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LETTER - Canadian government has an attitude of ‘latitude superiority’ when it comes to addressing climate change

Dear editor,
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Dear editor,

On April 8, Canada approved a huge oil development in Newfoundland, while this week, leading experts on the continent are telling Africans that they must not develop their reserves of natural gas.

The average annual temperature in St. John’s, Nfld. is 10 degrees Celsius lower than it is in Lagos, Nigeria. A lot of people in the north may think that because they live in a cooler climate, they might be able to ride out the carbon storm, and keep developing fossil fuel sources. That might be partly true, but it is not the right thing to do.

We should start calling this shameful and selfish world view “latitude superiority.” The more degrees of latitude you have, the more latitude, i.e. “freedom” you think you have, and the power to put off urgent decisions about self-denial, or even make things worse, by approving new atmospheric carbon injections. Putin certainly thinks Russia is sitting pretty as far global warming is concerned. I think this is a stupid gamble, which will fail, no matter who holds such a view, whether it be genocidal dictators or nice, friendly, Canadians.

It’s been so cool, cloudy and rainy this spring in the Comox Valley, that I guess we’re all getting a nice comfy feeling of latitude superiority. Keep those moist north winds coming, even if my garden isn’t growing all that much. British Columbia seems to have dodged the wild fire bullets for another 12 months, but Mother Nature still has plenty of ammo in reserve.

Until we put a stop to rising carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere, and start reversing that awful upward curve, the terror of what happened to Lytton, B.C. hangs over all our heads.

Eric Fern,

Oyster River

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