Letter to the editor – Climate Change

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Dear Editor,

Statistics can be used to illuminate or they can be used to obfuscate. Often, one statistic will need additional statistics in order to contextualize the first statistic. Mr. Sadowski states that Canada produces less than 1.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Ourworldindata reports a figure of 1.6% in 2017 (ourwordindata.org/co2), however this puts Canada at tenth in the emissions list globally. On a per capita basis, we are the 15th biggest emitter, with annual emissions of 15.6 tonnes of CO2 per person in 2017. The global average for CO2 emissions is 4.73 tonnes. Some may say that our CO2 emissions are due to Canada’s climate, however northern European countries have far lower emissions: Norway is 8.2t, Finland 8.1t, Denmark 6.1t, Sweden 4.3t. What about large countries? Russia comes in at 11.3t. How can Canada put pressure on other countries to reduce their emissions if we are not doing our fair share?

We cannot afford to transition to renewables at a comfortable marathon pace cruise. In case Mr. Sadowski hasn’t noticed, our world is literally on fire. It seems like every day there is news of another wildfire. The Guardian reported on August 6 that July was the worst July on record for wildfires, and 343 million tons of CO2 were released from forest fires (for context: Canada’s annual emissions are around 575 million tons per year). And July is not even the peak month for wildfires in many areas. If we do not rapidly and urgently decarbonize, humanity faces a bleak future.

Steve Gabell

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