So what if the Glaciers melt?

All change carries with it an element of risk. There is no shortage of estimated risk when it comes toa changing climate. It’s very easy to get caught up in one argument or another without making progress. Let’s simplify the discussion a little by removing the cause of the change. I want to be spesific. I want to talk about climate change in the context of the Athabasca Glacier. I want to talk about what we know and what we don’t know.

Simply put, regardless of the cause, our glaciers are melting. It’s a very real and extensively documented occurrence. The Athabasca Glacier is receding at a rate of about 5 meters per year, and has lost over half it’s volume in the past 125 years. I recently visited the glacier, and ran my hands in the water that’s melting off of it.

It’s the water I want to talk about. The glacier is melting, and its feeding our rivers. The glacier is a feed to the Athabasca River, a system that includes 94 rivers, 150 named creeks and 153 lakes. This glacier and the ice field accosiated with it has an important job. It’s runoff is providing water to this system. However, the glacier is retreating, leaving less ice to melt year after year. At some point, the glacier will run out of ice, stop melting and stop feeding water into this system. It’s simple math. We don’t know when but, if this trend continues, it will happen.

Water is a very important resource for life, and we use this river system for a lot of things. One use is industrial. Oil Sands operations licence water for use in their processes. What happens when the water runs out?

As I said earlier, let’s skip over the causation arguments and begin a dialog over the ramifications of this. The Athabasca river system is at risk of losing it’s source.

Water

Conclusion: In Alberta, we base our lively hood on oil. Currently, we use the Athabasca river to help us get at this oil. The river is slowing down it’s flow. The Athabasca glacier that feeds the river is shrinking, and won’t provide water forever. When the river drys up, so does a nessisary asset to the Albertan economy.

If we maintain the present course, this will happen. Lets have a climate conversation about this.

 

 

The Terrorists Win

Over the past few years, there has been a lot of talk about the threat of terrorism, and how Canada can protect its populace against it. I’m here to tell you, if you want to win the war on terror, ignore it.

I’ll say that again, ignore terrorism.

You see, terrorism is a military tactic to get political change through threats of violence. You don’t actually have to commit violence for it to work. And it turns out Canadians are not victims of violence from terrorists activities. Before you read on, take a guess on how many Canadians were killed as a result of terrorists activities. And then think about if that number constitutes a risk to the average Canadian.

The number of  Canadian deaths attributed never rises above 5 people a year going back as far as 1970. 5 people a year hardly seems like a threat to the Country. Highway 63 in Alberta has seen 46 deaths in 5 years, why isn’t infrastructure the higher priority?  The average Canadian is under no statistical risk due to terrorism, so why is it such a big topic? It’s not even a risk to US citizens; in 2010, 8 US civilians died due to terrorism, and 29 died by lighting.

Yes, I realise that destabilization is a concern for the Global safety, and that deaths, globally, are on the rise. But, we are the ones destabilising these regions. Canada may have killed 27 Iraqi civilians in Jan of 2015 during an airstrike. So, Canada has potentially killed half the amount people in one incident that Canada has lost to terror in 40 years. Some estimates from the 2001 Afghan war say that 91,000 deaths are directly related to combat, including 26,000 civilians. Canadians would be wise not to forget the Somalia Affair, where Canadian forces tortured and killed a boy.

So, this begs the question, who is the terrorist in this scenario? Why are we spending our time, money, and effort to kill other people in the name of safeguarding Canadians, for a risk that statistically doesn’t merit mentioning?

Fear, that’s why. And because we harbour that fear, the terrorists win.