climate change alberta
"This is, yes, El Nino, but it is El Nino supercharged with climate change."
From ski hills to saw mills, how lives are already being affected.
Over 1,000 planners descended in Vancouver this past week at Infuse, this year's conference for the Canadian Institute of Planners. Most everyone can agree that climate change is occurring, with some debates raging over whether it is happening quickly or slowly. We reached a significant milestone this May when carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. The question is no longer how we can stop climate change from happening, but what we can do to adapt and rebound from its effects, a concept called resilience.
As the people of southern Alberta begin to put their lives back together, the question has become whether this historic disaster could be the result of climate change. The answer from scientists has been a resounding "maybe." Yes, record high temperatures in the north caused the weather pattern that brought about unprecedented rainfall at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. But no single weather pattern, no matter how rare, can be attributed to climate change. However, in the case of Calgary itself, there is another lesson to be learned -- it's time to start listening to scientists.
Carbon taxes are once again dominating the discussion over energy policy in Alberta, where Environment Minister Diana McQueen has proposed a sharp hike to Alberta's carbon levy.
The climate and energy challenge is frequently portrayed as a world of absolutes. We are either doomed, or salvation is just around the corner. We have either missed the narrow window to forestall disaster, or are told it is premature to act in the face of persistent uncertainties.