I thought the days of flat-out climate change denial were over. Climate change is not a new issue – as far back as Arrhenius in 1896, scientists have been warning of the dangers of releasing carbon dioxide from fossil fuels. The evidence that the globe is getting hotter and the climate is changing is utterly overwhelming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published their sixth special report on August 9 (available at www.ipcc.ch). The full report is 1,300 pages and is a systematic review of over 14,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers. It concludes that increases in greenhouse gases since 1750 are unequivocally the result of human activity, and that each of the last four decades have been warmer than any decade that preceded it since 1850. The planet has already warmed by 1.1C since 1850- 1900, and is set to get warmer over the coming years. We are seeing the impact of this already, with temperature records being obliterated in Canada and around the world. Wildfires are raging around the world, from BC to California, to Greece, Russia, Italy, and Turkey. The fires in July were the worst July since records began in 2003, and by a clear margin. The Dixie fire in California covers an area of 1,875 sq km, and BC has seen almost 5,800 sq km of forest burn since the spring.
The claim that Christine Dorothy made in her letter on August 11 that “CO2 levels are lower than they have ever been in our history” is so wrong that words struggle to describe just how absurd that claim is. The media has not been reporting enough on climate change and other environmental matters. And, all too often, equal weight has been given to deniers of climate change in the name of ‘balance’. This has to end, and we need clear, factual reporting on the climate crisis if we are to address this existential threat to humanity.