

        “I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the
        Empire, …The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British
        Empire. And I control the money supply.”

        [You can change British Throne/ Empire to
        the Amerikan Puppet/Empire, the sentiment is the same and as long reaching]. .

        “We shall have World Government, whether or not we like it. The only
        question is whether World Government will be achieved by conquest or
        These ‘people’ are sick mentally, but I cannot feel sorry for them in the least, if only an immorrally rich desease would strike!!
        Other than that it looks like guillotines and pitch forks real soon..

        • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

          Unfortunately, it all boils down to a complete lack fo thought about issues that actually matter in the real world.

          Take the average car for an example of wilfull ignorance. People only know that the “price” of a car has gone up. They never once think that the “value” of the car has remained the same, while the “cost” of producing the car has considerably been lowered.

          In 1967, a brand new Camaro would set you back the considerable fortune of about $3,600.00. When I got mine in ’85, it had risen above $20,000.00. Today? You’re paying $60,000.00 for what is, for all intents and purposes, four wheels, a few seats in a box, with a motor stuck in it somewhere to make it move.

          Has the “value” of the vehicle changed? Not at all. It still serves the same purposes, therefore, it’s “value” remains constant.

          Has the “price” gone up? Damned straight! If you could get a new one for $3,600 then and a new one costs you $60,000 today, it’s OBVIOUS that the “price” has risen!

          Has the “cost” gone up? No. In reality, the “cost” to actually manufacture the vehicle has dropped significantly.

          There have been millions of different advances in materials, engineering, manufacturing, design, distribution, they are made with less materials then they once were, they are made with less expensive materials, they are made with more robots and less “expensive human labour”…all of these items REDUCE the “real costs” of building a car.

          So why has the price of the same “physical item”, with the same “real value”, risen so drastically over the last 45 years? Simple: The value of the dollar is considerably lower than it was 45 years ago.

          The rise in price is directly related to the fact that the greed of politicians, governments, corporations, and more specifically, international bankers, has outstripped the ability of corporations suppliers, miners, scientists, engineers, manufacturers and others, to offset the rise in price with equivalent reductions in costs. Thus, the “price goes up”, the “value remains constant”, and costs continue to be lowered wherever possible…but the net effect of the devaluation of the value of the fiat currencies used to “price” the car continue to be eroded.

          Milk hasn’t gone from a half a buck for a gallon jug to $5.49 for two liters becase “the value of cow nipple squeezin’s went up.” It’s the same product. Squeezed from the same cows. Raised on the same farms, by the same people. It’s gone up because the value of the DOLLAR has decreased. Substantially.

          The price of gold 45 years ago was about $36.00 per ounce. Today? Expect to pay nearly $1,800.00 for that same ounce of gold. Value? UNCHANGED. Cost to produce? MUCH lower. Price? DRASTICALLY higher. Reason? The same.

          But, we’ve got more important things to worry about…”the game’s on!” or “Did you hear about that movie star who flashed her crotch and the camera the other day?” or “Did you hear that ____ is seeing ___?!?”

          We continue to be distracted with non-issues, and after a certain amount of time, the distractions have become the ONLY things that people are even able to think about, let alone willing to.

          But again, these are all “useless facts” the the majority…they will continue to be ignored, in favour of nothing more than simple, mindless entertainment.

          Another example is the fact that, at one time, people used to hit the john during the commercials. They used to flick through the stataions to sew what else might have been on. Today? There are a dozen different “World’s Best Commercials!” programs on TV, where you watch nothing BUT commercials…and then, you’re glued to your seat as you patneitly sit there, watching the commercials and waiting for the show about the best commercias comes back on again,


          • Ieneke van Houten

            When all is said and done, gold is pretty and lasting, but useless. I have always professed more faith in the potato standard.

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            Well, you can’t eat gold, so there’s that side of the coin…but you can’t store potatotes for your retirement…and if you did, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone to take them off your hands after 40 years.

          • Francien Verhoeven

            “Always attempt to look at ALL sides of any given issue…that’s the only
            way to be able to say you are truly prepared for the future.“

            Excellent advice. Now here is the other side of one particular issue I would like you to be aware of:

            “Anthony Sowan: Why Idle No More holds back the dream of Canadian equality“

            Anthony Sowan is a registered Cree Native. Read his side of the story:


        • brumman

          what utter rubbish! You are the mentally sick one.

          • Dawson James

            Yes she is, LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/DWhiteThunderC David Cameron

    What actually can & must be done? Who can and must do it?
    I’ve always been for education and building models that work to inspire others. Still am. But with mostly broken education/vocation systems and entrenched codes that impede roll-out of environmental best practices, that route is way too slow for what is needed now. I’ll keep at it so there WILL be models for “the willing” to follow, but also feel the urgency for much more immediate change which can only come from nations moving the agenda to a war-time footing as you suggest.

    Thank you for your measured put persistent presentation of these issues.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sherwood.hines Sherwood Hines

    Totally on board with what you say. But, from a political point of view, what would The Green Party do to reign in green house gases? Would you shut down the Tar Sands? And what about the 100,000′s workers there? What next? What employment transition strategy would you have for all the auto workers, tar sands employees, spin-off jobs in Alberta etc etc? It is so easy to identify the problem (did anyone look at pictures of last week’s air pollution in Beijing? Horrific!) – and it is a huge tsunami of environmental crisis coming this century. But, in the nuts and bolts world, what is the blueprint for change. That is what people need to see and to discuss…make that happen Ms May and you will have my vote.

    • MandyJ

      The blueprint for change is spelled out in this fascinating, positive, logical book by Chris Turner (who ALMOST won a second seat in Calgary for the Green Party) but sadly only about 10% of eligible voters bothered to cast a vote: The LEAP: How to Survive & Thrive in the Sustainable Economy: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/the-leap-by-chris-turner/article4200765/

    • A

      In case you haven’t been following the discussion re: global warming, it is happening all around the world, not just in Canada. So, from a political point of view in our country, the jobs could be shifted to green technologies, which are widely used in Europe. These technologies would address all your concerns re: work, and, as a bonus, help the environment. However, in the long run, the best we humans can do to reduce our impact on the climate is to consume less. Less driving = less dependence on, and therefore need to dig for oil. Less meat consumption = less need to grow a hundred calories of foodstuff to get one calorie out of a meat animal. If we all changed our buying patterns and consumed less of the items that directly or indirectly contribute to global warming, there would be less need to produce those items that cause climate change.

