climate change

Refer link en: wikipedia: climate change

The term climate change is used to refer to changes in the Earth's global climate or regional climates, often very closely related to ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream.

For current issues see climate. This article is about the political history and debates around climate, as summarized from a Canadian perspective:

global warming

Of all such changes the most potentially disastrous and thus politically explosive is the impact of greenhouse gas on Earth's atmosphere: CO2 ( carbon dioxide ) and CH4 ( methane ) are released by natural processes but are drastically more concentrated in the atmosphere today than in the pre-industrial era, due to combustion of fossil fuels by industry, for transport, for heating and electric power. There is no scientific doubt whatsoever that higher concentrations cause more heat to accumulate in the atmosphere, nor that a warming trend exists. See chart:


Because of this overall warming trend in the global atmosphere, this is usually called the global warming problem, although:

Europe freezing

Some related impacts include slowing or potentially stopping the Gulf Stream which warms Northern Europe especially France, Ireland, the UK, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark. In these nations climate could be drastically colder - more like Labrador which is at their latitude.

billions harmed?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that 3.5 billion people would be affected by the middle of this century, almost all of them for the worse. Accordingly this is sometimes called a climate crisis.

views of the problem

fringe views

Drastic responses such as calls to end civilization or at least adopt low-impact living seem so far to have achieved little publicity, though most experts acknowledge a need to localize human actions more.

Some advocates of very similar measures focus on what they claim is a finite oil supply though experts in climate change advise lay folk to "Ignore Peak Oil" as a dangerous distraction, since supply of combustive fuel is irrelevant or misleading to focus on, when the limiting factor is waste disposal. "No one asks about plutonium supply." - Craig Hubley

mainstream views

Often, analysts assume a define a single unified level of respect for individual capital (distinct from "human capital" as per neoclassical economics which is a simple measurement of a person's value in terms of salary). This is not however today's global political reality nor is it the basis under which the Kyoto Protocol was agreed.

The value of an individual human life - in developing vs. developed world - was assumed by IPCC to be 15 to 1. These were the numbers used in Kyoto. In subsequent rounds some narrowing of this global inequity gap might be assumed, or even prescribed.

The UK-based global climate institute investigates other implications of this value of life.

Kyoto and beyond

Most nations signed the Kyoto Protocol covering the period 2008-2012 and expect drastic greenhouse gas cuts (30% by 2020, up to 80% by 2054) to be negotiated in the next round of agreements to take effect in 2012 and beyond.


The United States is notably refusing to sign, though many state and local governments have made strong commitments to meet their Kyoto targets anyway:


In Canada only the Conservatives stand against Kyoto.

The Integrated Community Sustainability Plan effort of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, relying on the FCM InfraGuide and related efforts, are part of the response to climate change. NGOs such as Climate Action Network Canada have issued however broad-ranging communiques such as their Declaration on Climate Justice and the Montreal Climate Change Summit.


As of 2005-11, no consensus existed but representative documents such as the proposed Montreal Declaration were being furiously debated. Other agreements of global scope:

Related issues:
Kyoto protocol
value of life

Canadian groups:
Climate Action Network Canada
Federation of Canadian Municipalities