We want to mitigate climate change

Guest view by Pat Rooney on mitigating climate change.

For the better part of a year and a half I have been researching building a house. I have decided to build a Passivhaus. Beyond what I personally expect to get from living in a Passivhaus, I want to, in my own small way, do what I can to reduce CO2 emissions to help slow down climate change. In 2014 in the United States, buildings accounted for 41 per cent of all C02 emissions. The data for Canada is not available and it hasn’t been since 2008. While researching Passive Homes, I came across this article on the Natural Resources Canada website. The link is below. In this country and with this government, we now adapt rather than mitigate when it comes to rising temperatures and CO2 emissions.


Adaptation! Why is it, that I have only heard about this strategy for dealing with climate change, from the Government of Canada. Who would have thought that there were opportunities to get rich from climate change. Only in Canada, eh! I wonder what the people of the Maldives and Tuvalu think about this strategy? For that matter, what do the Inuit think of this strategy. In the same article on the Natural Resources web site, the government suggests Inuit hunters adapt by bringing a GPS along on their hunts, so that they can find their way back home when the weather gets bad caused by warmer temperatures and melting sea ice. They may not have any food with them because the sea ice that supports that food chain is disappearing and their houses may not be left when they get there because of rising sea levels, but that’s Adaptation 101. Oh, I forgot, one of the points in Adaptation 101 is for the Inuit to start moving their houses to higher ground. Do they still live in Igloos? Would this government dare to suggest to the people of Vancouver’s West end that they start moving to higher ground.

When you go to Environment Canada’s web site the last publication of any climate change data was August 2011. A sceptic might think this was due to a government that didn’t want the public or the electorate to know that global climate change, due to increasing temperatures of our air and our oceans, is real. I have read about Prime Minister Harper putting a gag order on scientists and government departments, limiting what they can say or publish without the clearance of the PMO’s office. Is this an actual example of that? Is this truly the type of democracy we want?

What ever happened to mitigation? Why has the Canadian Government refused to set targets for CO2 emissions? Even in Republican-dominated Washington, Obama has had the courage to finally commit the United States to do something about CO2 emissions. Even the Communist government in China realizes the crisis we are in. They are converting to renewable energy faster than any country in the world. I realize that is largely due to the size of their country, but my point is that even in a non democratic country, the government is doing more than our government to mitigate climate change. Instead of shifting to renewable resources, this government wants to increase production of the dirtiest oil on the planet.

We can’t afford another term with a Conservative government at the helm in this country. The temperature is rising! We need to care more about our neighbours, we need to care more about our first nations people, we need to care more about the disadvantaged and about the environment, not just here, but in other parts of the world. We need to stop violence against women, including aboriginal women. We need to stop subsidizing big oil. If we are going to subsidize anything, lets subsidize renewable energy. We need to start caring about the world we want our kids to inherit. It is the only one we will ever have. I would like my grandchildren to see a world that we have chosen not destroy. We all have a say and a vote. This October lets use that vote to elect a government that cares. Harper has already started the vote buying. Let’s show him that we want a more caring and compassionate government. Let’s show him the door. We don’t want to adapt, we want to mitigate.


Pat Rooney


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