Climate change a time bomb waiting to take toll on planet

The World Wildlife Federation’s Living Planet Index calculated that if every person in the world lived the same lifestyle as Canadian do, we would need more than four planets’ worth of resources.

The World Wildlife Federation’s Living Planet Index calculated that if every person in the world lived the same lifestyle as Canadian do, we would need more than four planets’ worth of resources.

Our society’s need for energy: fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas all contribute to global warming.

Burning of fossil fuel for electricity and transportation produces carbon dioxide, which in turn traps heat from the sun‘s rays, warming the planet.

Since the 19th century the world’s average temperature has risen by 0.7 degrees Celsius. Scientists are predicting that we will reach two degrees Celsius by 2050!

So, how does this affect us?

If we don’t act there will be increased extreme weather such as hurricanes and tropical storms with floods in their wake.

There could be severe and prolonged droughts leading to forest fires, food shortages and economic instability.

There could be a loss of one million species of plants and animals, with insects and pests increasing due to warmer weather and infesting places they’ve never been before. We have seen much of the above happening already.

Did you know Canada is one of the least efficient nations in terms of energy use?

Canada produced 758 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2004, which is the third worst polluter of greenhouse gas emissions per capita in the world.

Our country’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 27 per cent from 1990 to 2004, despite the Kyoto Protocol commitment of a six per cent reduction by 2012.

Let’s get some perspective on this: an average car with a fuel consumption of 7.8 litres/100km travelling 16,000 km per year emits almost three tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Without taking global warming into account, those three tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, per car pumping into the atmosphere cause air pollution, which is responsible for causing thousands of deaths, millions of cases of illness and billions of dollars in health care expenses.

Approximately 150 household chemicals such as cleaners, paints, and fumes from building materials, are associated with allergies, asthma, birth defects, cancer and psychological disorders.

Let’s make our ecological footprint smaller, two degrees Celsius is the danger threshold, by acting together we can reduce and maybe stop global warming, reduce carbon emissions and encourage others to do so.

Go green at home: clean your home without dirtying the earth – say no to toxic chemicals, turn down the heat, use fans to distribute warm air & cooler air in the summer, seal doors and windows, dimming your lights by 25 per cent uses 10 per cent less power, put a timer on outside lights, wash clothes in cool water, use sunshine to dry your clothes, use a low-flow toilet, water outside plants from a rain collection barrel/bin so hose water is not wasted, recycle and use a composter, install good thermal windows, carpool, bike or walk or if you can manage buy a hybrid car – which emits only two tonnes of carbon dioxide per year!

We can all make daily changes that add up to having a bigger impact to save our planet.

Lacombe freelance columnist Judy Holt is a wellness consultant and author of 1 Potato, 2 Potato, Couch Potato to You.

Just Posted

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

Pine Lake shooter loses conviction appeal

Cory Lavallee sentenced in 2016 to nine years in prison for attempted murder

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

B.C. man accused of swimming naked in Toronto shark tank arrested in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Police have arrested a B.C. man who is… Continue reading

Most Read