- BC Games
Connect with Us
GO GREEN: Complexities of climate change
Is climate change a hoax, as some suggest? Should we worry about global warming?
The Vancouver Sun (Aug. 2) photo of a baby chick emerging from its egg with no incubator in 41C weather in Zhengzhou, China, captured my attention.
Can you imagine living in such intense heat?
Extreme weather events are unfortunately becoming more common.
Canadians have been victims of flooding and in B.C., there have been more fires as a result of drying forests. A poignant reminder of the damage done by extreme weather was the recent 10th anniversary of the B.C. summer of fire.
By examining the climate conditions of the past, one is reminded of complex changes that have taken place over time.
About 650 million years ago, according to geologists, glaciers covered the earth’s surface. Years later, during the Cretaceous era, there was no ice. Dinosaurs stomped around Antarctica, palm trees grew in Siberia and sea level was hundreds of feet higher than today.
When earth entered the Pleistocene era, 2 million years ago, climate swung back and forth between glacial periods and interglacial ones.
Although humans evolved some 200,000 years ago, it is only during the last 10,000 years (Holocene era), as climate stabilized and allowed the establishment of agriculture, that civilizations developed and thrived, and world population went from 5,000,000 to approximately 7 billion. And, it is expected to continue rising.
With this burgeoning population come concerns of human caused emissions. These include:
• More methane being released into the atmosphere from cows (high beef demand) and from landfills as more food waste is produced).
• Increased use of fossil fuel for home heating and producing electricity, etc.
• Excessive chemical fertilizer use adds carbon dioxide to atmosphere.
• Concrete manufacturing.
Global temperature records, begun in 1850, show the earth has warmed 1.3F over the past 100 years, with temperature now rising about two times as fast as it did over previous 50.
A huge concern for cities and municipalities is the predicted sea level rise by 2100—a topic too big to examine here--but so every important.
I don’t consider climate change a hoax and yes we should be concerned about global warming. A great library resource is “Global Weirdness”, by Climate Central, 2012.
• Jean Wightman is a longtime South Delta resident and leads the Go Green Delta Book and Film group.