Skip to main content

Canada, a climate change safe haven?

Published July 4, 2008

by iris_author

The UK's Independent reports that a British consultancy Maplecroft has scaled the world's nations along a climate change vulnerability index. The Climate Change Risk Report places Canada at the top of its list of Northern countries that will have the greatest ease in weathering the climate crisis, while sub-Saharan Africa will receive yet another mortal blow.

Given this recurring pattern of disparity, Canadians must ask themselves what their high-energy lifestyle (with energy consumption per capita eclipsing the US) will cost the world. This time with their greenhouse gas emissions and huge ecological footprints, Canadians are directly driving a climate catastrophe in the equatorial belt where most of the world's people live while escaping most of its effects.

For the most part, our abundance of land, water, and energy has given us Canadians a level of comfort and complacency unparalleled in the world. The Canadian North has been even more fortunate with a miniscule population sitting on top of vast natural resource reserves. Fortunately, protected area and alternative energy planning are quite advanced in the Northwest Territories, although energy-intensive and resource-based development are threatening to eclipse this progress. In Alberta, the picture is quite different with the province's unseemly and unsustainable rush to develop its tar sands, a ruinous path thankfully challenged by the recent Youth Climate Summit in Edmonton.

Interestingly, the Independent asks in a follow-up article whether Brits should think about moving to Canada. If the future holds even what even the most conservative climate change models predict, we may see a lot more people flocking to Canada as ecological refugees. For a look at this future, see David Brin's 1990 novel, Earth, with the founding of Little Nigeria in the Yukon.

Posted in: Blogs