Posted by: righthandblink | February 9, 2017

The Real Truth

The Real Truth about Climate Change

Climate change is a topic that is not very cool at the moment. Nobody wants to talk about a lot of this stuff let alone do anything about it. We want to think that everything is going to be ok. We don’t want to hear about any doom-fest.

But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand complex ideas like energy and climate. They can be understood by anybody. And you don’t need to dress it up in a lot of jargon. People are smart enough to get the basics. And the basics are what you need to start making sensible decisions in your life. 

Climate Change has became impossible to deal with,
and impossible to ignore 

Let Us First Define the Problem

Climate change is the result of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions being produced and put into the atmosphere. There are GHGs produced by nature, but they are insignificant compared to what man produces, especially those related to the use of fossil fuels.
       In 2014, Canada’s national total production of GHG emissions of CO2e was 732 Mt[1]. In 1990 it was estimated to be just under 613 Mt. That means that the amount of GHG emissions generated from 1990 to 2013 went up 19.4 percent. [NOTE: 1 Mt (megatonne) = 1,000,000,000 kilograms]
       We want to come up with a way to determine the size of the problem – is it the mouse in the room, or more like the elephant? We will attempt to accomplish this with a equitable distribution of the problem by working on a per capital basis.

According to preliminary estimates, Canada’s population was 35,749,600 in 2015[2]. So Canada’s per capital allotment for GHGs for 2013 was 732 MT times 1,000,000 divided by 35,749,600 equaling 20,475.8 kilograms per person per year.
       We’re going to use Ottawa as an example because it is our capital. If Ottawa was to take it’s share of that burden we take its estimated population in 2016 of 934,243[3], multiply it by 20,475.8 kilograms per person times 1,000 kg per tonne and divide by 1,000,000 equaling 19.1 Mt.

Many of you, if not all, will question those numbers or the manner in which they were developed, but we have to face it, no matter how we calculate it, the numbers are large, huge. A very large elephant indeed. Because these numbers are so huge it will take a long time to mitigate. We need to start somewhere.
       By using our method we have been able to estimate quantitatively what the magnitude of the problem is as it applies to us. Remember, without quantifying the problem, it ends up just being emotional or opinionated wishful thinking.

Putting This into Perspective

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses a formula[4] to determine the environmental impact of removing vehicles from the road. The formula is as follows: the impact of removing 1,000 vehicles from the road has the same effect as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 4,700 metric tons of CO2e per year. That translates to 4.7 metric ton per vehicle, on average.
       Remember that we are just trying to define the magnitude of this climate change problem. So, if we took all the registered vehicles off of the roads in Ottawa, banned them completely, what would we achieve? Based on 2011 Statistics[5] for the City of Ottawa, there were 515,784 registered vehicles. Using the EPA guidelines, we would reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 515,784 x 4.7 / 1,000,000,000 = 2.4 Mt. That’s only 12.4 percent of the total.

So now you should have an idea of the magnitude of this climate change problem. Even if we took all the cars off the road, the end result is rather insignificant. It would be a start but think what we would have to sacrifice to accomplish that and, more importantly, how that change would affect our daily lives. Our cities are too big and aren’t designed for life without cars. Again this is a lack of foresight and direction from our leaders. The affects will be disastrous. But so will the affects of climate change. If you don’t have the courage to do it that way, I’m open to suggestions.

Many people have suggested community currencies, bike lanes, wider sidewalks and pedestrian/bicycle bridges. These would all have a positive effect on climate change. That is true. But what are the hard numbers? How much will they really reduce GHGs? Compared to removing all the vehicles from the roads, these efforts are insignificant. Totally insignificant. They just appear to be ways of steering us away from the real problem. It’s patronizing. It’s just more wishful thinking.

After you drive a car off a cliff, it’s too late to hit the brakes.
In effect, we have already gone over the edge. 

Further Evidence

To get an idea whether our analysis is in the right ballpark or not, lets compare our results with those of a report completed for the City of Toronto in June 2007. ICF International in collaboration with Toronto Atmospheric Fund and Toronto Environment Office issued a report titled “Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollutants in the City of Toronto.”[6] On page IV, it stated: “In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy use in Toronto in 2004 led to the release of about 23.4 megatonnes CO2e.” This appears to be comparable with our numbers for Ottawa.

