Thursday, January 5, 2017

CLIMATE CHANGE

      The climate change issue has been on my mind for a long time.

      In this province, Alberta, a carbon tax has just come in on Jan . 1.

      Now the climate change goes off in many directions. Some people deny that there is climate change caused by the activities of man. What really gets me is people who talk about believing in climate change. You can believe in ghosts or fairies but when it comes to climate changes it's there. It can be measured and felt.

     Two stories stick in my mind when it comes to climate change. They are both northern in origin.

Image result for map banks island victoria island

     When I taught in Inuvik, we had some students from Sach's Harbor which is on the southwest corner of Banks island. When we flew across the Beaufort to take these kids home in mid June we found open water for 2 or 3 miles along the coast of the Beaufort. This quickly changed to ice and then solid ice.

     Now in the 1930's the Sach's Harbor people had a 60 foot boat. Their nearest trading post was Aklavik in the Mackenzie Delta. Once a year they would make the trip by sea. Follow the map. They would first sail east along the south shore of Banks Island (which is the 5 th largest island in Canada). Sometimes the ice was caught at Cape Lambton which is the bulge on the bottom of Banks Island. They would wait. The ice usually cleared but sometimes they could not get through and would go back to Sach's Harbor and wait and try again next year. Anyway some years they would cross the Beaufort at Cape Lambton to the mainland near Paulatuk.. They would then sail about 500 km west to the Mackenzie Delta and Aklavik. Some years they went further east and found open water close to Victoria island. They usually got to Aklavik in August and then had to go back. Sometimes they couldn't get back and stayed on the mainland for the winter.

    What I'm trying to tell you is that in the 1930's there was lots of ice and it was difficult to get to Sach's Harbor by sea.

    Now there's lots of open water. They can always cross at Cape Lambton. Today they cross that stretch of water in speed boats that carry lots of gas.

    So there has been a major melt of the ice.

Image illustrative de l'article Kangiqsujuaq
    Now I taught in Northern Quebec at Kangiqsujuaq. It's a barren area. The biggest trees were knee high but usually ankle height. They were spruce, birch and willow. We had lots of blue berries but the plants were only 2 or 3 in high. It was a bleak area but beautiful. Now you see photos of the village and there are large spruce trees. In the 1960's the maximum height of trees was 10 to 15 in. Now they have 20 ft trees. WHY? The temperature has warmed up and larger trees can grow.

     So climate change is with us and we have to take action before disaster strikes in some areas. We may debate about how to deal with climate change , but we have to deal with it in a very realistic way.

25 comments:

  1. According to the well-known climatologist, Professor D.Trump of Twitter University, you are talking hogwash Red! Without the USA on board, efforts to address climate change will regress. However, I applaud your two pieces of evidence. To right thinking people such evidence is irrefutable even if it would surely be rubbished by Professor D. Trump.

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    1. With all due respects to the good professor he's looney toons!

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  2. I think even climate change deniers are coming around, Red. Your two examples are indisputable.

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    1. I think there is some shifting. I wonder if things can be done in time to make a difference.

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  3. many question reason, but 98% of environmental problems are manmade

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    1. Key term "environmental problems."

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  4. The nice thing about science and empirical evidence is that they're real regardless of how much a person might deny them.

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    1. Well, there was a letter in our paper today and the guy thinks that very little science is of reality.

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  5. I couldn't agree more. I've seen evidence of climate change, too, but it's much more subtle in areas that are not normally icy -- which is why some people can be in a state of denial, I think. They don't see the obvious, drastic changes that you've seen over your decades in northern Canada.

    What drives me crazy are the people who acknowledge climate change may be real, but argue that human causes are part of the natural process and therefor nothing to worry about. We ought to do our best to NOT cause harm to the planet, shouldn't we? The planet is not just a paper bag for humans to wad up and toss away. There are millions of other creatures here besides ourselves.

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    1. Reasoning on this topic can be most creative.

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  6. "There are none so blind as those who will not see." For the life of me, I can't understand why people turn a blind eye to the evidence.

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  7. As you said Red climate change is happening and that's irrefutable. The fact that some people choose to pretend they are ostriches and deny that man is contributing to it is beyond most people's comprehension.

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    1. Money seems to be at the root of the solution. Everybody is afraid the other guy will gain an advantage by not doing his share. what they don't realize is that they are moving toward oblivion.

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  8. People can deny all they want and pretend it's not real, but climate change is happening. The sooner we start doing something about it, the sooner we'll prevent some disasters. Debating it at this point is foolish.

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    1. The sooner we start the easier and simpler it will be to solve some things.

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  9. I believe in it. All the pollution we've done can't be good for the earth

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    1. Use of fossil fuels tells the whole story.

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  10. In the 1970s I flew over Greenland and it was covered in snow. Two years ago on a similar flight all the snow was gone. Sure weather happens in cycles, but we humans are definitely helping to heat up this planet.

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    1. That's exactly why sea level is rising. the polar ice caps are melting.

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  11. It is a frightening development, it worries me very much.

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  12. Government Heads in all countries and BBM (Big Business Men) don't give a damm. If everyone on the planet stepped up to the plate and ACTED, there would be an uproar. This will never happen, for most people are not interested. I am and there are many like me.....and climate change keeps getting pushed further and further to the NSIT.....NOT SO IMPORTANT TABLE. One day the earth will react.

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  13. I can't understand how people can still say they don't "believe in" climate change. Down here you can't miss the damage of sea rise. The evidence is everywhere.

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  14. Hi Red, I hear you loud and clear. People who deny climate change are usually people who simply don’t want any regulations to protect the environment. The reason they don’t want the regulations is so they can make money without regard to how they are polluting the sky and water. Climate change is absolutely happening, just as you say. I sure hope our new leader down here has enough brains to see it and do something about it! Thanks for another fine post!

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  15. The whole world is in a constant state of change, I am not certain we can do enough to change it. The weather is really wicked this winter and the wind hardly ever stops blowing. Droughts then crippling rain...ice storms...it is a mess:(

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