The sky is not falling, yet

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As much as we may be in denial climate change is a reality and the steps we take today may have a profound impact on reducing, or controlling, its impacts in the future.

Global warming and changing weather patterns have been part of our vocabulary for several years. Unfortunately, most of us haven’t taken notice because it hasn’t directly impacted our daily lives. However, if you were to talk to farmers, who have seen both extremes of drought and deluge, and those who have been impacted by flooding brought on by rising sea levels and storm surges, they would have a completely different view of what we’re facing.

Last week, Mount Allison University Dr. Ian Munro, the Canada Research Chair at the Sackville, N.B. school, and his team launched a multimedia project that includes a website as well as a video and photo exhibit.

The project, that started a year ago, interviewed farmers, hunters and fishers and spoke to a variety of people who have experience with climate change in their daily lives. He said he wanted to talk to people on the ground to put a face on climate change.

Munro is correct when he says the climate change debate often gets bogged down in technical science. It’s this scientific gobbledygook that confuses people and results in the message being lost in translation.

It’s readily apparent that our climate is changing. It’s not a ‘the sky is falling’ moment, but it’s a subtle reminder that the time has come for people to make some changes in their everyday lives to help minimize our footprint.

It could be something as simple as reducing carbon emissions by cutting back on the amount of driving you do. It could be using appliances that are more energy efficient and cutting back on the amount of oil we use to heat our homes.

On top of what we do as individuals, we have a responsibility to pressure our elected officials to make wise choices when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint. It’s time for government to lead by example by being proactive as opposed to the reactive approach that has been the norm for far too long.

While now is not a time to panic, failing to take any steps could lead to that ‘the sky is falling’ moment that we’re trying to avoid. The easiest thing would be to do nothing, to maintain the status quo and adopt the attitude that it’s something the next generation can deal with.

Organizations: Mount Allison University, Canada Research Chair, N.B. school

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