Canada’s biggest climate change event of 2016

The wildland/urban interface disaster that struck Fort McMurray, Alberta in May 2016 was the largest ever insured loss in Canada.  This wildfire destroyed more than 2,400 structures. Wildfires are a distinct emergency that have and will lead to increasing losses. This is clear from comparing Fort McMurray, where the losses topped $3.6 billion, with previous …

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Living in an Age of Unpredictability

Lester Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute, described one of the disturbing aspects of climate change in these words: “Climate instability is becoming the new norm.  The time when we could use climate trends of the recent past as a guide to future climate conditions is now history.  We are moving into an age …

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For Want of a nail . . .

Those words started a little rhyme that children recited.  The rhyme taught that ignoring small deficiencies could have large consequences.    The damage caused by the Angus Tornado is a somber lesson for grown-ups that in any age of climate change, skimping on best construction standards can be disastrous. Representatives of The Institute for Catastrophic Losses examined the …

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Letter to my British Cousins

We wish that Canada was in the same league as the UK in mitigating GHG emissions and taking practical steps to adapt to global warming. Here are examples of the large differences between the attitude of our two countries.

Response to Climate Change!

The theme of 4RG’s May Climate Change Forum in Peterborough, Ontario, was “A Tale of Two Cities”.  This theme compared the measures undertaken by the UK and Canada in the field of climate change policy, regulation of emissions, introduction of renewable sources of energy and practical measures to guard against flooding due to extreme weather events.

Peterborough, Ontario suffered extensive flooding damage in 2002. Governments repaired much of the damage, but did next to nothing to prevent similar damage in the future. Unfortunately in 2004 Peterborough was hit by a second flood of even greater magnitude.  If steps had been taken in the interim to avert damage from such an event, the loss could have been much reduced.

Peterborough, England also experienced flood damage on several occasions.  Prior to the second flood, UK authorities at both the national and borough levels took practical measures to control the effects of extreme weather events.

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What is “normal” in a time of climate change?

The Toronto Globe and Mail (January 22) carried an interesting article under the title “What’s ‘Normal’ nowadays?” The article explains that Environment Canada is adjusting benchmarks to reflect a rapidly changing climate.  As we said in our comment “Paris in January”, all countries will have to get used to a new “normal” in weather patterns.  …

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