Green Party leader Elizabeth May flew in from Ottawa on Saturday, May 6. She was the feature speaker at the North Island – Powell River Electoral District Association (EDA) AGM at the Maritime Heritage Centre in Campbell River. Around 60 people from Campbell River, Comox, Powell River, Port McNeil, Quadra Island and Cortes Island were in attendance.
This is an edited transcript of her speech, and a couple of excerpts from the subsequent remarks made by local Green Party candidate Jessica Wegg.
Continue reading Elizabeth May comes to Campbell River: Why Greens matter
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change, adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015. It entered into force on 4 November 2016, with the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, with an aspirational target of 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels.
At the COP 27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022, only a few countries have updated their required annual carbon cutting emission targets for this year, and the United Nations’ Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has described present efforts as so “woefully inadequate” that we are setting the world on track to “catastrophe”. Indeed, current CO2 emissions are rising at 1- 2% per year rather than going down 5-7% per year. Even under the voluntary “nationally determined contributions” of individual nations, emissions are expected to rise by 2030, in contrast to the nearly 50% reduction needed to keep the temperature rise at 1.5°C. At present emission levels, we are committed to a global temperature increase of 2.8°C by the end of the century.
Continue reading The Quadra Project – 1.5 Degrees Celsius
The long narrative poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, was published in 1798 during the early years of the Industrial Revolution. Even by this time, however, the devastating consequence of burning coal to fuel the proliferation of factories was evident. Once pristine valleys were transformed into darkened wastelands of smoke and soot, bucolic streams and rivers were turned toxic black, quaint villages were converted to slums of indentured labourers, and the maw of multiple machines was making people into consumable and disposable objects. The artistic reaction to this perceived travesty was Romanticism, an effort to save humanity and nature from a revolution that was perceived to be destroying both.
Continue reading The Quadra Project: A poem for our time
In February 2022, our planet was 1.19°C warmer than the pre-industrial temperature of 13.7°C calculated from the collected global records in the 1880s. The Industrial Revolution technically began about 100 years earlier, but no extensive measurements exist to verify the combined surface temperature of both land and water during those years. Between 1920 and 1940, the global temperature rose 0.1°C per decade, 0.2°C during the 1980s, and 0.61°C per decade since 2000. This ascending trajectory corresponds to a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from about 280 parts per million to about 420 ppm, and ends the 10,000 years of relative climate stability that has allowed human civilization to flourish.
Continue reading The Quadra Project: Taking our temperature
The 20th century did not begin well. After the warm-ups of the Crimean and Boer Wars, Europe stumbled into World War I in 1914, a fatal combination of hubris and stupidity that killed about 17 million people. The trauma inspired an unflinching examination of the dark recesses of the human psyche in an effort to understand what happened. Dada, the mindless artistic expression of absurdity, was not a satisfactory answer. The philosophical loneliness of existentialism was arguably a nihilistic consequence of the monumental blunder of the First World War—a loss of any remnant of idealism and collective human wisdom.
Continue reading The Quadra Project: The War Years