  • GreenHearted

    We know that +2ºC will be catastrophic because +0.8ºC is already devastating. With less than a degree C of global warming, 400,000 people every year are losing their lives. Many millions more are losing their livelihoods and their loved ones, their food security and water sources, their homes and entire homelands. (See http://daraint.org/climate-vulnerability-monitor/climate-vulnerability-monitor-2012/.)

    Two things scare the wits out of me. First, because of the ocean heat lag (not to mention the latent heat in all that melting ice and snow in the Arctic), we’re already about twice as warmed as we think (“committed” warming). Second, extra heat from carbon feedbacks, especially in the Arctic, could tip us into runaway global heating without much warning. And the drought that’s gripping the US grain belt — that’s persistent drought that is already causing food price hikes and will soon be causing food shortages, food riots, food violence and famines. Yes, even in our seemingly impervious-to-all-environmental-problems-because-we-export-them-to developing-countries developed part of the world.

    It is not alarmist to raise the alarm about something alarming. This crisis, this emergency of unprecedented global reach, should be what everyone over the age of 12 is talking about 24/7. (And we should all — even the youngest child — be learning how to grow our own food.)

    • Francien Verhoeven

      And here we have another poster willing to make a huge statement without being willing to state a real name. What a make-belief world we are creating for ourselves.

      • GreenHearted

        Francien Verhoeven, I’m Julie Johnston, of GreenHeart Education. I live in Elizabeth May’s riding, and I spend a lot of time on the climate change issue. My comment came up with a little box that said Post as GreenHearted, which is me, so that’s what I clicked on. (Sheesh, the things we have to justify to those who don’t want to see what’s happening in the world.)

        You’re right about the make-believe world we’re creating — we’re not going to be able to believe it. (What? Why didn’t anyone tell me? Well, I’m tellin’ ya.) Check out the latest drought map at the US Drought Monitor (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu) (exceptional drought in January!), then compare it with a map of the US grain belt to see where they overlap: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_Belt

        Or you could do some research/reading yourself. You could start here: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/04/16355471-drought-still-grips-corn-belt-dry-winter-adds-to-farmers-fears?lite

        Or here (re food price hikes): http://www.cnbc.com/id/100396266

        Francien, it sounds like you care. It sounds like you’re doing a lot in your own life. It sounds like you might still believe that the government has our best interests at heart, and I envy you if you can still believe that. But please don’t knock others who are at a different place in their awareness of the climate change emergency.

        • JennR

          For privacy reasons, people are not required to post a name, It’s a matter of personal choice. Choose for yourself GreenHearted.

          Your posts are mindful of the article. I have seen many posts on other web threads that are negative and have names that might be real or fictitious, so I see no benefit in posting ‘a name’,
          Thanks for the links – they are helpful

          • Francien Verhoeven

            Of course you see no benefit in posting a real name. No name people can say whatever they want, for who cares what they say, right? I mean, I am Francien Verhoeven by day and night and I am Anti everywhere in between. It is a matter of personal choice! Very grown up. Very courageous not wanting to use your real name.

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            Contributing “more nothing” to the conversation…

        • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

          The truth stands on it’s own merit. The post you just responded to is nothing more than what can be expected as a distraction from any issue at hand.

          Ignore the distractions. They take too much of our time every day as it is…

      • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

        You really are completely useless to any discussion whatsoever, aren’t you?

        • Francien Verhoeven

          “Let’s do the math. The NDP won 103 seats in the last election. The
          Liberals won 34. The Greens won 1. It doesn’t take a lot of calculating
          to figure out that the most likely beneficiary of “co-operation” among
          Greens and the other parties would be… the Greens. With just 3.9% of the
          vote, the Green tally was actually down significantly from the previous
          election. Ms. May’s own victory was more an anomaly than a trend, the
          result of her own high profile and the concentration of party resources
          on getting her a seat.
          Should the other parties agree to pool resources with her in some
          ridings, as Ms. May suggests, her troops are likely to gain far more
          than they can contribute.“


          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            Quoting someone else’s words. How quaint. And still contributing nothing to any discussion.

    • Lesa Lal

      Really ????? How do we know this? FEAR, FEAR, FEAR … instead why don’t we change this to it’s time to do something about these multi-national globalist entities who are raping and pillaging the planet all in the name of profits. And learn to grow our own food is the best way to beat them. We don’t need them, want them and our planet would be a lot better off without them. BOYCOTT … start making a difference and leave this planet a better place for the next generation.

    • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

      Linus Pauling suggested decades ago that we could make use of the world’s energy resources in the form of methane hydrates, which were at the time, denied to exist.

      Now that we have proven that these resources exist, we ignore the fact that they are quickly being dissolved or melted, and are an accelerating contributor to the “greenhouse gasses” that we are so afraid of.

      The BEST solution would be to replace ALL “fossil fuels” with natural, annually-renewable fuel sources…but there is no will to do so on the part of “our elected representatives”, who we seem to be paying to support foreign countries and multinational corporations.

      Of course, nobody wants to go that route, because we could use the same filling stations that we use today, and this wouldn’t cost nearly as much as completely dismantling the existing fuel supply grid, replacing it with a completely different fuel source, which would also be a finite and depletable resource. Namely, LITHIUM.

      This process is already underway, and will, if allowed to go the same route as the petroleum/rail/automotive markets led us last time, we WILL see another global economic crisis in another 50 years…until we find ANOTHER finite, non-renewable resource to serve our energy needs, which can also be easily controlled by foreign nationals, corporations, and crooked governments.

