On Tuesday, March 5 our speaker was Dr. Marisa Slavin. Dr. Slavin is a palliative care doctor with an interest and focus on Climate Change. This interest began back in 2006 after watching the documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” 

Although this film had an initial impact on Marisa, it wasn’t until 2015 when her focus truly shifted to Climate Change with the release of her book “Code Blue”. One of the biggest questions around Climate Change is “Is it real?” Nothing can be 100% sure however all evidence points to it being true so we should prepare for the worst. 

Results of Climate Change: 

  • Floods 
  • Droughts 
  • Extreme Weather 
  • Extinction of species 
  • Famine 

We simply need to watch the news to recognize that Climate Change is happening. Scientists say carbon dioxide levels are rising creating a greenhouse effect….that warms the planet.

97% of scientists worldwide agree that global warming trends are directly related to climate change. In addition to these scientists, hundreds of large international organizations also agree. 

When we look at a list of what countries contribute to global warming, China tops the list followed by the USA and India. Canada sits down on this list and one would think we are a low contributor to global warming however if you look at it as per capita against population, we are one of the worst contributors. 

While the USA is not signed on to the Paris Climate Agreement, they are in fact lowering emission levels but this is due to State and municipal governments who continue to support emission reduction initiatives. 

China has targeted 70% below 2005 levels by 2030. 

India is an area of concern however they are making progress in renewable energy which they are a world leader in. They are the 4th largest wind power country and they have completed the world’s largest solar plant. 

What can we do to help? 

1) Educate ourselves and others 

2) Donate to environmental causes 

3) Protest….let our government know we want change 

4) Vote! 

5) Eat less meat 

6) Walk or bike 

7) Consume less. 

“Things that are a great benefit to us all are becoming a threat to us all.” 

We are the first generation that understands climate change and the last generation that can do anything about it. 

Since Oct 2018, 3 separate organizations have said rapid environmental change needs to take place by all nations. They noted hundreds of billions of dollars in damage to the US economy due to climate change. 

The Rio Earth Summit in 1992 set emission targets for all countries to meet. Since then other summits have set new targets yet despite all of this, omission levels have grown by 20 percent in Canada alone. We have missed every target from all climate change conferences. 

IN 2018 alone, the earth experienced at least 8 major climate related disasters around the world. 

Dave talked about communications and technology changes through the ages and the affect this has had on the environment.

Where are we today? 

 

We continually strive to improve our comfort and security and overall enjoyment of life while this contributes to environmental damage. 

Dave pointed out that damage to the environment is not new…it began back in 1750. and accelerated as technology advanced. 

 

World co2 emissions continue to grow. 

Canada is number 1 per capita 

9th by emissions 

38th by population 

 

Climate change is about physics and chemistry 

 

What can we change? 

1) Change our consumption and desires 

2) Change our sources and use of energy 

3) Change our response to what we know. 

 

Until the general public understand the crisis they won’t support the strong actions required. Governments need to save the environment so that we can have a livable society and economy. 

* We need to update our Paris accord targets 

* We need to set further laws, incentives and regulations to meet our new target 

 

As individuals what can we do? 

1) Continue to educate ourselves about climate change 

2) Speak up and out about it 

3) Accept that it requires major changes to our social and economic systems 

4) Get ready in our personal lives 

What can we do in our daily lives? 

 

1) Shop less 

2) Less air and cruise travel 

3) Drive less (cars are the largest source of emissions in Hamilton) 

4) Eat lower on the food chain (less meat…more protein from grains) 

 

 

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