|Letter to the Editor
(originally sent to the Gulf Islands Driftwood)
Too hot to handle?
Why should we Salt Spring Islanders be concerned about climate change? Especially now, during this summer of soft breezes, sunny days and blissfully cool nights. After all, why should the big increase in the average temperature of Alaska and the death there of millions of acres of Sitka spruce trees worry us? What have the dying coral reefs to do with us? There have always been drought, flooding and violent storms over the rest of our planet. So what if world weather conditions seem to be a little worse these days?
Well, when you ve finished reading Robert Hunters 2030: Confronting Thermageddon in Our Lifetime, you ll never again think of global warming the same way - that its happening slowly, and that the effects won t be felt until a long time in the future. You ll never again say, We have plenty of time to fix things. What makes Hunters book different from others on the same subject is that he tells us when some of the cataclysmic events in store for the Earth will take place and what the results will be. Within 50 years, for example, the polar ice cap, which is melting from the bottom up much faster than it is shrinking horizontally, will disappear entirely, and with the disappearance of that final scab on the surface of the deep black Arctic waters, a massive area on the far north will suddenly switch from heat shield to heat sink. This event
..will invite a blast of increased heat from space, virtually an explosion.
My grandchildren will be alive when this happens, as will the children and grandchildren of all of us here. The future is now; the key is in words of the books subtitle: in our lifetime.
We must all become energized to do all we can to prevent the catastrophe that awaits us and those we love. And, thankfully, Hunter shows the way. The people who survive a house fire are not the ones who say, Maybe it'll go out by itself, or, Don't worry; the neighbours will call the fire department. Hunter writes that because of our pathological addiction to fossil fuels, our planet is really broke and that wed better start fixing it now.
One immediate thing we can do is to call our MP Gary Lunn at 800-667-9188 or 250-656-2320 or e-mail him at email@example.com and urge him to support the call inside the party to adopt the Kyoto Protocol without further changes. For further information on the politics, economics and science of the Kyoto Protocol, contact the David Suzuki Foundation at Suite 219, 2211 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6K 4S2 Canada, Phone: (604) 732-4228, or click on http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_Change/Kyoto/.
Bob Hunter, who is currently the ecology specialist for CITY-TV in Toronto and was the co-founder of Greenpeace, has written a passionate, well-researched and very readable book. It is now available in our Library, Salt Spring Books and Volume II, and it is on order at Et Cetera.
This the hottest book on global warming in print. Once you start reading it, you won t be able to put it down, and you ll never again take your children s health and happiness for granted.
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Sierra Club of Canada