    • brumman

      “not to mention the latent heat in all that melting ice” – perhaps you could explain this.
      Latent heat in ice means that to melt it requires heat input, thus during that time reducing the heat in the surrounding water and air. Yes once it’s all melted then we would have far more rapid temperature rise. But remember we have had 4 major interglacial periods in the past million years during which time northern latitudes were distinctly tropical – and that without any input from Homo sp.let alone your multi-national globalist entities. LOL

  • Kathleen

    I totally agree that we need to look after the planet. I totally agree that we are not doing that very well at all. However, if the last ice age was caused by an estimated 5 degree drop in global temperature, how did the earth increase in temperature enough to have, more-or-less the state we have now? In fact, whole societies that existed several thousand years ago in the North Sea were completely inundated by that warming trend as we are now discovering. Please help me understand why our current global warming trend is directly related to human behaviour and not a function of this immense rock and its normal life span. By asking this question I am not trying to devalue the concept of being good stewards of the earth. I truly believe we must be! But this temperature argument does not make sense to me when climate change has been going on, with clear evidence, for millions of years already. Thank you. I appreciate it.

    • GreenHearted

      Kathleen, it’s the speed at which it’s happening. It’s the 90 million tons of CO2 that our economy is spewing into the atmosphere EVERY DAY. It’s the methane and nitrous oxide and HCFCs etc. that our industrial processes emit (including and especially the industrialized livestock that Debrah has mentioned here). It’s the fact that if positive carbon feedback loops kick in (and some already are kicking in), then even a drastic reduction of our industrial emissions won’t be able to mitigate the warming. We have to get this thing turned around before we can’t anymore.

      And for Francien, here’s my real name: Julie Johnston

    • JennR

      Just as an addition to GreenHearted’s post. My understanding is that even the rock releases various gasses depending upon the temperature of the earth. Everything is interconnected.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=552122798 Kathleen Darby

    You removed my comment?

    • Guest

      I am actually astonished that you removed my comment! It was a really good question, based on solid fact. It was polite and supportive. If you really removed my comment then I have lost respect for you and this party.

  • Maureen

    Thank you for caring, sincerely. It seems that most of the powers that be refuse to care for all but themselves here and now. I support your efforts every way that I can. Please keep up the good work..

  • Pat

    There is a natural cycle of heating and cooling on earth. To believe that man has any significant impact of the planet’s warming is egotistical at best. Let’s deal with pollution and the poisoning of our food supply; like GMO etc.

    • Kevin Aubie

      I believe that it is egotistical to think that your personal opinion, and that is all it is is an opinion, trumps what 97% of the worlds climate scientists say, what every National Academy of Science on the planet is saying, and what over 1,200 peer reviewed science articles assert, that climate change is real and man made.

      By the way, the number of peer reviewed science articles that back your opinion?
      Now that’s egotistical!

      You are entitled to your own beliefs, but they simply do not align with the reality of climate change. But kudos on the GMO comment.

    • Dano

      I agree with Pat’s comment on the pollution and food safety, and that there is natural climate variation. However, just looking at the volume of emissions human/industrial activity outputs into the air, land and water, I believe it is fairly easy to see that humans DO have an impact. Do the math…compare the volume of greenhouse gas emissions since industrialization vs volume of the atmosphere. I believe our ability to deny the impact of our individual and collective behaviour is perhaps our weakest characteristic as a species.

      Some references:

      The atmosphere is a thin film around the planet that facilitates life as we know it. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_atmosphere

      “Fossil fuels are the primary source of about 375 billion metric tonnes (413.37
      billion tons) of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere since the industrial era began in 1750.” Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/20/us-greenhouse-idUSBRE8AJ0II20121120

      “While there is uncertainty about the exact level of impact of NOx and water vapour, governments have accepted the broad scientific view that they do have an effect…UK government policy statements have stressed the need for aviation to address its total climate change impacts and not simply the impact of CO2.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_aviation

    • Terry McKimm
    • Rob_Vann

      Give it up.. the debate is over. The Koch Bros. lost.

    • Terry McKimm

      The great global warming swindle


  • Fred Kay

    If you take into account the fact that the average temperature over the US suddenly spiked 1 degree C when all air traffic was suspended during 911, then we are already perilously close to, if not already past, the 2 degree mark. The good news is that we are on the threshold of an energy revolution with the potential to change everything except our ability to turn back the clock… oh, and and maybe change our way of thinking. Thank you Elizabeth for being a tireless voice for sanity!

  • Susan

    Brilliantly synthesized, Elizabeth. Thank you.

  • Kevin Aubie

    Elizabeth, you are a gem among lumps of coal (dirty coal, not the clean kind;lol)in the Canadian political system. Keep up the good work.

  • Chris H

    Andrew Weaver, in his 2008 book ‘Keeping our Cool’, identifies a limit to the total
    carbon that can be allowed into the atmosphere if 2 degs C rise is to be avoided.
    Annual emissions have since changed, and the precise numbers are not important.
    What is significant is his statement “Stabilization of the climate system requires carbon
    dioxide emissions to be eventually eliminated.” And that, to my mind, will never happen
    voluntarily. It requires governments to introduce strong legislation. And I don’t see that
    happening anywhere. I certainly don’t see it happening in Canada. The only sane voice from Parliament I hear on this topic is Ms. May’s. Thank you Elizabeth.

    • Rob_Vann

      and it can be done.. “Manufacturing consent” is how democracy in the US works and increasingly here in Canada. If the invasion of Iraq can be sold to the public based on pure fiction..the war on climate change can just as easily be sold based on science and the truth..

      • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

        The question is, even if presented with all available scientifically proven evidence, will the people of today be able to pull themselves away from their TVs and video games and “reality shows” long enough to “buy it?”

        • Rob_Vann

          If Obama addressed the US public and told them the truth abut GW. Particularly the latest findings which go well beyond ICC outdated findings. Americans would be freaking out. Fear is what gets them away from their TV sets.

  • Korry Zepik

    Thank you for the clear, understandable and straight forward article. Our country is better because of you.

    Hope through action, Korry

  • http://www.iamtallulah.com/ Tallulah

    Will share this article with my network. The message must be heeded.

