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Connecting local weather and global climate change

Our daily weather reports, cheerfully presented with flashy graphics and state-of-the-art animation, appear to relay more and more information.

And yet, no matter how glitzy the presentation, a key fact is invariably omitted. Imagine if, after flashing the words "extreme weather" to grab our attention, the reports flashed "global warming." Then we would know not only to wear lighter clothes or carry an umbrella, but that we have to do something about climate change.

I put the question to Jeff Masters, co-founder and director of meteorology at Weather Underground, an Internet weather information service. Masters writes a popular blog on weather, and doesn't shy away from linking extreme weather to climate change:

Bertram Beach in Kelowna B.C. Photo: erwlas/Flickr
| December 17, 2012

Global consensus unlikely at COP18 climate talks

Photo: ProfMKD/Flickr

The annual United Nations climate summit has convened, this year in Doha, the capital of the oil-rich emirate of Qatar, on the Arabian Peninsula. Dubbed "COP 18," an army of bureaucrats, business people and environmentalists are gathered ostensibly to limit global greenhouse-gas emissions to a level that scientists say will contain the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius (3.8 degrees Fahrenheit), and perhaps stave off global climate catastrophe. If past meetings are any indication, national self-interest on the part of the world's largest polluters, paramount among them the United States, will trump global consensus.

Photo: Shubert Ciencia/Flickr
| November 28, 2012

How Big Oil Luddites are blocking progress on climate change

Photo: Svetoslav Nikolov/Flickr

In the interest of fighting climate change, most of us avoid buying SUVs -- fortress-like vehicles that aren't necessary unless one intends to take the whole family for a spin through downtown Baghdad.

Most of us also recycle and keep the thermostat low. However, these gestures are doing almost nothing to stop the warming of the planet.

Photo: Stefan Gara/Flickr
| August 13, 2012
Mont Blanc glacier tracks. Photo: Alistair Knock/Flickr
| July 10, 2012
Green leaf. Photo: epSos .de/Flickr
| June 13, 2012

Kyoyo Protocol = Wake-up Call

Today, Canadians shouldn’t feel shame; they should be angry, betrayed and saddened at the diminishment of Canada, at home and around the world, by this government. By their action during the climate change conference in Durban, South Africa.

Every Canadian. Any political affiliation. Any region. Any religion, Any race. Any ability.

Remember this is not the Canadian government, but the ‘Harper government,’ I am just as happy to be distant from this pack of bullies in suits.

I can’t be distant though. These people represent our country, you and me. They speak for us. They should pay some attention to the values that we share. Equality might be a good start. Or environmental responsibility.

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