Federal MPs, July 2010, Signs of Warming Earth ‘Unmistakable’

Last week when we wrote we stressed the emergency nature of the climate crisis, and the need for strenuous action.

This week we note the publication, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a United States federal agency, of findings that the past three decades have been the hottest on record. The Globe and Mail headline says, “Signs of Warming Earth ‘Unmistakable,’” as was well known. The report, State of the Climate, however, has the merit of drawing on data from 160 research groups in 48 countries.

Another study, published this week in the prestigious journal Nature, reports an alarming decline of 40% of the ocean's phytoplankton, “Global Phytoplankton Decline Over the Past Century.” Phytoplankton are believed to contribute roughly 50% of the planet’s oxygen. How are the planet's species (human included) going to adapt to less than 50% oxygen?

We ask you, as a member of the House of Commons, to do your share in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The House should have its own strategy, set goals and report on progress made. The exercise would result in only token reductions, compared to what is needed, but would set an example and get people thinking. How? Travel and office operations give many opportunities for reductions. Since experts tell us that meat production is a major greenhouse gas producer, what about a meatless day each week in the parliamentary dining room? How about reduced carbon election campaigns? Each party leader, for example, could commit to reducing emissions from travel, and if all did so none would be disadvantaged.