Climate Change

Grim Future v. Buy More Stuff?

By Adrian Duyzer
Published January 23, 2008

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.

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz

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By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted January 23, 2008 at 13:03:16

The problem is we don't have an economy based on sustainable manufacturing. For ever fridge we buy the environment takes another hit, one more step closer to lung disease, or the ice age or whatever the ultimate grim outcome will be...(!) And for every fridge we don't by the more jobs we will lose...

What Canada needs to do is develop more sustainable enterprises so we can buy and preserve the environment also. I see the 'preserve the environment' and 'bolster the economy' arguments left and right, but I don't see a convergence of these.

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By Leisha (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2008 at 19:44:57

Wow. Is it just me or does McGinty sound a bit like George W.?

Times are tough and we need to do our part by being a good consumer. Terrorism is on the rise; go shopping. The planet is overwhelmed; go shopping.

Has McGinty heard of the ancient Chinese torture technique called Ling Chi which translates into "lingering death" or "death by a thousand cuts"?

Stop shopping/consuming. It is the shopping/consuming that is killing the planet and us.

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