Toronto girds for climate-change battle

Toronto has released a framework for public involvement and review that includes 27 steps for people to take to improve air quality, an inventory of sources of greenhouse gases and pollutants, and ideas on the strategies, policies, programs and projects needed to meet the city’s emission-reduction targets.

The framework will see Toronto commit to a six per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from the Toronto urban area by 2012 (based on 1990 levels), a 30 per cent cut by 2020, and an 80 per cent reduction by 2050. The targets mirror recently announced European Union goals.

In keeping with Mayor David Miller's commitment, the City will reduce levels of smog-causing pollutants by 20 per cent by 2012.


As training for its upcoming battle against climate change, Toronto should practice stopping the ebb and flow of tides. Perhaps you followers of Gore and Suzuki could offer us heretics your ideas of an ideal climate since you don’t seem to like the one we now have or the direction you believe it is going. I thought some of the AGW crowd wanted cooler weather until the California Governator got his wish last December and the state’s citrus crop froze. Then he bitched about that. So maybe cooler isn’t better, at least for Ahnuld. What about you Desmoggers? What is the optimum global temperature Toronto should shoot for in its fight to stop climate change?

There is little point in discussing this with you until you go back and read up on the subject of climate change. It is easy to adopt your position if you base your comments on a quick read of the popular sources, and don’t bother to educate yourself further. This isn’t a linear issue. Oh never mind. I have work to do …

Ducked the issue, I see. But it is a fair question, no? If you want climate to stop changing, you must have some idea of the kind of climate you would like. Surely you AGW fundamentalists have thought about that. Gosh, I hope you don’t want to throw the climate into reverse. I doubt the Little Ice Age was much fun.

No one is suggesting that it would be a good idea to “lock in” at a certain point and keep it that way forever (even if we could). The whole issue is that human activity has accelerated climate change to a rate that is too rapid for us to adapt the way we have over the past tens of thousands of years. Not to mention that there are now simply too many of us to simply move out of the affected areas and take up residence somewhere else (without resorting to violence to throw the current occupants out). Climate fluctuated before the industrial revolution, but at a much more sedate pace and we have always had time (over generations) to deal with the changes. The planet is reaching a saturation point in human population, and with sea level rising, the amount of land to sustain us is shrinking. What’s left of it will be affected by too much rain in some places, not enough in others. I could go on, but I really do have work to do.

The point is, we can’t STOP it from happening, but we can slow it down and give ourselve time to deal with it, while at the same time improving quality of life by cleaning up the nest we have soiled so badly.

I agree with you about cleaning up the planetary nest but if we put huge resources into trying to stop or modify something that is beyond our control (climate change), we will neglect something that is, namely pollution. I like how Harper and his government have linked climate change and clean air. As climate science continues to show that humans have little or no influence on climate, the Tories can shift gears seamlessly into what really matters – and toss in clean water for good measure. I don’t agree that clmate is changing rapidly. A temperature increase of 0.6 C over a Century is not rapid. Nor is there anything to be alarmed about concerning sea levels. A 2006 article in the Journal of Coastal Research by Curtis Larsen and Inga Clark of the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia concluded “there is no discernible divergence in the rate of sea-level rise over the past two centuries to suggest a connection with the documented increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.” This conclusion is reinforced with the comment that over 1,000s of years “the rate of sea-level rise has been linear over this time period and shows no indication of the pronounced mid-20th-century increase” with any increase in global temperature.

You clearly have dismissed the IPCC Report. I take it quite seriously, and believe that we would be very foolish not to act quickly.

You aren’t going to be convinced by anything I might say in a blog, but I urge you to look into this further. Have a look at for example and read some of the articles addressing the sceptics points. The rebuttal to the supposed debunking of the “Hockey stick” is a good place to start. If you don’t believe it, fine. But they are real scientists.

Then there’s, a very interesting site that tracks the theory that anthropogenic CO2 could affect global temperatures – all the way back to 1896.

There are nearly 7 billion of us now. That’s inching up on ten times as many as there were at the start of the industrial revolution. We’ve been far too successful as a species for our own good. To imagine that we are NOT having an impact on the climate seems delusional to me.

“The whole issue is that human activity has accelerated climate change to a rate that is too rapid for us to adapt the way we have over the past tens of thousands of years.”

Yes, I know I still haven’t adapted to the radical new invention of the “wheel”. And you just know that since we stole fire from the gods, we have angered Gaia.

We must make a sacrifice to Algore and beg forgiveness!

I don’t see your point. Sorry, Tharg. Didn’t mean to startle you out of your complacency. Go back to sleep. Uncle Steve (Harper) will make it all better …