Letter: Climate emergency requires response and action

A climate rally organized by 350 Kingston takes place in City Park out front of the Frontenac County Courthouse in downtown Kingston on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Aerial photo by Kingstonist.

Editorial note: The following is a submitted letter to the Editor. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Kingstonist.

Dear Editor,

Look at one degree of climate warming:  Fiona, Ian, the Pakistan floods, heat domes, droughts, tornadoes in Eastern Ontario, the Fort MacMurray wildfires. 

This slow motion catastrophe has put us on a trajectory to race past 1.5C of warming. What is most worrisome is that we are speeding toward five major tipping points that will accelerate warming to such an extent that recovery will happen only over geologic time scales. 

We need a response that is swift and at scale.

We need individual actions: transit or electric vehicles, replacing your natural gas furnace with a cold climate heat pump, eating less meat — especially beef…

But most of all, we need to wrest politicians from the influence of the fossil fuel industry and tell them to act like this is a crisis — because it is.

Mark Sibley
Kingston resident.

Share your views! Submit a Letter to the Editor or an Op/Ed article to Kingstonist’s Editor-in-Chief Tori Stafford at [email protected].

2 thoughts on “Letter: Climate emergency requires response and action

  • Climate change crusaders do little else than yell “fire” at the first sign of smoke, as their aim is to provoke panic and confusion. I don’t know what bothers me most: their ridiculous nomenclature for ordinary weather events, or their absurd solutions that politicians and the news media readily accept.

    The Fort MacMurray fire in 2016 might not have been so costly a disaster if the provincial government had not cut funds for preventative measures against forest fires. Apart from the failure to provide fire-breaks, (cutting down swaths of trees around communities in forests), a great amount of housing was built in close rows with trees and shrubbery alongside. What does one expect when clearing just enough space in a dry forest for a wood-shingled cabin when a wildfire pays a visit? What does one expect when building a seaside cottage just above the high-tide mark, when a hurricane or tsunami pays a visit? Instead of taking any blame for poor planning or budget cutting, it is easier to blame everyone for “climate change.”

    Banning plastic straws and decrying the eating of beef, (to reduce the number of cow farts), offer a minimal impact on the problem of fossil fuel dependency by major economies. Until the United States, China, and India stop fuelling their electrical grids with coal, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will continue to rise. Converting all the vehicles in the United States from petrol fuels to EVs wouldn’t make much difference, if their batteries are charged by a coal-fired power plant.

    I am anxiously awaiting the first photograph of an “atmospheric river,” which is the new name for a cloud band. “Heat domes” is a new name for a persistent heat waves. “Super hurricanes,” “cyclone bombs,” and “zombie ice” are the stuff of apocalyptic fiction, but as “extreme weather” they grab attention in headlines.

    What needs to be done? Not the “crisis” solution adopted in the United Kingdom, where a green revolution shutting down nuclear reactors and installing wind turbines has led to an inadequate and unreliable power grid. Planting trees helps, (creating fire-breaks would be better), but Trudeau’s unfulfilled promise to plant 2 billion trees in a country which already has over 300 billion trees is fruitless. Growing hemp crops would remove atmospheric carbon dioxide in years, (not decades), and produce bio-fuels, bio-plastics, better paper products, and more; but, that solution isn’t openly discussed by politicians, (who prefer to plant trees).

    I’d recommend investing in Canadian companies that will make a real difference, (such as Ecolomondo, which recycles waste tires, and Forward Water Technologies, which purifies water supplies), instead of funding advocacy groups that do little else than stage protests and only offer band-aid solutions.

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