To the editor,
Twenty-five years ago, when I started writing for the National Farmers Union about the harmful effects of putting more CO2 into the air, I didn’t think global warming would actually affect me personally. Most of the negative effects of global warming were supposed to be hundreds of years into the future, and I would be long dead.
As I write on July 14, according to medical advice, I am effectively house-bound here in southern Saskatchewan unless I wear an N95 mask due to wildfire smoke. Countries around the world are breaking record high temperatures—records that were set in just the last few years. Meanwhile, grasshoppers, flourishing in the heat, decimate our Prairie pulse crops.
For 800,000 years, earth’s temperatures have closely tracked CO2 concentrations in the air. When CO2 levels are lower the earth’s temperature is lower. When CO2 levels are higher, the temperature is higher. In the last 50 years the CO2 levels have headed straight upward—way above any levels of the past 800,000 years. If our temperatures continue to track CO2 levels, those quickly rising temperatures will translate into heatwaves that will make living improbable or impossible.
Why then would provincial governments like Saskatchewan and Alberta accelerate the pumping of more fossil CO2 into the air, and at the same time fight plans to green-up our western electrical grid (leaving Federal money on the table)?
People were smart enough to figure out how to use fossil fuel to power civilization as we know it. The question now is: Are people smart enough to quit using fossil fuel in order to save themselves, their kids, and the animals and the plants around them?
Stewart Wells, Swift Current, Sk.
NFU 2nd Vice-President (Operations)