‘I told you so!’

October 14, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Doug Skeates

The scientific world could well be forgiven for not expressing this comment after their many decades of warning about potential disasters likely to occur if society failed to take action to avoid the ever-increasing temperature of the world’s atmosphere. 

Society’s greatest fear is the likelihood that Nature is passing the point of no return. Though heat is a global concern its impact is experienced on a regional level. As Bangladesh suffers with over a third of the nation being underwater since May this dangerous example is primarily only a news item for folk living in Simcoe / Dufferin counties in central Ontario far removed from the coast.

The changing global climate, this most obvious news, is in the form of differing storm patterns. The media nowadays is full of accounts of severe hurricanes in areas unaccustomed to having to cope with such conditions. 

Maritime provinces, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in the east and Alaska to the west, are the closest to home but the effect of coastal damage in New Orleans, (Katrina) and north-east coastal communities, (Sandy) resulted in huge loss of homes and lives.

The effect of hurricanes on coastal communities – Hurricane Ian devastating Florida and Fiona in the Canadian Maritimes is the most recent example of shifting weather but floods due to changing rainfall have cost the loss of many inland communities in the north-east U.S. and western Europe. Ironically, many parts of the world are suffering from extreme levels of excess water causing the destruction of whole communities while surviving populations experience a lack of water for drinking, cooking and hygienic purposes. Ecologists have recorded many areas in the world where starvation due to drought is responsible for high levels of mortality.

As planet temperatures rise ice sources are rapidly melting with water adding to the depth of the world’s oceans and loss of the world’s total potable water. Fresh water represents less than 2% of the world’s supply being unavailable for human consumption and stored in glaciers and arctic ice fields. The obvious effect of water shortage is vast areas of land being vulnerable to wildfires. Many communities have been totally obliterated including resources on thousands of square miles of forest lands. California has been especially prone as well as vast areas of Australian, European and Asian countries. Canada is no exception to the destruction of communities in Alberta and British Columbia. 

It has been estimated that the lost source of forest ecosystems affects about half the gains made in reduced carbon in the atmosphere through efforts achieved in the battle to reduce global warming annually.

  Water is essential for the production of food. The agricultural industry in North America currently relies on ‘fossil’ moisture, stored in aquifers centuries ago, being pumped to the surface from ever greater depths every year without being replaced by inadequate rainfall. 

Farmers are having to drill deeper every year to tap enough water from hundreds of feet below several states in the western U.S. and particularly California in order to meet the food needs of people in North American communities.

Rivers in many countries depend on aquifers located in mountains. India is traversed by the Ganges, fed by the melting Himalayan range. Rivers in many parts of western Canada which arise from glaciers in the Rockies will lose much of their water too. The world depends on the supply of this resource, water being of greater importance to life than fossil fuels. Heating and cooling, though necessary for quality of life, are of far less significance to human survival than essentials such as air, food and particularly water.

Governments may pledge nations to implement necessary action but achieving the stated goals can only be conducted locally. Partnership is essential to address the problem of global warming which endangers the supply of essential elements for the well-being of humanity. A policy of providing interest-free subsidies would encourage property owners to convert from fossil fuels as home energy to renewable energy. A goal of establishing increased green cover on lands currently providing marginal productivity at a local level would help to minimize the world’s greenhouse environment. It has proven difficult to mitigate the problem of excess carbon, but it is essential for folks to adapt their lives in order to cope with the impacts being experienced today around the world.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.