  • F. Gee

    Such a succinct article, Elizabeth. This is one more example of why we elected you. Is it time for a complete social rebellion? Certainly no change is going to occur while Mr Harper ‘controls’ things. I am afraid that ‘we the people’ have very little power in controlling the government’s decisions these days, but that won’t stop me from taking as many steps as I can towards reducing my impact…including speaking to people when ever the chance is there.
    Frank in North Saanich

  • JennR

    This article certainly puts things in perspective. While many of us use creative ways to be less polluting, I hope Ms May will provide us with information about how we can have our voices be heard on this topic, because we cannot simple leave it to her to be the solitary voice. It’s too large a responsibility.

    Unfortunately at this time, so much of the media, the social media and other information outlets, appear to be plugged with half truths, or we receive automatic replies when writing to the H government. Hopefully there is another way to get around this problem. We all need to find solutions, share and look to E May for leadership.



  • Bruce Mackenzie

    When I think about what difference my personal actions would make, I also think that in very round numbers, the USA burns seven million barrels of gasoline every day. China burns four billion (thousand thousand thousand) tonnes of coal each year.

    Although my life has improved with more walking, biking, smaller apartment, hybrid car, less meat and other changes, it won’t make any difference to climate change in the face of those numbers.

    Political action and business changes (like Bill McKibben and so many CEOs are advocating) is what we need.

    Here in BC, Gordon Campbell personally – however much you don’t like his other policies – used a lot of his personal capital to do a lot of great things for climate, back in 2007 when it seemed like the world might be catching on. Check out the ‘Environment’ section here: http://www.leg.bc.ca/38th3rd/4-8-38-3.htm His government was then re-elected while the BC NDP campaigned against our carbon tax. It’s just part of the landscape now here in BC.

  • Rob_Vann

    Something which is often missed when dwelling on “Average Global” temperature increases is that “Average” is highly misleading. A 2 deg average could mean a 1 1/2 deg temp increase over the middle Atlantic, 2 degrees for Nova Scotia and 6 degrees for Winnipeg.A 6 degree of temperature increase combined with weather extremes means the end to agriculture as we know it.

    • CMScleanair

      Excellent point, and one worth repeating many times, until people begin to get it.

      • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

        Well, sad to say it, but don’t hold your breath. At least, not until the majority of people have no choice BUT to hold their breath…it may actually have to reach that point before the majority of people wake up enough to “want to be bothered” to do anything at all.

        I mean…saving your own life? Thinking about NOT destroying the planet and all life on it? That cuts into the far more important and valuable time you’ve previously set aside for “the game” or to watch “dancing with the stars” or “Honey Boo Boo”…

        The vast majority of people simply aren’t going to “get it” until after “it gets them”, unfortunately. They’re too busy being occupied with all of the distractions that are laid out before them to take the few seconds required to THINK about what’s really going on in this world…let alone to actually DO SOMETHING about it.

        All the while, people continue to “talk” about how “someone (else…not me…I mean…I’ve got ‘more important things’ to do…) really needs to do something about that…”


        • CMScleanair

          You are so right about that. I am a senior with time on my hands, and so I am able to be on the computer, trying to read, understand and educate myself about my planet. When I find a well-written article from a reputable source, I “share” it, on various sites or by email, with family, friends and others. I try many different ways of prefacing my posts, to encourage and tempt people to actually read them. Because my children and I are separated by distance I spend time on Facebook, so much of what I share goes there. But does anyone even open these things, let alone read them? Nope. If I share a joke, they will pass it on, but otherwise “it’s too much trouble”, or “don’t want to get political on social media”, or ” I’m busy playing Farmville and Bubbles….want to join me?” Ack. I ask them, where is a better place to “get political”? The entire world of social media is a

          (small p ) political arena, just as the town square was in days long ago. People then would gather to discuss and strategize about their lives. And often, tides would turn.

          Now, we sit in solitude in front of a screen and type out our pathetic personal woes on Facebook, fully engrossed in …..ourselves. I even know one man who gets up every morning and posts how much he loves coffee. Every day for a year, he said this. One day I sent him an article about global warming and he blocked me. Says it all, sir.

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            ^=– only 45, but I’ve been noticing the same things for decades, as well. Does that mean that I’m getting “old before my time?” Maybe just that “It’s time?” d;o)

            It seems as though “the distraction is all that matters” these days…no thought to content or value or consequences or even common sense.

            If someone didn’t say it on the news in an authoritative voice, it’s not important enough to think about. If the government didn’t warn you about it by personally knocking on your door, it isn’t real.

            We live in a near-anencephalic society, based on wilfull ignorance and lack of education and concentration on nothing more than entertainment value…and a desperate, intangible and irrepressable fear of any meaningful thought process…lest ye be labelled a crackpot for merely pointing out that which we once simply thought of as “reality.”

            People believe that to think about anything of actual value is to be ridiculed and attacked and frowned upon and railed against…”we already hired people to think for us…so we don’t have to…”

            And they don’t.


          • CMScleanair

            Well said. You should continue to voice and write your opinions ( just as I should ). If even one mind is opened because of something we say, we have not spoken in vain.

            ( …..interesting how you mentioned you have been noticing these things for decades. I too began to notice a strange change in our world back in the seventies, and I used to speak out about what I saw in the near future as a result of that trend. Now much of what I feared is coming, or has already come, to pass. There must be people like us everywhere, who perhaps have a keener sense of these things….)

          • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

            Yes, you see people’s minds eroding faster and faster each day, and even though cures are available for many of the world’s worst problems, they are ignored by most, as they are simply “not profitable for corporate roll-out or government taxation purposes.”

            Google “The Silver Tour” for a remedy to one scourge of mental erosion which CAN be avoided…if only we care enough to listen…and to force OUR EMPLOYEES to finally do what’s right, instead of what promotes their power or profit potential.

            I remember arguing with all of the big three car companies (mainly Ford) about design ever since I was about 8 or 9 (when Ford ruined the Mustang with that (*@#ing Pinto-based Mustang II…but I digress…), and it took over 30 years for them to come back around to my way of thinking…that first you DESIGN the car, and THEN you figure out how to fit everything needed into the design. Today? We see a return to design as the heart of the industry…Chrysler’s brought back the Challenger, The Camaro is finally BACK, and the one I complained about the most, even The Mustang has gone back to it’s roots.

