Adapting to Climate Change

Environment Canada explains:

“Adaptation actions can be in anticipation of, or in response to the impacts of a changing climate.  Examples of adaptation measures include the development of more stringent building standards for areas where heavier snowfall is expected, or limiting development in coastal areas where sea level is projected to rise. By making informed decisions, we will be able to avoid certain costs associated with climate change.”

Over the period of 2011 to 2016 the Canadian Government will spend $148.8 million to adapt to climate change.   All this money will be allocated to Government programs, primarily of an informational and educational category.   The largest amount for a program is $35 million for Natural Resources Canada for “enhancing Competitiveness in a changing climate.”  The second largest, $ 29.84 million is for Environment Canada’s Climate Change Prediction and Scenarios Program.

Improvements to government infrastructure are a desirable step in supporting public adaptation to climate change.   According to Environment Canada:

“This funding will allow the Government of Canada to provide credible, scientifically-sound information to support adaptation planning and decision-making.”

The reduction of climate change research capability of the Department of the Environment is the biggest impediment to adaptation to global warming. These new programs will not improve the lack of scientific knowledge about the long term impact climate change.

These programs are a minimal response to a problem that the Minister of the Environment has described as a “real and present danger”.  They are the normal organizational changes made necessary by a changing world.  There are other activities supported by Government funding, but nothing “big ticket”.  Carbon tax, cap and trade, emission limits on the fossil fuel industry, large scale support for renewable energy – you won’t see these measures with this government.

If you want to know what $148 million over six years gets you (apart from a Public Relations event for the Department of the Environment) go to the Environment Canada site. Environment Canada’s Climate Change Prediction and Scenarios Program

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