Climate change: We have a choice | Climate & Clean Energy | David Suzuki Foundation
Photo: Climate change: We have a choice

What can people do to help stop climate change? They should learn to adapt (Credit : University of Maryland Press Releases via Flickr).

By Harpreet Johal, Climate Change Campaigner

When I hear about climate change in the news, I rarely hear about the most pertinent issues like how it affects our health. Typically, the discussion sets up a battle between the economy and the environment — no way that the economy and the environment are actually interconnected, right?

A new report from the National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy (NRTEE), however, looks into the economic costs of climate change. The NRTEE calculates that the effects of climate change will cost the Canadian economy at least $5 billion a year by 2020, and between $21 billion and $43 billion a year, possibly more, by 2050. The study only looked at a few categories of impacts. No doubt there will be others.

What can people do to help stop climate change? They should learn to adapt, according to the report. Although the NRTEE agreed that the Canadian government needs to do more to deal with climate change, its proposed recommendations tend to focus on adaption strategies, such as installing green roofs and prohibiting new construction in coastal areas with high flood risks. These are important insurance strategies against unchecked climate change.

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The importance of mitigation, however, should not be forgotten. If Canada continues on its current path, including rapid expansion of the oil sands, we will continue to make the problems of climate change worse, and thus more difficult to overcome.

More importantly, as individuals and Canadians, we have a choice about our future. We have solutions to dramatically reduce heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions and protect our communities and ecosystems while improving our quality of life, with cleaner air, less traffic congestion and healthier people. For instance, we can make a choice to take public transit, use renewable power, eat more responsibly, get involved with others in our community who also want action and vote for government leaders who will invest in these solutions and make it easier for citizens and businesses to help fight climate change.

Of course, adaptation measures will also be needed; however, these will work best when combined with strategies to reduce emissions that cause climate change. And it's up to us as Canadians to realize we have choices, and that our decisions today can build a brighter future for tomorrow.

October 6, 2011
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/climate-blog/2011/10/climate-change-we-have-a-choice/

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4 Comments

Jun 16, 2012
9:32 AM

Whats really alarming is the fact with the antarctic in the same hemisphere as South America thereshould be lots of rain from the condinsation reaction between the heat and the cold.This proves possably that by taking the oil out of the earth which needs it to function.We are burning it,dehydrating the atmousphere as the global rain fall patterns will confirm.This destuctive behavior must be modifyed if there is going to be any hope of man surviving.By taking the oil out and putting nothing in to replace it what you are doing is creating a vacume thats sucking down on the crust of the affected contenents,when the planets line up on Dec.21,2012 we are going to see some gravitational pulling so we will get some plate movement.Just to be safe stay away from the water and especialy the oil feilds as we have created the ripe conditions for a cascascade earthqyake.Regards,rik

Feb 28, 2012
7:52 PM

Climate change is really alarming but the worst is the some country not really serious about it, they more focus on war issue, earning money even its no good anymore for the nature. I hope someday we able to reach "planetary thinking".

my stereo is playing Behringer Europower while reading this post.

Great Post.

Oct 26, 2011
4:21 PM

Hello,

Thank you for your comment.

While nuclear energy may seem like a more environmentally friendly option, a closer look reveals nuclear power is neither an environmentally or financially viable option. Nuclear power creates radioactive waste for which there is no accepted method of safely managing or storing. It is also prohibitively expensive.The Foundation is however, committed to finding and promotion other cleaner energy solutions. Feel free to have a look around our blog for more on our views on nuclear power, and the alternatives.

While we try our best to address specific comments and posts on our blogs, contacting us through email is a more reliable way to ensure that your questions are answered. If you have any further questions or comments, make sure to reach us by email at: contact@davidsuzuki.org.

Kind Regards,

Ripan

Oct 07, 2011
4:00 PM

Hello David, I am interested in knowing your opinion on the proposed NAWAPA project, set forth in the "7 necessary steps for economic change" by the Occupy Wall Street movement. While I agree that we need to make changes to reduce economic disparity in the world today, this NAWAPA proposal raises many concerns, (one of which being extraction of uranium to supply nuclear reactors for it's main energy sources). Thank you for taking the time to read this note, and I look forward to your reply

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