I read Bourque newswatch to get tomorrow's Canadian news today, and today they linked to an article from the Toronto Star, dated January 30, that made me so mad. This crazy-ass columnist was confused as to why people are caring so much about climate change 'instead' of health care. First of all, people care about both. The point though, is that we won't need health care if our ecosystem collapses. Also, by improving the quality of the air we breathe etc, we would become less of a strain on our healthcare system. Here are some gems from the article that particularly pissed me off:
"Another reason to wonder about our sudden environmental awareness is that, although little attention has been paid to this, global warming will actually benefit Canadians, on balance.
A warmer climate will lengthen our growing season and so expand our agricultural output. It will melt our Arctic ice, creating opportunities for speedier sea travel to Europe and Asia, and make it possible to increase exploitation of our northern resources. It will also reduce our death rate, which always increases during our winters.
Our unearned luck is not yet complete. One of the most feared of the consequences of global warming – a rise in sea levels – will have little effect on us. As a rich country, we are far better situated to cope with climate change's negative effects than is a poor one, like Bangladesh."
Holy shit. Sure, we may not suffer as much as Bangladesh or the Netherlands (whose majority of land is under sea level). But the ice caps melting and sea level rising has bigger and much scarier consequences than just opening the Northwest passage and flooding some countries that we apparently shouldn't care about. The Day After Tomorrow may have been a cheezy movie, but it was based on climate change science. They can't really predict what WILL happen, but that was one example of what COULD happen. And then, Canada would really be screwed.
There is this sort of attitude in Canada that we would be better off if the world heated up a bit, because it's so cold here anyways - so what would a few degrees matter! Uh, well, let's say drought. Massive drought in the prairies. Great Depression-like dustbowl. The Lower Mainland of BC would probably be underwater - including the Greater Vancouver area, which is the third largest city in Canada. And after the drought and flooding, maybe the climate would cool because of a shift in ocean currents. Could happen. And then we'd really be screwed. If we thought it was cold now, we should wait and see what happens if we keep destroying or planet. Next Ice Age, here we come!