            The biggest trouble with seeing things as they are, as opposed to how they should be, is that it tends to take years or even decades for the rest of the world to catch up with the way you think, and by the time they finally come around and see what you’ve been saying for so long, you’ve already found a thousand other things that desperately need to be changed NOW…and they still look at you as “some crackpot who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”

            People need to understand that thinking is NOT “just for people who are paid to do so”, but it is a basic requirement for the survival of the species, and to stop the destruction of the planet.

            And that’s not even taking the more immediate consequences of what really amounts to “deliberate and antipathetical inaction” into consideration…


  • louise

    Yes, it is a big deal. And I applaud your speaking up. You have been speaking up for more than 3 decades (to my knowledge). Thank you for your excellent example for the rest of us.
    What can we do? Yes, we can support the political process – it will take massive mobilization to make any significant changes in advance of them being made for us by planetary forces much bigger than humans – the Earth herself.
    Yes, we can pay attention to our own nest – check out, appraise, and modify our habits where necessary. Change our own ways!
    And we can also begin to organize our homeplaces, our neighbourhoods, our communities. Build relationships, learn more about how local infrastructure works, how to work together on local projects. It’s all doable.
    Change doesn’t just start at a grand scale, or for that matter at a personal scale. It starts best, everywhere at once. Why should a politician do all the heavy lifting when we sit and wait for change?
    We need to use our imaginations to get out of the present mind set attached to cheap oil and technology. There are other ways to do things. And it takes time to shift.
    Make it fun, bring the kids along, and feel good about getting “fit” – fitting into the ecosystems we live in.

    We have needed a big scare! But it is hard to act on our new insights when we are scared. So we need to accept the harsh realities, rethink our place in them and get on with it.

  • Lizzsicle


  • Lillian Kelly

    Thank you for bringing this up. Climate change and it’s devastation is happening now. It isn’t in our future. There are already islands in the pacific that are being flooded and people have had to abandon their homes and move elsewhere. The increase in hurricanes, and the strength of them is happening now. Anyone with a memory knows that temperatures have increased in this country, and we don’t get the cold and the snow we used to get every year in Ontario, in the interior of B.C. weather that used to be steady and predictable isn’t. No snow by November was not seen in the Kootneys and in Ontario. Christmas was always white. Temperatures in India have increased, and the heat in summer that used to be bearable is no longer bearable by those who have lived there their whole lives. What about the devastation of the hurricanes on the east coast of the U.S.? Isn’t it obvious that they are greater than anything we have had in the past?
    The devastation that could happen and is happening is delineated by Al Gore, whatever you think of his politics. Bill McKibben and his book Eaarth describes it well. Try 350.org.
    It’s time for change friends, and this means ….us.

  • Andy Skuce

    As Elizabeth rightly said–and it’s worth repeating–the warnings are not coming from anti-capitalist activists but from bastions of the capitalist establishment. It shows how wilfully deaf Stephen Harper is not to listen even to them.

    What is worse is that the IEA and World Bank forecasts do not take into account the feedbacks from permafrost thawing. Recent research at UVic demonstrates that emissions from permafrost will add significantly to the standard climate forecasts. I describe this in detail in this article:


  • Mike Mack

    I am 53 yrs. old, have never owned a car and have been on a plane about 10 times in my life. Some people call me a loser because I ride a bike or take the bus.Real men are supposed to have cars. The very leaders we depend on spend hours every week on jet planes, riding gas-guzzling limousines and giving tax breaks to oil companies,(because they “create’ employment). Meanwhile, in “backwards” places like Ecuador, Chile and Venezuala, people are electing governments that actually spend resource profits on civil projects and deliberately reject foreign or corporate “assistance”, proving that democracy can provide real solutions. The arrogance and self-interest of our own government speaks for itself. Until we elect a government that acts in the interest of its people and rejects the doctrine of global corporatism we are doomed.

  • Laura C.

    Elizabeth, any chance you and Stephane Dion can get together on this?

  • Rob_Vann

    I caught the “Myth of Human Progress” a week or so ago and it is definitely worth the read.

    But if you read the Wright interview , Hedges own “Empire of Illusion” makes the same argument.. Society is just too dysfunctional to address the GW problem.


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=826575622 Stella Hunt

    They laughed at Al Gore, this current PM sells Asbestos to China, is there no parts of the Constitution, albeit not used or obscure that can be used to be rid of this Tyrrany. I believe the lower house can do something about what Harper’s doing to our Resources, and protection of our water. All Humanity has the right to fresh water, food, shelter.. Let’s be Human, to ourselves and to our future Generations. We do not inherit the Earth, we borrow from it. I think we have reached a Crucial Deficit.

  • Michael Irwin

    Attribution: January 2013 Bill Moyer’s guest – used powerful
    image of what appear to be insignificant temperature rises of 1-2-3 degrees in
    global average by using the metaphor of a human fever. How you feel at +1
    degrees, +2 degrees +3 degrees above normal body temperature. At +5 you would
    be delirious or unconscious or dead. The body of the Earth also has a safe
    range for our species that is remarkably similar.

    Nobody in these public fora ever mentions biochar. While not a cure, as James
    Lovelock suggested, made and buried by farmers from their own agricultural
    waste can counteract fossil fuel emissions and buy us TIME. Low tech, cheap,
    profitable for farmers in ways having nothing to do with CO2, boring to
    politicians because it does not involve excitingly large amounts of money. See

  • Peter

    Elizabeth May’s posts are the voice of reason – concise and to the point. Why is it that the world cannot seem to see the danger we are in and take serious steps to do something about it? Our present prime minister and government are taking us back 50 years or more- if only we could have a leader like Elizabeth!

  • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

    1) Repeal Cannabis/Hemp prohibition, and restore it to the GLOBAL economy.

    This will remove atmospheric carbon naturally, while concurrently allowing the replacement of ALL fossil-fuel products such as toxic plastics, toxic fuels, etc., with biodegradeable, annually-renewable resources as their raw material.

