Letter: Canada’s climate change effort poor

Dear Editor,

I was surprised and disappointed last week to learn that Canada sits near the bottom of western nations in our efforts to ameliorate climate change.

What is almost shameful is that we are the only signatory to the Tokyo Agreement that has pulled out of the accord.

The more I learn about global warming, the more frightened it makes me. Although I will not be alive to see it, it appears that civilization as we know it is at stake. It may be that the existence of humanity is in the balance.

I have just watched a Knowledge Network programme on tipping points in the Arctic, where there is incredible potential for massive exacerbation of global warming.

Most people will have some awareness of how the melting summer polar ice is warming climate. If this were not bad enough, it pales in insignificance to the melting of the permafrost in these regions.

It is estimated that this melting which is already happening could increase world carbon dioxide levels threefold. However, the release of methane, which is 24 times worse as a global warming agent, could send atmospheric warming off the scale.

Can we do anything about? We have no option, unless we want our children to grow up in an ever-increasing hostile world.

During the Second World War the United States spent huge sums of national treasure to win the race for the atom bomb. In the years leading up to the Year 2000 the World spent vast amounts to correct, previously unforeseen, computer programming errors on the off chance that there would be major catastrophes induced by these malfunctions.

One of the ways we can counteract global warming is too bind carbon at every opportunity. It can take place in the form of massive re-forestation, foresting areas where trees will grow if given help, and by sequestering carbon from wood sources.

We need to develop wood construction for higher-storeyed buildings. We can substitute wood non-load bearing partitions for steel in high rises.

London used to pave its streets with wooden blocks. Perhaps it is time for a resurgence of this old technology.

Builders must be encouraged to use wood and wood-based siding products.

The age of the electric vehicle is upon us. Tesla vehicles achieve a 225-mile range on a single charge, The new Audi will go 335 miles.

How many people drive that much in a day? Those who do could have a small natural gas engine to charge the electric motor.

Best of all, at US electric prices, it costs nine cents a US gallon per 100 miles equivalent to operate the Tesla vehicle.

Please become concerned and pressure your local politicians.

John V. Howard, Aldergrove

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