Wednesday, April 02, 2014

IPCC Climate Change report got you down?

It should.

At the blog DeSmog Canada, Carol Linnitt has pulled out a great list of "All the Positive and Helpful Things in the IPCC Report No One Will Talk About." Since the Conservative Stephen Harper government has thrown itself into making the country a C02 exporting "superpower," Canadians who care about the climate need all the encouragement they can get. So do the rest of us. Here are a few of the items Linnitt found in the scary report:

  • 1. Start by making changes at the local level where and how they make sense.
    There’s no single catch-all solution when it comes to a complex problem like global climate change. The report’s authors recommend taking a local approach that addresses “risk reduction and adaptation strategies” that attend to specific socioeconomic processes and needs. Oh, and don’t wait for the perfect local strategy — just pursue all solutions simultaneously, even if they overlap.
  • 3. Make everything better for everyone and that will help the climate issue. Seriously.
    If you work hard to “improve human health, livelihoods, social and economic well-being, and environmental quality” you’re pretty much guaranteed to make progress on the climate file. Governments should start working double-time on these fronts as a part of their climate change adaption and mitigation efforts. Co-benefits!
  • 4. Don’t be so single-minded.
    Climate change in a way is the result of pursuing the objectives of a small sector of society. If we started to recognize “diverse interests, circumstances, social-cultural contexts, and expectations” that could “benefit decision-making processes.” So, if local communities are suffering as a result of new refineries, coal-fired power plants, oil export pipelines or the expansion of the oilsands — take the interests and needs of those local communities to heart. Giving too much sway to vested fossil-fuel interests is exacerbating climate change, after all. And anyway, “Indigenous, local, and traditional knowledge systems and practices, including indigenous peoples’ holistic view of community and environment, are a major resource for adapting to climate change.” We’ve got to stop ignoring these alternative perspectives.
  • 11. Start immediately.
    It turns out the sooner we get started limiting climate change, the more time we’ll have to adequate prepare for adaptation. Mitigation, the report’s authors state, “reduces the rate as well as the magnitude of warming.” So, best to get started right away.

There are nine more items in Linnitt's list. Go read them all. Despite the wrong turn taken by their government (and ours!), we still can look for hints from our northern neighbors.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post!!!!

I'm thinking that I'll be passing these on to some groups here: 3 days ago we had snow and yesterday it was in the 80s. That's weird -- even for Ohio!

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