Seeing is believing
By now, most people are aware that one of the most powerful countries in the world - our neighbour to the south - is about to have a president who has argued that climate change doesn’t exist, and is actually a fake issue manufactured by the Chinese.
Forget science, forget temperature numbers, forget anything that doesn’t suit your own storyline.
Even in this country, we seem unable to escape similar arguments. Faced with a new carbon tax in an oil-dependent province, Alberta has a good few climate change deniers too.
Wildrose Party electricity and renewables critic Don MacIntyre repeated the same old saw about climate change as recently as Monday, saying, “the science isn’t settled.”
Well, maybe not for MacIntyre, Wildrose or Trump. Others, though, are a little more pragmatic. At the University of Missouri, the Missouri Fish and Wildlife Resource Unit is hiring -spending money on a new position solely to deal with the impacts of global warming.
They want someone with a PhD to: “1) Quantify the replacement costs for modifications to North American inland fisheries from climate change (e.g., fisheries used for recreation and tribal subsistence). Possible factors include: 1) anglers switching to other forms of recreation or to different species, 2) revenue changes for towns or people that focus on fishing, 3) changes in agency costs to raise/maintain fisheries through hatchery production and stocking, and 4) environmental costs to maintain habitat for preferred species.
“2) Help develop a global assessment on the effects of climate change on inland fish and fisheries ... tasks include helping organize meetings of global experts to conduct the global assessment. The selected candidate is also expected to interact with state/provincial and federal agency biologists, academics, and NGOs from around the world.”
Seems like a waste of money for something that a loud few claim doesn’t even exist.
Truth is, for everyone except the political opportunists and the dinosaurs, the results are now measurable and obvious, and we’re moving from warnings to attempts at mitigation.
Take the fishery: the New York Times pointed out Tuesday that fisheries management regimes are going to have to change, simply because changes in temperature are moving fish out of traditional fishing areas faster that managers can react.
Here’s Tom Nies, the executive director of the New England Fisheries Management Council: “I would be surprised if you find very many fishermen who will tell you that climate change is not happening,” he said. “I think there’s a clear recognition from everybody that this is a problem, and a lot of people are working on how to address it.”
Fishermen along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. have seen two-thirds of mobile species move north to cooler waters, including lobster, whiting, black sea bass, scup, yellowtail flounder, mackerel, herring and monkfish.
But no - keep on yelling that nothing’s happening at all.