    2) Develop regional measures to allow localized processing of locally-grown hemp seed into biofuels. This will reduce reliance on distant fuel sources, while concurrently reducing the emissions required to simply deliver fuels.

    Biofuels made from hemp would then exist within a “closed carbon loop”, and the fact that ALL parts of the plant can also be used means that all of the “additional uses” for those components would also be long-term carbon sinks.

    3) Fund research into ALL known uses for all components of the cannabis plant, and fund it NOW. This includes:

    Biodiesel, biodegradeable plastics, cooking oils and more from the hemp seed.

    Innumerable uses as safe, non-toxic, effective, natural medicines are possible from both the flowering heads and roots of the cannabis plant.

    Cotton, which consumed up to 40% of the entire planet’s toxic chemical pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides and more, could be all but completely replaced with the fiber from the hemp stalks.

    Anything currently made from or with cellulose could be made from the hurds, or woody center of the cannabis stem.

    It’s long past the time to TALK about what “we might do at some point down the road, after afew more centuries of possible discussions about future debates about the possibility that eventully we might consider thinking about…”

    The time to act on this is TODAY. Not tomorrow. Not “in a few decades.”


    1) DEschedule.
    2) Repeal.
    3) DONE!!!

    End cannabis/hemp prohibition GLOBALLY, and we can see GLOBAL change.

    Unless, of course, all of this is nothing more than “environmental politispeak” designed to make the people “believe something is being talked about…for some intended potential future action…after it’s too late.”

  • Tony

    “aggressive transition away from fossil fuels”. Would someone describe how that might actually happen, worldwide. What plans re suggested to do this and make it happen?

  • John Laing

    Elizabeth, you are wonderful! Keep up the good work. And considering how critical it is to dump the Harper Conservatives in 2015, let’s all start thinking strategically to ensure that this will happen

  • marieve

    Thank you Elizabeth for representing the people who care! As George Monbiot suggests, you may be our only hope…..Human being’s planetary
    destruction can only be stopped through political, top-down legislation: “I
    would like to believe that the changes I suggest could be achieved by appealing
    to people to restrain themselves. But though some environmentalists, undismayed
    by the failure of the past forty years of campaigning, refuse to see it,
    self-enforced abstinence alone is a waste of time”

  • http://www.facebook.com/luke.melchior.9 Luke Melchior

    Wow, it really spoke to me when you stated that the Ice Age was the result of a mere 5-degree change. I, like many (as you pointed out), only thought of a 2-degree shift as making the hottest and coldest days day slightly more unpleasant! Thank you for sharing your eye-opening insights.

    • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

      I remember in the 70′s, when they were predicting a “new ige age was happening RIGHT NOW…”

      Sure, it’s a good idea to eliminate “fossil fuels” and replace them with “closed-carbon-loop, annually renewable biofuels”…but let’s also keep in mind that there is a great deal of corporate-politico-media hysteria going on here, as well, in order to make it easier for the government to find new ways to justify controlling the people, removing our rights, and raising the taxes on us all.

  • Linda Leon

    Thank you, Elizabeth May, for working so hard for the health of our planet, for democracy and for our grandchildren.

  • Canuck

    Always the talk is about the dangers of carbon or, global warming or as it now popular..Climate Change.

    Sure there’s climate change. But the real question is who is behind this climate change? Is it the person with the large family who needs an suv or is it the military’s geoengineering projects that have been going on since the seventies in Vietnam and the late 80′s over Nato countries like Canada.

    The American military with it’s Chemspray Haarp, radar stations, laser weapons has committed to controlling our weather by the year 2025. But no scientist wants to factor in that hard cold fact. Or the tens of thousands of these bases.

    It’s just global just warming dummies and it’s your fault and we want to solve the problem with a global tax to be paid into to the UN sinkhole and the intenational bankster’s pockets to fund the “New World Order.

    Somehow I expected better from Elizabeth May and a party that calls itself Green.,

  • Michael Wolf

    So…how about acting to change animal agriculture for an immediate and manageable fix:

    According to a 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization
    of the United Nations (FAO), animal agriculture is responsible for 18
    percent of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, including 37
    percent of methane emissions and 65 percent of nitrous oxide emissions.
    The methane releases from billions of imprisoned animals on factory
    farms are 70 times more damaging per ton to the earth’s atmosphere than

    Indirectly, factory farms contribute to climate disruption by their
    impact on deforestation and draining of wetlands, and because of the
    nitrous oxide emissions from huge amounts of pesticides used to grow the
    genetically engineered corn and soy fed to animals raised in CAFOs.
    Nitrous oxide pollution is even worse than methane—200 times more
    damaging per ton than CO2. And just as animal waste leaches antibiotics
    and hormones into ground and water, pesticides and fertilizers also
    eventually find their way into our waterways, further damaging the

    • Tony

      and how exactly do you change animal agriculture? Make a law on eating meat? Close factory farms?

  • panthera

    Never believe for one second, that Smart Meters and wireless in any way mitigate this problem. Take a small amount of electricity from the grid to run an electric motor that runs a generator, and voila! you produce way more power than it takes to run the electric motor.There is enough “free” electricity to be had to power all the households and many businesses etc. Sometimes the solution to the biggest problems lie in a tiny simple piece of forbidden knowledge.

  • Don Kerr

    We need a world-wide carbon tax/fee moving slowly up to $100 per tonne of CO2e and up to $200 if needed. The tax should be returned to the people equitably. One of the Liberal contenders (Coyne?) says return the fee to the Provinces but that’s dangerous. Canada can take the lead or at least promote it. However, nothing much will happen until the ultra-capitalist economy is modified – Harper must go. The US political system is broken. I am not optimistic

  • 12phil34

    Great article. I think it’s time that various Environmental organizations stop gently warning of global warming’s consequences and start scaring the crap out of the citizenry at large. Gentle warnings clearly haven’t worked to date so maybe scaremongering will. Extinction event – closer than you think! – this from a geologist.

  • John in Mtl

    I think the global elite (cough cough) are letting this happen. They have already spotted areas of earth where they will be able to settle down without this affecting them much. once millions or billions die off and the earth replenishes and cleans itself, they will “repopulate” affected regions. Too bad though that they are not the right people to remain alive as they are swindlers, thiefs and liars, not at all spiritually awake and earth friendly.

