Timing is Everything When Talking About Climate Change

Sometimes, when talking about climate change, timing is everything. A week after Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast of the United States causing significant devastation and impacting tens of millions of people very directly (including 150,000 people in Ontario who lost power), Matt Galloway, the host of CBC Toronto’s morning show, Metro Morning, spoke with Lawson Oates, Director of the Toronto Environment Office about a report going to the City’s Parks and Environment Committee on November 9th entitled: Toronto’s Future Weather & Climate Driver Study.

The report, prepared by SENES Consulting with the Toronto Environment Office, looks at what Toronto’s climate will look like by 2050. The study notes that the city will see increased heat waves, increasing temperatures in the winter, and more intensive rain storms.

Mr. Oates emphasized the costs associated with these major impacts, noting that while a one hour deluge in August 2005 cost the city $47 million and caused $600 million in insured losses for residents, future storms may be more intense and costly.

The report also notes that the number of days with temperatures more than 30 degrees will more than triple, with maximum humidex ratings reaching up to the high 50s. He emphasized the need to adapt in order to avoid costly repairs in the future, protect vulnerable populations, and avoid the loss of services which have significant impacts on people and businesses.

Revolution Movie

Revolution is a film about changing the world. The true-life adventure of Rob Stewart, this follow-up to his acclaimed Sharkwater documentary continues his remarkable journey; one that will take him through 15 countries over four years, and where he’ll discover that it’s not only sharks that are in grave danger – it’s humanity itself.

revolution-posterIn an effort to uncover the truth and find the secret to saving the ecosystems we depend on for survival, Stewart embarks on a life-threatening adventure. From the coral reefs in Papua New Guinea and deforestation in Madagascar to the largest and most destructive environmental project in history in Alberta, Canada, he reveals that all of our actions are interconnected and that environmental degradation, species loss, ocean acidification, pollution and food/water scarcity are reducing the Earth’s ability to house humans. How did this happen, and what will it take to change the course that humanity has set itself on?

Traveling the globe to meet with the dedicated individuals and organizations working on a solution, Stewart finds encouragement and hope, pointing to the revolutions of the past and how we’ve evolved and changed our course in times of necessity. If people were informed about what was really going on, they would fight for their future – and the future of other generations. From the evolution of our species to the revolution to save it, Stewart and his team take viewers on a groundbreaking mission into the greatest war ever waged.

Startling, beautiful, and provocative, Revolution inspires audiences from across the globe to start a revolution and change the world forever.

5 Actions to Prepare Toronto for Climate Change

To help prepare Toronto for climate change, TEA is sharing a short list of 5 actions you can take today!

1. Keep rainwater out of your home and sewers. Disconnect your downspouts from city sewers, replace hard surfaces with absorbent, green ones, and protect yourself against basement flooding. Get inspired by the Paradise Unpaved story, written by TEA member and local artist Franke James!

2. Reduce your electricity use. Our city’s electricity system is old and needs major upgrading. We need to build a more resilient electricity grid, and we also need to reduce our electricity demand, especially during peak hours. Turn off electronic devices when not in use and support green energy projects. Learn about TEA’s Smog and Climate Change campaign.

3. Promote green infrastructure. Trees and plants — both in Toronto and around it — are key to absorbing water and cooling us down during hot days. Tell your MPP and City Councillors to invest in green infrastructure, protect the Greenbelt and increase Torontos’ tree canopy.

4. Keep your car at home; use public transit, walk or cycle.Climate change happens when we burn fossil fuels. Cars and light trucks are responsible for 37% of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions. By driving less, we reduce how bad climate change will be and we improve local air quality!

5. Tell your City Councillor to stop cutting Toronto’s climate change budget. City staff developed a plan in 2008 called Ahead of the Storm. Unfortunately, staff and program cutshave slowed down staff efforts to get Toronto ready.