Further, the report split those emissions into three categories: transportation fuels accounting for about 36 percent, natural gas use in heating homes and buildings accounting for about 37 percent, and emissions from natural gas use in generating electricity making up an additional 26 percent. Those three categories accounted for a whopping 99 percent of the total of all the GHG emissions produced by the City of Toronto. That’s 99 percent. WOW! Needless to say what they have to do to stop producing GHGs.

Note that there is absolutely no reason to believe that the results of that report from the City of Toronto would vary significantly if applied to any other municipality anywhere in North America, or for that matter, any where else in the world.

On the first page of the Executive Summary, it reads that “The City has previously undertaken similar inventories of greenhouse gas emissions, ….” This report was just another in a long list of reports. Seems there is a need for continuous study before any significant direct action is initiated. So, in general, you’re going to find that politicians will say that they don’t know enough about the problem and have to study it further. It’s just a nice way to say “don’t bother us, we’re not going to do anything.”

It’s like two guys trying to kill each other in an airplane screaming to the ground and they’re more interested in killing each other than attempting to stop the momentum of the airplane that will end up killing both of them. However, in this case, this isn’t a movie.

We know the causes of climate change. We know what we have to do to fix it. We just don’t want to.

This isn’t New

The problem of climate change was first introduced to the United States Congress back in 1988. We have since learned about the ramifications of climate change on this planet – storms, floods, heat waves, malaria and other infectious diseases, droughts, mass refugee exodus, general social disorder and all of their accumulated effects. Climate change unabated will lead to the extinction of our species. Just because you think those saying it are crazy doesn’t mean that what they are saying isn’t true.
       Starting in 1995, and every year thereafter, there have been UN sponsored climate change conferences.[7] There have now been 22 conferences and in spite of all the discussions, in spite of all the agreements, the numbers keep going up. The year 2016 was the hottest year on record.

Science is attempting to solve all the problems we have in our society
but those problems were originally created by science!

No matter how successfully we reduce GHG emissions going into the atmosphere, the wheels are going to continue to roll and the numbers will continue to increase. As a result of the GHGs that are already in the atmosphere, our climate will continue to warm for at least the next two decades – even if we were never again to emit a single GHG. Given our continued reliance on fossil fuels, it is likely to get much, much warmer.

Solving Large and Complex Problems

Many people feel that solving large and complex problems like climate change has to be left up to our leaders. Why do they think that way? Our leaders are only human beings like ourselves. Many of them don’t know any more about the problem than we do. Remember back in 2008 how everybody sat back and let Allan Greenspan of the Federal Reserve manage everything in terms of the economy. The old pied piper scenario. It backfired and left all our leaders with egg on their faces. What a mess and, in that case, it lead to massive global economic ruin.
       And here we go again.
       In spite of that, our leaders have told us over and over again that what we have to do to solve climate change wouldn’t be good for the economy. Well, quite frankly, our species dying off wouldn’t be good for the economy either. Dah!
       At least with the economy, we invented it and since it isn’t working we have a responsibility to change it. We need to shut it down and create a new one. Go back to just caring for ourselves and forget the quest for money. But that’s a topic for another article. The climate was created by a higher being and we shouldn’t change it. To just survive with the climate we should be working within the laws of nature.

To illustrate why our leaders can not solve these types of large and complex problems, we need only look at their attempts to improve public safety that is endangered by speeders. One would think that this should be of crucial consideration to politicians, but it jeopardizes their political job security.
       Ontario certainly has a history with photo radar. Back in 1990 the then-premier Bob Rae applauded photo radar technology for slowing down speeders. It reduced speeding by 15 to 42 per cent in under a year. But it also lightened the wallets of speeders by $19 million in fines, stirring up resentment the Tories were only too happy to exploit in the next election.
       In 1995, Harris’ Progressive Conservatives defeated the NDP. Harris fulfilled an election promise by doing away with photo radar.[9]

So if our leaders can’t even stop speeders which is a major problem everywhere, how can they even think about eliminating the causes of climate change? That’s how ineffective and helpless our politicians are in governing us. If they actually did what is necessary, they would be voted out and no longer employed. We can’t blame them for not doing anything because nobody wants to be unemployed. This is another example of a simple flaw in our system and it reflects one of the gravest flaws of our democratic and electoral processes.

