Talk at UVic: Impacts and Ethics of Global Warming

Posted by DP Admin on January 29, 2014 - 1:16pm
Public - accessible to all site users

Date:  Thursday, January 30  Time: 3:30 pmRoom: ECS 125 (Engineering/Computer Sciences Bldg, University of Victoria) 

Speaker: Geoff Strong, past president of CMOS (Canadian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society)

 TITLE: Impacts and Ethics of Global Warming

 Abstract: This presentation tries to de-mystify some key issues concerning anthropogenic global warming (AGW) for a general audience, while addressing whether it really is all that much of a threat to mankind. We consider the sensitivity of Earth's atmosphere to human intervention. We then examine how the Earth system maintains equilibrium over natural processes, and how mankind's collective influence on Earth's climate through carbon emissions has altered how that system works.

While the warming trend is measureable globally, the resulting impacts are not readily apparent to all at mid-latitudes.  There are several regions of the globe where such impacts are quite evident to even the casual observer. The population of these regions most affected by global warming to date are also least responsible for its root cause, the excessive use of fossil fuels. These regions are also not considered to be economic giants in global politics, so that they do not get the attention that it deserves, which reveals an ethical issue to the problem as well.

Many global warming impacts are now unavoidable, and we need to recognize that industry and government only respond to our demands. The solution to emissions and global warming must therefore start at grass roots, with individuals, if we are to avoid global catastrophic disaster in this century. Some actions that individuals and government should adopt to help mitigate the impacts are discussed.