A world worth living in

17 December 2007

Canada and the United States have accepted the UN-sponsored Bali road map on global warming—finally.

There is no question that climate changes cyclically between warming and cooling. 

However, I do not think that any reasonable person would argue that greenhouse gases are not accelerating global warming to the point where huge ecosystems are changing dramatically with effects that are terrifying and terrifyingly unknown. The melting of the polar ice caps and the melting of permafrost are troubling examples.

There is also no question that it is a complex issue and that “emerging” countries like China and India drove a hard bargain for concessions but, let’s face it, China is fast running out of water and the Asian subcontinent is facing famine from floods and rice shortages.  

We North Americans have the big­gest carbon footprint and it seems to me that if we have to cut back so that we can compensate South American Indians for not cutting down the rain forest or help developing nations (hardest hit by global warming) de­velop green technology, then so be it.

Despite the obvious importance of global warming, and our contributions to it, we seem to be reluctant, behind the front lines, followers rather than bold leaders.

We need to question every one of our politicians to try to address this problem as aggressively as possible so that our grandchildren have a world worth living in. We have to impress on them that this is not only the right thing to do but it is suicide if we don’t.



Anthony J. Salvian, MD. A world worth living in. BCMJ, Vol. 50, No. 1, January, February, 2008, Page(s) 9 - Editorials.

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