  • lauriej1

    What I find to be the most outrageous and disgusting aspect of all of this is “carbon trading”. The person who invented this concept is one of those who is responsible for the Ontario Hydro debt we’re all financing! The psychotic drive of industry to pursue “continued growth” (read higher profits) is what is destroying this planet. Somewhere along the line corporations have taken control of the earth and are milking its resources for the benefits of themselves and their shareholders.
    Governments have to take back control from the corporations that were originally created to serve the public — not themselves! And we need people in government who are willing to act in the best interests of the majority, not industry represented by lobbyists.
    I’d like to put forward the ideology that we

  • Celia Stock

    Thank you Elizabeth for this article on global warming, and the significance of a two degree celsius increase in the global average temperature. This is critical information, and I hope we will be able to become long-term thinkers quickly!! Celia Stock, North Saanich, BC.

  • Franklin Taylor

    Reading Francien Verhoeven posts make me think he is a paid harperite. One of the 1500 paid spies harper uses to watch media sources.
    Eco justice has a more complete and truthful explanation of the changes to the Navigation Act.


    Too Bad. Elizabeth May had my vote until I read this. If by now she does not realize that these alphabet agencies are part of the Agenda 21 program and that global warming is a natural occurrence caused by greater powers then us and look at the real source of our problems (pollution by multi national corporations who are raping and pillaging our earth in the name of profits, our financial system and bending down to the globalists who are hell bent on killing off most of us) then she is not informed. I am a true anarchist. We can only solve our problems by building a system that is not hierarchal in power and one that looks after the interests of the next generation. I AM IDLE NO MORE!

  • Franklin Taylor

    Francien Verhoeven…..is she an artist from Edmonton.
    In 2008 she made a lot of comments on a Macleans comment board. Her arguments give the impression that climate change is uncertain in it’s origin and how harper’s cautious approach is rational. It is a soft approach. Why does she care? The truth is we know what is influencing the change in the climate and that has been known for a long time. The oil industry has sown seeds of doubt and that prevents us from taking action

    • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

      She can’t be an artist. I’ve known artists all my life, and I’ve never met one as short-sighted, anti-intellectual and anti-creative as that. Such minds can never be artistic. They lack both the required depth and emotion.

  • David Wilson

    yes, the history books will call it “Lucky ’13 – the year we turned it around!”

    but it’s going to take more than letters to your MP to do it – courageous people like Theresa Spence and Raymond Robinson are setting the example – peaceful and polite but mightily determined

    … and you can finish this thought for yourself I am sure.

  • Bobolink

    Elizabeth, may you continue to have the strength to speak out in the midst of the darkness of disbelief.

  • Suzette MacSkimming

    A terrific message–we can do something! Just don’t join the group that thinks we aren’t smart enough to do what’s needed. A shave, a suit, and a determined mindset is needed–OK forget the suit.

  • Delila

    Thank You. Keep ringing the alarm bells. They’ll either listen to us or lock us up.

  • Duane

    Right ON!

  • Greg Robins

    I try as best I can. Walked the kids to school today (20 minutes, up a hill), ran to pick them up and walked them home again. Picked up some litter in the forest on the way back. My wife went drove to work in her “clean” diesel (it’s the best option for us). Organic food for all three meals, complete with locally grown frozen blueberry smoothie for breakfast. Discouraged a friend from taking a vacation at a large chain in Mexico – and try for a smaller family accommodation. Will almost finish The Shock Doctrine tonight and will resolve to vote, pester my city council and do it all again tomorrow.

  • http://twitter.com/nj_etherington Nigel Etherington

    Congratulations, Elizabeth. Its political leadership like this which will attract my vote. We can no longer afford the short-term ‘its the economy stupid’ mentality and ‘jobs at all costs’ approach to policy of the other parties which is akin to ‘boiled frog’ syndrome.

    • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

      Once they exhaust the current fuel and money supplies, the next plans are already in place.

      Fuel: Lithium. A finite resource, which, like all non-renewable fuels, will command a higher and higher price as the resources become scarcer and scarcer.

      Currency: This is scheduled to be replaced with “Special Drawing Rights”, which are merely “global fiat currencies” which also have no backing…but this time, it’s not just individual nations who will be robbed, but the entire planet.

      The economy is a SYMPTOM of the greater frauds already in play for the last century…but boy, that jacuzzi sure feels nice and warm, doesn’t it? d;o)

  • sheila

    bravo Elizabeth, once again you have come out with the facts and the undeniable truth, that we need to do something and soon, and this current government is failing on all counts ;as for the blogger who needs ‘everyone to give their name’ she ignores the issue and instead fixates on something that really doesn’t matter, it is what people are saying that counts. And we need to stop the criminal acts that the S, Harper ‘regime’
    is perpetuating.

  • curious

    I suppose as an insignificant member of the family with the four others of the five of the great apes I believe Wikipedia has it that some 500 million years ago that the Earth’s concentration of carbon dioxide was about ten times of that today. Further, if I read correctly, there were ice ages in the past during those former times. As to methane and other “greenhoouse” gases I do not know.
    As to the rise and fall of sea-levels and the distribution of land surfaces over time it seems that there has always been a “dance” of differing configurations.
    It has been claimed that more life forms have gone extinct than exist today. Is that true and if true how was it measured?
    It seems to me that our major problem is “popolution.”
    May be the claim that nearly 95% of all life went extinct about 250 millions would be of benefit to Gaia if it happened again ~ may be sooner than later so that a more intelligent and understanding life form could hopefully evolve. A disastrous prospect for my grandchildren and their heirs and successors.

    • http://Overgrow.ning.com/ ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven

      I always figured that the main reason we’ve never found intelligent life on other planets is because they see how anti-intellectual we are, and simply hide whenever we look for them.

  • Francien Verhoeven

    Some advise to ElectroPig Von FökkenGrüven and others on this webpage:

    and the most serious advise is this: let it be noted that the more you engage in the anti-Harper sentiment, the higher the vote count will come in PM Harper`s favour.

