Climate change experts and Toronto City Hall politicians described "a grim picture of a GTA future" as a result of climate change in a committee session at Toronto City Hall yesterday, according to the Toronto Star.
More pollution, more deaths from illnesses normally found in more southern locales, and more deaths from heat waves were among the threats described.
"I just want to say, 'Oh, my God,' and 'Let's get to work,'" environmentalist councillor Gord Perks said after hearing from a half-dozen experts.
The parks and environment committee meeting was called to discuss how the city can adapt to climate change in coming decades. Speakers didn't weigh in on moves the city already is considering, such as a potential ban on two-stroke engines popular in lawn mowers and snow blowers. But they did talk about how the city must improve its planning, including potential road tolls for GTA highways.
The article goes on to give a startling statistic from Mark Yakabuski, president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada:
Yakabuski said insurance claims related to geological and weather events are 20 times higher today than in the 1970s, if inflation is taken into account. Climate change, he said, "is a threat that is real beyond anything we've faced before."
Meanwhile, as concerns about the Canadian economy mount as a result of the recent US economic crisis, Premier Dalton McGuinty advised Ontarians to help out by buying more stuff.
"If you want to be helpful to the economy, then go ahead buy that fridge, buy that new house, buy that car. That's good for our economy and good for our jobs."
I hope that for the sake of helping prevent a "grim future" for the GTA, you don't take his advice.