Climate craziness

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This dapper fellow is doing both!

This dapper fellow is doing both!

When “take it like a Canadian” may mean we’re ignoring the state of the planet

Article: Robyn Tocker – A&C Editor

If you’ve been living under a rock for the whole winter, you may have missed the crazy weather eastern Canada has experienced this winter. Well, all of Canada but let’s narrow or horizons, shall we?

While Rob Ford is making his way through his own brand of crazy, he is also dealing with Mother Nature being in a worse mood than usual.

Nicole Mortillaro, a reporter for Global News, took time to write an op-ed piece about how our Canadian winter isn’t anything different than what we’ve experienced in the past during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. After giving her piece a solid read, which you guys should too, I have to agree she makes some valid points. The types of winters we’ve had in the past handful of years haven’t been as cold. Because of this, perhaps we Canadians do need to “suck it up.”

However, Mortillaro failed to address why our winters are getting warmer. She brushed it off as Canadians’ forgetful memories, how somehow it’s our fault we can’t handle these unusually frigid temperatures and insane storms. Actually, we have climate change to thank for that.

If you didn’t believe in global warming, you may want to look outside your window. Canada is known around the world as “The Great White North,” but our frigid temperatures are on the decline.

Statistics Canada was kind enough to have some news for those of you whose memories are “failing.”

During the last 39 years, the average annual area of snow cover in Canada has declined 5.1 per cent. In 2010, we had the lowest annual average of snowfall since 1998. During the past 60 years, the trend in average annual temperatures for Canada as a whole has increased by 1.4 degrees Celsius.

The climatic regions that showed the strongest warming trends were located in Canada’s far north, specifically the Arctic Tundra, Arctic Mountains and Fiords, Mackenzie District, and Yukon and North British Columbia Mountains.

With our winters warming up, it doesn’t shock me when it’s -55 outside and I’m just a might bit chilly. When I look at my winter memories from my childhood and how our chilly season is now, I get a little concerned.

How much worse does it have to get before people start to seriously make changes with how we’re treating the planet? We may hear about it on the news occasionally, but it doesn’t get enough coverage and we aren’t making changes fast enough.

While Mortillaro makes it seem these winters are hunky dory, I have to disagree. If we keep jumping from a really warm winter to a frigid one, doesn’t that say something about the condition of our planet? Maybe the answer isn’t to just recycle more, or to dress warmer, but there has to be a better answer than to “take it like a Canadian.”

Image: Emily Wright

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