    So, go ahead, and keep playing your silly games. The favour will be mine when PM Harper will be re-elected with an even greater majority thanks to none other than the empty Harper bashings going on….. here…and elsewhere… ad nauseum.

    Me….I will not bother you too much. I will drop in every once in a while to remind you all of the silly games being played here.

  • Francien Verhoeven

    All we need to address is human greed.

    Companies create customers by feeding into this human greed and wants. And companies like to increase this feeding because ultimately companies are run by humans, and therefore by greed.

    If humans would be less greedy, consumption would be less, and with less consumption comes less of a demand for oil and gas.

    But of course the real topic of greed will never be discussed by the protesters because it would include themselves as being part of the problem.

    Now, who would want to solve those problems!

  • Francien Verhoeven

    “…….. I have been vocal for a long time, this tyranny
    is pure madness , and to sit back and say nothing is something I just
    cannot do,if liberty and freedom are not worth speaking out for then you
    get what you deserve, no liberty or freedom at all,“

    just ask Anti if he agrees…..

  • elizabeth

    Even those of us who acknowledge global warming have trouble getting our heads around it and acting in appropriate ways.

    We compartmentalize.

    We lose focus.

    People who seem to agree that action is required suddenly fly off for holidays to which they feel entitled, and we feel that maybe something’s wrong with us.

  • Christine Heidt

    Only after the last tree has been cut down,
    Only after the last river has been poisoned,
    Only after the last fish has been caught,
    Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
    We did not inheritit the Earth – we are borrowing it from our children.
    - North American Indian Saying

  • Colin

    Now I am of Age, I Know where my vote will go :)

  • Ruth Trinier

    I find it inspiring that you continue to speak out about such a huge issue in the face of indifference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/romankeith Roman Marshall

    I toady agree with all of your statements. What scares me more than where we are from a global Disaster is the behavior of our despicable Goverment encouraging drilling for oil in the Arctic. The changes there are clear to anyone with the water freezing over later and it staying open longer. The evidence is too great to deny iot and to survive it we must go o drastic means, Wind power is easily done to just use in our cities and the electric train concept should also be explored. But our basic problem is the gigantic greed of those who run our county and have forgotten they were elected by us and in fact we are their boss and not the other way around.
    Elizabeth May you are the one person we can count on to remind the people on Parliament hill about he dangers they are putting us in. I watched the Liberia debates and several people said they would make sure we addressed our environmental problems, but when the conservation turned around to the tar sands and oil being shipped by pipelines it sounded like we were hearing Harper speaking through them. I do believe in some of there ideas like legalizing pot and using the tax money for the homeless, the need for more low income housing and they did not add this but I think a portion should go to health.
    Keep up your good work and keeping us in the loop.
    Roman Marshall.

  • Hank

    Elizabeth for PM!

  • Nancy Wigen

    Canada had the opportunity to elect a Prime Minister (Stephan Dion) who’s vision for our future was a sustainable economy and a sustainable environment. Ridicule and attack ads. have far too much impact on those of us with the right to vote, so we have Stephen Harper instead. We need to grow up and take responsibility to be informed and our future seriously before it is too late. I hope it is not already too late, with wild fires in Australia, droughts, famine, storms, and floods already killing people and costing Billions of dollars to repair damage. As ice melts more earthquakes are likely because of the change of pressure. Climate change is more dangerous than a war. It needs to be recognized as such and responded to with the same urgency and alarm. There are ways to change. It would be ridiculous to die of apathy and greed.


    This makes me want to give up everything I do to grow food and animals and live in one spot. Thats the best way I can imagine lowering all my footprints at once. Thats the only way the world will change… if everything becomes free again… land water seeds and food must be provided on a community level to each person and each person must give back equal energy in return for their livelihood. Can we just simplify everything already?
    I am starting to think that a 4 year degree in Sustainable Agriculture is going to take too long… I want to start now!

  • Douglas Newman

    A great article on such a serious and timely subject. Thank you, Elizabeth May for all that you do on behalf of all Canadians.

  • earthfriend

    We CAN!!! Turn it around. I believe we are part of a wave of change for the better. On Friday, I’m joining a 350.org earth-art demonstration in Camrose, AB, FIRST TIME this has happened in my city! It’s a small action, I suppose, in terms of addressing the crisis, but we’ve just got to keep talking to everyone, keep having these conversations. In January, I was out in minus 25 degrees weather at a ski race with another friend, we had 350.org t-shirts, and everyone we talked to seemed really open to what we were doing and standing up for. I believe many people are concerned and supportive of work to curb the climate crisis, whether they openly discuss it or not. If we can influence rural conservative Alberta, we will have done something here. Thanks so much, Elizabeth, for your steady presence and tenacious, astute, outspoken and thoughtful advocacy for us all!!!

  • Robert North

    It seems that we are doomed to suffer the fate of Easter Island or worse. Let those in power who say they believe in God act like it and dump “Money” and serve life as God wants us all to do. If you love Jesus, then show Him by caring for the people and things He made and spurn Mammon or “Money” its fellow demon, “Oil”.

  • SolarGuy

    We do have a profound moral obligation to our children and their children by giving them the best information we have available and by supporting them in appropriately increasing that knowledge. The IPCC mandate is to blame people for climate change. The last press release dated September 27th 2013 clearly states this for all to see. Ironically, at the same time, several scientist are back peddling on using the words “global warming” together saying that their models were wrong since not “all factors” were included.

    The problem in the whole theory is this; all the planets in the system are warming. Solar output is changing. Solar spots are in decline which means more coronal holes. More holes means more radiation being released into the system. Planet Earth has a shrinking atmosphere and a significant drop in needed magnetic protection since it is not being recharged by large scale magnetic solar activity during what should be the natural maximum.solar cycle. The last time this happened it was called the Maunder Minimum. So yes, our climate is changing. No one really can disagree with that basic statement.

    The issue for me is in blaming government or the people for this as it does not serve a purpose aside from handshaking a deal bring in additional servitude taxes which will no longer stay in the country of collection; after all… it is a global issue… right?

    If additional information is required I suggest Google using above keywords.

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