ABCs of Climate Change

350 ppmv is considered to be the maximum amount of CO2 in the atmosphere in order to avoid a 2 degree rise in global temperature.


A tmosphere, which is warming up, thanks to the greenhouse gas effect of burning fossil fuels (and other practices).

Water vapour and carbon dioxide in the troposphere trap some of this heat, preventing it from escaping thus keep the Earth warm. This trapping of heat is called the "greenhouse effect".

Layers of Earth's atmosphere
Layers of Earth's atmosphere Earth's atmosphere

Illustrations courtesy of NASA (click on an image to see it full size.)

A griculture, some aspects of which are potent causes of greenhouse gas emissions (see Methane).

A nthropocentrism, or Human-centredness, with consequent neglect of the needs of other species, ignorance of our dependence on them and our mutual interdependence.

A daptation, or measures to adapt to higher temperatures and other weather effects from climate change, as opposed to (or complementary to) Mitigation.

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How does Canada compare with other countries?

IEA Emissions (2009)


It's About Time! Town Hall

Our town hall meeting on November 28, co-sponsored with Canadian Electoral Alliance, exceeded all expectations. Some 225 people attended. The three speakers, the Hon Stéphane Dion, Elizabeth May and Craig Scott, were all excellent, as was Councillor Adam Vaughan as moderator.
Many thanks to our co-sponsors and behind-the-scenes helpers.

We circulated a letter for signature, to go to all MPs electronically, urging action on electoral reform, noting the need for it to get action on climate change.

It’s About Time! Action on Climate Change through Electoral Reform

Dear MP

The Senate spending scandals have diverted attention from a much greater failure in our democratic system: the ability of our electoral system to produce majority governments with less than 40% of the popular vote--ignoring the voting choices of the great majority of Canadians--the 60% majority.

Some of us want abolition of the Senate, some seek its reform. All of us, want electoral reform to precede any decision on the Senate. We want proportional election and other democratic reforms in the House of Commons first.

Many of us are persuaded by the recommendation of the Law Commission of Canada’s 2004 report, Voting Counts, for the Mixed Member Proportional system. Some of us are looking at other options. We all want to make every vote count, equally.

We note that countries with proportional representation elect more women and minorities, have better environmental protection laws and more efficient energy use. Voter turnout increases and fewer citizens, especially young people, get turned off.

Our town hall has a dual focus: we want action on climate change, which is not happening under the current government. Most Canadians, the 60% majority, share our concern that strong action is needed NOW, and are ashamed of the role Canada has played internationally in promoting the dirties form of oil extraction known, the bitumen sands.

We urge you to give BOTH electoral reform and action on climate change your serious attention.
(Signed by 89 people attending the town hall November 28)