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My Thoughts: Doing nothing shouldn’t be an option

BY ROB MACLELLAN

TRURO, N.S. —

Climate change is real.
Is it an issue of concern? Absolutely! Sorry if I offend deniers.
For those of us who count our years in decades rather than simply years, we have noted the changes in our winters. Real winter doesn’t start as early as it used to; it generally provides us with decreasing amounts of snow fall, and the transition from the seasons both before and after winter have melded in one long cool and colder period.
In this current year, as an example, we barely had three months of really nice warm weather. On the other hand, seemingly contradictory, world temperatures are rising.
The human presence on our planet Earth represents but a tiny portion of the time the Earth has been around. Scientists far more in the know than most of us in the historic trends of climate over the millennia, have chronicled huge swings in extreme climate on our planet, the most popular of which are the ice ages.  
What we are experiencing now isn’t that, as we’re on the upswing of rising temperatures worldwide, exacerbated by human industrial emissions. This is an incontrovertible fact.  The only way to slow this trend is to end these emissions.
See how simple that is… Of course, it’s not.
Over the years there have been many climate change champions, the most recent of whom seems to be 16-year old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist, who recently appeared before world leaders at the UN. She thoroughly spanked world leaders for their lack of effort in reducing climate change, their lack of caring for the upcoming generations, and for being too focused, instead, on making profits. She basically told them what they are doing is too little and brings doom to the world for their children and grandchildren.
You have to admire her fire. Perhaps if more 16-year-olds were filled with as much passion as her, revisiting the lowering of the voting age to 16 might make sense.
Some have argued she is being made into a political tool for those on the left who are most supportive of the need to address climate change now. There is probably an element of truth to this.
Even given Greta’s young growing activism around the climate change issue, how else would she be provided with a stage as big as the UN, if it was not facilitated by what some call the leftist movement to try to generate more support for climate change abatement?  I’m not trying to be cynical here, but there is bit of an appeal in having a tender-age child tell us off.  I doubt world leaders would take what she delivered – and applauding her when she did so – from a fully-grown adult activist.
Of course, it is probably unfair to label those who are working towards effecting a reduction in the human activities that are contributing to climate change as activists; the term activist, generally speaking, tends to be wrapped in negative connotations. I rather favour replacing the word activist with the word champion, which has a more positive sound to it. As time goes along, we are going to need a whole lot more champions.
As I mentioned a moment ago, the biggest contributor to climate change are human activities that create emissions. But it is not just industrial emissions we need to be concerned about. You may not know this, but reliable Internet sources tell us raising livestock for food accounts for 18 per cent of global greenhouse emissions. Interestingly enough, it is not so much bovine flatulence that is a concern, but rather their burps.      
While most consider carbon dioxide the worst culprit in trapping heat in our atmosphere, methane, which is what cows produce when they burp, is 84 times more powerful in trapping this heat. Recently, I read an article regarding new food for cows that reduces these bovine emissions. That sounds very positive.
This is a good time to talk about climate change abatement here in Canada, as we have a federal election coming up.  If you haven’t already done so, let our leaders know how important this issue is to you, and ask them what they are going to do about it.
Then vote with your conscience.
                 
Rob MacLellan is an advocate for education and non-profit organizations. He can be reached at 902-305-0311 or at rob@nsnonprofitconsulting.com. 
 

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