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A Canadian's View of Global Warming continued

by Danny Little

Our overwhelming concern is what flows across the border from the US into our air and waters and how powerless we are to do anything about that. Unlike the US, we see the results of climate change every day. Nobody in Canada is in denial about it. Our summers are noticeably hotter, but even more obvious, those massive piles of snow we lived with year after year have only been showing up now and then--lately more then than now.

One of our major concerns is the massive volumes of methane gas stored below our tundra and what might happen if the warming trend picks up any more speed. If huge amounts of it are released into the atmosphere in a short period of time, the least of our (and your) worries will be a polar bear lounging around on a northern beach wearing a pair of sunglasses and drinking an ice cold Coke.

I guess we carry a sense of acceptance that changes in our climate will take place regardless of what we as Canadians do at this point. Having said that, we also have an incredible optimism that taking better care of our environment now will slow that change down so that as a race, we will have time to adapt and survive.

Canadians also realize that access to fresh water is soon to become a massive issue in North America. As the weather becomes warmer and water scarcer (don’t even get me started on "fracking" – what are they thinking?), will Americans give up their lawns and the seemingly endless pools you see when looking at any American city on Google Earth?

Canada sits on the largest reserves of fresh water in the world. We have huge deposits of…well, everything, from coal to uranium buried in our soil. As the CIA Fact Book notes; we are "a land of vast distances and rich natural resources."   (Although we do everything in our power to hide it, we are a bit smug about the whole thing.) We’re fearful of what will happen when a more powerful country decides they need our resources more than we do.

So you see that optimism I mentioned a while back is tempered with a bit of fear for our future. Not so much from what climate change will do to us - we’re a hardy people and we will survive.   Although climate change does scare us, what others might do to us due to the results of climate change in their country scares us more.

Danny Little lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He is the author of the novels Unheard, Unseen and Conflict in the North.