Climate Change The Future is Upon Us Climate Change • Climate change is also known as global warming, which is the heating of the earth • Our use of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal) releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere • The amount of carbon dioxide and other gases released into the atmosphere is growing • Factories, motor vehicles, household activities, and agricultural activities contribute to climate change. • Climate change has no boundaries, affecting the world's population. Effects of Climate Change • Greater air pollution • Severe and frequent extreme weather events such as storms, floods, droughts, tornadoes, heat waves • Increase in diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks or rodents because of changes in precipitation and temperature • Fresh water sources threatened with rapidly shrinking glaciers and drought • Intense exposure to sun’s ultraviolet rays due to thinning ozone layer leading to more skin cancer and impaired vision • Inadequate food production due to environmental changes and pollutants • Changes in population distribution The Kyoto Protocol • Signed by 141 countries, this agreement will reduce global emissions The U.S. Position • President Bush said on June 11, 2001, that the Kyoto Protocol is a “fatally flawed,” “unrealistic” accord with targets “not based on science”. • “Complying with these mandates would have a negative economic impact, with layoffs of workers and price increases for consumers.” The U.S. will increase its investment in climate change research and work on technologies to reduce emissions. Although Bush also said that the U.S. would increase conservation and energy efficiency and “consequently reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by significant amounts in coming years”, that thinking is not yet reflected in the Administration’s budget priorities. Canada’s Position • Canada is a leader in global climate change and will sponsor the International Conference in Montreal in December 2005 • Canadian government has taken the initiative to provide access to current information for schools and other organizations • Canadian government has a TEAM program that connects public and private groups to develop new technology and processes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which has spread worldwide. TEAM Sites What Will You Do?