desoto_hia873: (Jayne - I Ain't Joking - Taerowyn)
For them what's interested, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report summary came out today. This is the latest assessment of all the evidence for and modelling studies on global warming. I gave it a quick read-through, and it confirms pretty much everything said by Al Gore in "An Inconvenient Truth." It concludes that most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely [> 90% confidence] due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. It finishes with this statement: "Both past and future anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions will continue to contribute to warming and sea level rise for more than a millennium due to the timescales required for removal of this gas from the atmosphere."

Basically: global warming is here to stay--and probably get worse--for a good long while. Now we have to find ways to adapt to it.
desoto_hia873: (Crazy Spike - killmebecomeme)
I asked for Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth for Christmas, but no one gave it to me. So I bought it for myself and watched it tonight.

Wow.

We are so doomed. We're living on Easter Island and cutting down our last trees to make big heads, and no one's asking, "Wait. Is this really a good idea?" Well, no one except Al Gore, perhaps.

Go, see it for yourself. If you look, you can find it on bit torrent sites. Somehow, I don't think he'd mind if you watched it that way.

And then imagine what the world might be like now if he'd won that damn election.


ETA: If you're looking for similar material to read, try A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright. It's not just about global warming--it's about how civilizations do themselves in time after time.
desoto_hia873: (Jayne - Ruttin' Hell - goldie_gal)
"Pesticides are what is killing our kids"

Rural Prince Edward Island is an unlikely hotbed of rare cancers, and one doctor has made it his mission to raise awareness about the potential health hazard posed by pesticides used on the region's potato farms. It's a controversial viewpoint, reports Martin Mittelstaedt, but it has spurred the province to launch a probe.

Read more. )

I used to work for the Canadian agency within Health Canada that regulates pesticides. Just because a pesticide is Health Canada-approved (or EPA-approved, for that matter) doesn't mean that everything's hunky-dory. There is a lot that we just don't know about the effects of pesticides on non-target organisms, including people.

If you have a lawn, don't spray your dandelions. Especially if you have kids or pets. If you hate dandelions that much, dig them up in spring and put them in a salad. Find organic solutions to garden pest problems--they exist. Pesticides have their place, but they shouldn't be commonplace. They are chemicals designed to kill.

I also worked for Environment Canada and tried to persuade my manager that we should monitor the air for ambient concentrations of pesticides. It's a huge data gap from a regulatory point of view, and no one really knows how much blows around after it's been sprayed over a crop. Canada has a nationwide air pollution surveillance network that monitors hundreds of compounds. None of them are pesticides. We have the technology, we have the sampling network in place, we have people working in the labs who could look for pesticides. But I couldn't convince him.

::steps down from soapbox::

Slammed

Nov. 17th, 2006 08:21 pm
desoto_hia873: (Absolut Spike - awmp)
Ontario has an Environmental Commissioner who reviews all things environmental that are associated with the provincial government each year. He reports to the Legislative Assembly, not any of the ministers and not the party in power, so he can tell it like it is. This is an excerpt from this year's report titled Neglecting Our Obligations:

Creating this annual report involves reviewing dozens of the decisions and actions of government ministries that impact on the environment. We know that we can never expect the machinery of government to run perfectly, and we realize that sometimes the government has little choice but to make decisions that may compromise the interests of the natural environment. And thus, we also know that we will have lots to report on and many recommendations to be made. This year, however, in considering hundreds of pages of analysis generated by my staff, a discouraging realization grew within me that there was just too much going wrong and just too much left undone in too many areas of environmental protection. What I have realized is that inspection and enforcement targets are not being met, essential environmental standards are not being updated, important timelines are not being met, necessary guidance documents are not being written, the problems of the Great Lakes are not being addressed, there is no strategy for climate change, information on the state of our landfills is years out of date, and our waste management program is on the edge of crisis.

This accumulation of problems, shortcomings and failures in so many areas can only be described as mismanagement or, more seriously, neglect. I have come to the conclusion that we are neglecting our obligations to protect and conserve the natural environment as we have promised.


For the cover, he chose a vaguely apocalyptic image: Cover under the cut. )

Man, I want to work for THIS guy. No pussyfooting around the issues for him.

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