State of emergency
There is absolutely no doubt that climate change is happening.
From heat waves this past summer that killed up to 70 people in Quebec or this winter’s freezing polar vortex, we’re seeing undeniably extreme weather disturbances across the world. That said, by no means is climate change a new thing.
For decades, scientists and researchers have warned about the effects that come with global warming and for decades, policy makers and industries have neglected these warnings.
In October, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the “Doomsday” report. The detailed report reviewed climate impacts of global warming of 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change.
Essentially, the IPCC report said that we have only 12 years to get our shit together if we want to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius, beyond which increases the risk of drought, flooding, extreme heat and other terrible climate emergencies.
The research that this report summarized is not new, but it did make room for a new reaction from scientists, policy makers and constituents when it comes down to climate change. In essence, the report made it okay to be alarmed by this and to encourage an alarmist attitude when discussing the fact that the world is literally melting.
On March 5, Kingston’s city council unanimously voted to declare a climate emergency, making Kingston the first Ontario municipality to do so. The declaration is for the purposes of naming, framing and deepening their commitment to protecting their economy, their ecosystems and their community from climate change.
Seeing some action on a municipal level is great, and while this is a great first step for a municipality to take, why aren’t other municipalities following suit? Why is there still a debate about the fact that plastic water bottles are bad? Why is there still a debate about the fact that climate global warming, even if it’s snowing? Why does this need convincing?
Neglecting the problem is not helping anyone, and now is the time to start taking action.