In reality, the problems like stopping speeders are only the tip of the iceberg. There are other problems that are so prevalent in our society that we are constantly being bombarded with them in the news. Because they are so numerous, we aren’t even going to try to list them. And what is interesting is there is nothing our politicians nor the people can do to fix them. In spite of all the laws that have been legislated, things just keep getting worst. As we have been so often told, these events have been going on throughout history.
       How then can we ever solve these serious problems? Governments just keep throwing money at them, but strangely, things don’t get any better. The only thing that gets bigger is our debt.

Problems that can be solved with money aren’t problems;
True problems are ones that cannot be solved with money.

Ever heard of the financial stresses that existed way back before Ontario was a province and Canada was a country: the “Panic of 1837″, the deep economic depression of the 1880s, and the worldwide economic downturn of 1896. And, besides that, all the governments are broke. This is just one reason why people today are sensing that something is going wrong. We need to look for another leader who can help us.

The Flood

As the book of Genesis tells it, God made a covenant with the survivors of the Flood, agreeing that He would never again drown mankind which was considered to be so wicked that it could not be saved. (Genesis 8:21) Maybe He made that covenant because He knew that the nature of man would eventually put itself into a position of self-destruction.

Think of God as the landlord of a house (the planet Earth) that He filled with tenants like us (mankind). It was a beautiful house and God entrusted the tenants to take care of it. But these tenants were wicked and they started to destroy the house through their own greed and selfishness. And even though He has reasoned with them for a long time, they just continue on their course of blatant destruction. What would you do if you were the landlord? Would you evict your tenants before they completely destroyed your house?

God originally created this earth as a paradise, and He entrusted mankind to take care of it. We have now destroyed that paradise: by poisoning the air, the water and the soil. All for the sake of profit. Mankind has shown Him, over and over again, that we can’t do it without Him?
       In order to accept God as the leader to save this planet, it goes against everything most of us have been taught throughout our entire lives. All those falsehoods and untruths. It takes courage to go against all the beliefs of your relatives, your friends, your business associates. It takes courage to go against all that you have learned from your teachers and mentors. But we have to do what is right.

All truth passes through three stages
First, it is ridiculed;
Second, it is violently opposed;
Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

– Arthur Schopenhauer 1788-1860

One of the most beautiful features that God has blessed us with is the right of choice. We can choose to be courageous or we can choose to be wicked. It gives us the power to decide our own future. Our own fate.
       Oddly enough, most people given the choice to follow God or continue making their own choices on the road to destruction, would pick the latter. People don’t want to have to follow God even if it means their survival or that of their children. That’s exactly what happened before the Flood.

“Look! I am making all things new.” — Rev. 21:5 

Without that courage, when the end does come, you will only blame people like us for not trying hard enough to convince you before it was too late.

You can have hope. But all the hope in the universe and $2.00, will get you a cup of coffee.

“We have seen the enemy . . . and it is us.” 

© 2017, David Huffman


1. Environment and Climate Change Canada

2. Canada’s population estimates

Economy and Demographics, page 20

4. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle

5. Annual safety reports | City of Ottawa

6. Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollutants in the City of Toronto
Toward a Harmonized Strategy for Reducing Emissions
Prepared by:
ICF International
in collaboration with Toronto Atmospheric Fund and Toronto Environment Office
June 2007

7. Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
United Nations Climate Change conference

8. Stepping Up to the Climate Change Challenge, Perspectives on Local Government Leadership, Policy and Practice in Canada
Edited by Susan M. Gardner and David Noble © 2008, page 2.

9. Photo radar lite lets speeders off easy, by Steve Collins, Metro published May 10 2016


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