LETTER: Climate emergency still alive

From reader Julius Halaschek-Wiener

Remember COP26, the climate conference in November last year? It has gone eerily silent after yet another disappointing global climate emergency meeting. This is a reminder that the climate crisis is still here, and individual and government actions are still missing.

2021 was the fifth hottest year on record and global levels of CO2 and methane, the main greenhouse gases, continued to climb, and both hit record highs in 2021. Levels of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 414.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2021, up by around 2.4 ppm from 2020 (C3S report).

The safe level of atmospheric CO2 is 350 ppm. Remember also, we have only until December 2030 (less than nine years now!) to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent. We have not started this necessary reduction. Therefore, we all need to critically increase our efforts to pressure our provincial and federal governments into a true emergency mode and to reduce our own individual climate impact, ideally also by 50 per cent overall: drive less, fly less, eat less red meat, buy less, and use less energy. Extreme heat and droughts are now affecting the southern hemisphere (Argentina) but will surely return to B.C. and Canada in the summer. Act now.

Julius Halaschek-Wiener