3. Prefer reversible technologies

As a general matter, technologies should be judged superior if the consequences of their use are reversible. Some common projections about the outcomes of some chemical or nuclear technologies point to effects that could never be recalled from the environment or from the species with which they interact. As we scope out the possibilities here, we need to ask: Would particular paths of research and development risk opening Pandora’s box? If so, how can present policies help eliminate that menace?
source: Three Questions on Sustainable Technologies See also XlnkS634

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1. Seek Harmony with nature rather than conquer it.

During the past two centuries, the desire to conquer nature has often seemed synonymous with progress. Dam the rivers, drain the swamps, harvest the forests and bring all plants and animals under human control – such counsel seemed eminently sensible. More recently, however, as some unhappy consequences of this ham-fisted approach have surfaced, many scientists, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs have affirmed that seeking harmony with nature is a more promising technological and economic approach.
source: Three Questions on Sustainable Technologies See also XlnkS634

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Three Questions on Sustainable Technologies

Three questions that ought to be considered as our society decides which technologies are worth developing:

  1. Should we continue long-standing efforts to conquer and dominate nature rather than seek harmony with natural structures and processes?
  2. Should we actively promote a path of development in which technical means become the driving force that shapes social ends?
  3. It is wise to develop technologies likely to produce irreversible effects?

in detail XlnkS634

Some key findings on Canadian Weather

  • Abnormal weather in BC: 2500 wildfires, floods in autumn, drought in the summer, freezing in November – the lowest temperature on record for November, record rain fall in October, flood in Vancouver in December
  • The driest consecutive 3 year-period on record, almost no precipitation in Vancouver in November, ususlly the wettest month
  • The Fraser river at its lowest peak in 90 years of record keeping
  • Hurricanes in Halifax- the first time the eye of a hurricane hits the city since 1893
  • 100 millions trees and 300,000 houses damaged in the region of Halifax (see picture)
  • 16 intense tropical storms in the Atlantic
  • One billion $ cost for fire-fighting across the country
  • Intense drought in the prairies
  • March downpour in the Atlantic provinces, the most expensive weather disaster in the history of the Maritimes
  • Massive ice storms in New Brunswick
  • Heavy snow on Alberta in April and May
  • 2003 was the 11th consecutive one in Canada with higher temperature than average
  • 25 of the most recent 26 seasons have been warmer than average
  • 2003 is the third-warmest year since records began in 1981
  • In Europe heat waves killed 21,000 people

source: Impact of Climate Change on Canadian Weather See also XlnkS633

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Impact of Climate Change on Canadian Weather

A report from environment Canada inventories the extreme events and bizarre weather occuring in Canada as a result of climate change. The report concludes: “Although Canadians are good at coping with punishing weather they may be no match for what nature will throw at us”
weblink: Environment Canada Web sitefrom: Environment Canadain detail XlnkS633 XlnkC18D5

Effect of Climate Change on Canadian Water Resources

A new ( 2003) report from Statistic Canada outlines growing signs of water scarcity even in a country as rich in water resources as Canada. Some of the findings:

  • Main glaciers at their lower level since 10,000 years
  • 1300 Canadian Glacier have lost between 25% and 75% of their masss since 1950
  • 505 of Canada renewable fresh water flows into the Artic Ocean and Hudson bay
  • 42% of industrial waste water was untreated in 1996
  • a drop of oil wil make 25 litres of water unfit for drinking
  • The level of the St-Lawrence river at Montreal has fallen by more than a metre in the past century

from: Statistic Canadain detail XlnkS632 XlnkC18D9

Sustainable Energy

A combination of renewable and conservation. Conservation is by far, the most economical solution. The energy necessary per person for a decent life – including heating and cooling, domestic services, transport, and industry, – is equivalent to a 1 kw device “on” all the time (or about 8600 kwh per person and per year) Canada per capita energy consumption – the highest in the world – is 425 GJ/p.a or 118,000 Kwh/p.a (equivalent to a 13 kw electric device “on” all the time ) and about 2.5 times higher than European. The challenge for Canadians is hence to reduce our energ consumption by a factor 12.
source: Energy See also XlnkS623

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Estimate of rate and extend of living species extinction

The extinction rate accelerated during the last years and is now 1000 times greater than in pre-human times. Robert May. President Royal Society. We estimate that between 1 and 10% of species are eliminated every 10 years – that is 27,000 every year. Edward O. Wilson. The diversity of life. Harvard University. It is not unrealistic to foresee that we will have exterminated half of all living species by the middle of the 21st century. Michael Novacek . American Museum of Natural History. New York. UNEP estimates that 25% of mammifers and 12% of birds are on the verge of extinction. Scientific American 2001
source: The Sixth Extinction See also XlnkS62F

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