Cloudy with a Chance of Climate Change
The StarPhoenix published an article today entitled “Hard evidence needed on climate change” challenging the stance of some in the scientific community on climate change being an eminent threat to the world. Eyre flippantly dismisses recent hail storms in Ontario, and the string of tornadoes in the United States, as having any ties to climate change. In fact, those who do advocate that these unprecedented storms are related to climate change are written off as “extremeweathermeisters.” Furthermore, she disregards Professor Dave Sauchyn’s conclusion for linking these frequent weather incidents to climate change as sounding “a bit like witchcraft reasoning.” Eyre finally concludes; “There are many threats in this world. But climate change doesn't appear to be one of them.”
Here are just a few of the events happening here in the United States. A majority of the Southwest region is in a drought, and parts of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas are in extreme to exceptional drought conditions. These arid conditions helped fuel the flames that burnt over one million acres in Texas and the ones currently ravaging Arizona. On one hand, you may start wondering why there were record amounts of snowfall and rainfall across the Midwest, and how that correlates to the record levels of flooding caused by the Mississippi River. Then another connection has to be made to the most tornado activity in US history for the month of April. Yes, we have experienced the dust bowl, flooding and violent tornadoes before, but have we experienced all of them in such rapid succession?
Countries around the world are also experiencing unusual and record breaking weather patterns. Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan have all experienced record flooding within the last year. A Russian heat wave resulted in failed grain harvests. France and Germany weathered a drought affecting their agricultural production. The Amazon has experienced its second 100-year drought in just five years. All of these weather patterns led to the record high food prices that the world is currently witnessing. Are these just isolated and unrelated events happening around the world?
The New York Times reported, “The great agricultural system that feeds the human race is in trouble. Many of the failed harvests of the past decade were a consequence of weather disasters, like floods in the United States, drought in Australia and blistering heat waves in Europe and Russia. Scientists believe some, though not all, of those events were caused or worsened by human-induced global warming.”
It appears that more droughts, more heat waves, and more flooding in the world are becoming legitimate threats. The frequency of unusual weather patterns may logically be attributed to human activities. The releasing of abundant amounts of CO2 by burning fossil fuels and exhausting our earth’s lungs with deforestation are just a few of these contributing activities. Eyre is in a dangerous position of denying and ignoring the scientific evidence for climate change. By surveying only one pattern in Canada, Eyre fails to make connections of all of the other unusual weather patterns happening throughout the world. By stepping back and conducting a thorough assessment, she might understand what scientists are seeing - evidence for climate change as a threat.