Climate change adaption

People who say that our carbon dioxide emissions cause dangerous climate change are unwittingly encouraging an ongoing tragedy.

Re: ‘Climate Change’ letter by Robin Browne (The NEWS, Sept. 18).

People who say that our carbon dioxide emissions cause dangerous climate change are unwittingly encouraging an ongoing tragedy.

Instead of concentrating on helping vulnerable people adapt to climate change now, most campaigners are focused on mitigation, trying to avert climate problems that may, or may not, someday happen.

The UN says that funding for mitigation and adaptation should be approximately equal. But the Climate Policy Initiative demonstrates that only six per cent of the $1 billion/day spent on climate finance across the world goes to adaptation. The rest is spent on mitigation.

The reason for this is clear. Mitigation projects are more attractive to powerful players who have motivations other than environmental protection or helping the poor: energy companies and carbon traders trying to maximize revenue, politicians wanting to increase taxes and control over their citizens, one-world government advocates, etc.

The local scale of the ‘boots on the ground’ approach needed for most adaptation initiatives do not so nearly fulfill the primary objectives of these groups.

People of all stripes are starting to recognize that allocating more importance to the uncertain problems of people yet to be born than to the known and serious issues faced by those suffering today is immoral.

Tom Harris, Executive Director

International Climate Science Coalition

Ottawa, Ontario