Lightbulbs and Satellites – Irrational Acts of Climate Denying Governments

Posted on June 7, 2011


Climate change is already upon us, but we have governments and government factions on this continent utterly determined not to prepare.

In its rush to undermine any project that had anything to do with climate, the Republican Party recently voted a funding cut which effectively delayed the launch of a NOAA weather satellite, a delay which will result in an eighteen month gap in critical climate data a few years down the line.

The sort of data which that satellite was intended to provide was the same sort used by scientists to provide precious extra minutes of warning time for the tornadoes that devastated the USA this spring, a warning time that prevented the death toll from being even worse than it was.

However, because of a politically-tinged cost-cutting measure by the Republicans, a necessary weather satellite wasn’t launched and an eighteen month gap in climate data is now inevitable.  When that gap arrives, scientists at NOAA will find themselves less capable of fine-tuning their predictions on the ground, and US citizens will find their early-warning time for twisters desperately shortened.  When that not-too-distant tornado season does arrive, people of all political stripes will realize, now much too late, just how important it is to plan ahead–and how it can be life-threatening not to take climate study seriously.

Are we in Canada—with our newly elected head-in-the sand climate denier government—about to go down the same dangerous path?  Evidently.  Baby steps at first.

Stephen Harper has hardly convened his new majority government, yet he is already enacting delays in simple and obvious actions against climate change, painless no-brainers like the incandescent light bulb ban originally scheduled for 2012.  Harper wants to reschedule the ban for 2014.

The Pembina Institute points out that the two year delay will result in an extra 13 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and wipe out more than $300 million in expected energy savings, all according to the government’s own analysis.

Irrational attacks and cancellations of climate actions:  they are happening south of the border.  If this first act is any indication, they are beginning to happen here.

Stephen Harper, like the Republican Party of the United States which he so admires, is determined to build his credentials as an enemy of the planet.

And as the fool who refused to adapt.


See Budget cuts mean 18-month gap in crucial weather data – ScienceInsider

Federal lightbulb plan will cost $300M in energy savings: Pembina – The Tyee