Climate change: responsibility and accountability of cities (Part I)

When a river flows through a city it is the community's responsibility to make sure that the water is properly treated for use downstream. When fossil fuels are burned, pollution is created and less O2 is made available for communities East of the city. It is the responsibilty of the city
a) that no pollution is let go into the air, and
b) to make sure that the same amount of O2 is photosynthesized East of the City as that being burned.

Case #1: the City of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Note to email subject matter
Contrary to findings described by scientist David Suzuki in the Nanaimo News Bulletin - Tuesday June 1st, 2004, page 29, not just greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other types of pollutants affect the health of people in cities but so is the decrease of Oxygen level. The decrease of the O2 level affects the global life-support systems, the Earth's ecosystem and in turn, forces the climate to change much faster than expected.

There is a widespread misconception of what causes health problems within cities. Are they caused by pollutants or by the lack of Oxygen, or both? The well discussed 'Island effect' says that pollutants such as GHG emissions create health problems and may even kill people. Quoting a Harvard researcher findings was relevant to David Suzuki making a point on gas tax. Gas tax should be at least twice as much and should be used to find ways to adapt to the climate changing rapidly. GHG emissions and other pollutants are not the only factors concerning the Island effect and health problems within a city. The Harvard researcher should be told about the following results. I suggest you read June 2004 Newsletter. In this press release the folowing results were found about a small city such as Calgary and on a typical day:

a)     1.97 x 108 kg of greenhouse gases CO2 equivalent were emitted. Because of poor air mixing (air mixing is different from place to place)  in a city and slow moving weather systems, these GHGs and other pollutants linger over the city and create health problems.
b)     every day Calgarians are chipping away 6.93 x 108 kg of O from the total amount 1 x 1018 kg of O2 that is available to Calgary;
c)     4.3% of the total O available that day (assuming here the area of Calgary and an elevation of 80 meters) was burned by Calgarians;
d)     heat released during the day by the burning of fossil fuels and O2 can be expressed in different units: 8482 trillion joules, 8.04 trillion Btus, 2.4 billion kilowatt-hours. Heat is absorbed by both the city and the air, and weather systems take away the heat absorbeb by the air.

Knowing the GHG CO emissions equivalent emitted by Calgarians that typical day and knowing the value of the sink for carbon (that is the net CO absorbed by a mature forest considered in this press release) of a typical forest the same size as Calgary, it is possible to calculate the ratio of emissions over sink:

1.97 x 108 kg / 118 kg = 1.67 x 106

There are 1.67 x 106 more times of CO2 emitted by Calgarians that day than absorbed by the mature forest of the same size. This calculation is important because we always think that planting a tree will solve the problem. Well it does not! Not even close! To stop cutting trees altogether and manage our forest wisely would help. The Prairies would also be an area for planting trees. Being a responsible global community citizen would help.

Knowing that in a healthy mature forest tree photosynthesis allows 1 kg of carbon/m2 ( or 2.7397 x 10-3 kg of carbon/m2/day) to enter the ecosystem in the form of atmospheric CO2  each year  (most of this CO2 is re-emitted by respiration), the number of mature trees needed to absorb the pollution created by Calgarians that day can be calculated:

721,730,000 x 1,670,000 = 1 x 1015 trees

Now that is a lot of mature trees to plant for that one day pollution alone. Get busy Calgarians!

Of course, because of its place just east of the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is a bordeline example. The Pacific Ocean absorbs a large quantity of CO2 from weather systems and British Columbia forests absorb also a lot of CO2  and pump O2 into the air, and weather systems moving eastward to Alberta carry with them this fresh, clean air. For now we will not mention Vancouver's pollution and that of other cities in between the Pacific Ocean and Calgary. Most of the time weather systems sweep away pollutants hanging over the city of Calgary. Calgarians do not truly realize the impacts of their wasteful behavior and reckless lifestyle on the environment and their contribution to the climate changing fast. Their pollution moves eastward, and they dont know they are accountable for it. Much larger cities have enormous health problems caused by pollution and the lack of Oxygen in the air. They also have enormous global impacts on the Earth's climate.

In the above scenario, the availability of Oxygen itself is dependent on  many different factors. Some of these factors are discussed in this press release.

A lack of Oxygen affects the health of a person, the immune system, and the supply of O2  to the blood. Just imagine you are in this "crowded room with the windows closed" David Suzuki mentioned in his article. GHG emissions and other pollutants entering the room would certainly make you sick and even kill you. Now consider what would happen when the Oxygen of the room was removed. You would die instantly. Oxygen is a must have component of life. Without it all life (most of it) on the planet would disappear. So I respectively ask you to consider that the decrease of Oxygen levels:

a)    is another factor affecting the health of people due to the Island effect; and
b)    affects the global life-support systems, the ecosystem of the planet, and therefore, forces the climate to change more rapidly than expected just as do GHG emissions.

Calgarians are getting the best air in the world from the forests of British Columbia. They are also releasing large amounts of pollution into the air and decreasing the Oxygen contents of the air. Communities east of Alberta are getting this polluted air with less Oxygen. This situation is not sustainable locally and globally. Albertans ought to be made responsible and accountable for their reckless lifestyle. Of course, so are communities all over the world (and yes Vancouver).

This press release is Part I of a series of reports on Climate Change adaptation by cities.

There are many ways we have discovered to choke the air we breathe. Automobile exhausts, coal-burning power plant, factory smokestacks, and other waste vents of the industrial age now pump 30.0 trillion kg of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the Earth’s atmosphere each year from fossil fuel combustion (see Table of the worst polluters on the planet in June 2004 Newsletter).

There is evidence that concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are related to the average global temperatures. Evidence is from a variety of sources and reflects relationships between gas concentrations and temperatures over a wide range of time scales. Whenever there is an increase in CO2 concentrations there is also an increase in the average global temperatures and a decrease of Oxygen in the air we breathe. Other GHGs are also emitted and affect these observations. We are concerned here with the local and global impacts of CO2 emissions and the burning of the O2 contents of the air. It is very important that cities are held responsible and accountable of those two problems. They are affecting the life-support systems locally and globally.

Calculation of GHG CO2 emissions, burning of O2 and heat released

Combustion of fossil fuels destroys the O2 of our air. For each 100 atoms of fossil-fuel carbon burned, about 140 molecules of O2 are consumed. The transportation sector is by far the largest contributor of CO2 GHG emissions. The transportation sector requires the refining of oil followed by the burning of oil and gasoline. Shown here is a typical calculation of burning gasoline.

We are assuming the typical weight of gasoline at 72 degrees F is around 6.25 lb/gal, and that in year 2005 there will be 30 billion barrels of oil produced worldwide.

Thus     30 billion barrels of oil x 42 gal/barrel x 6.25 lb/gal x 0.45359 kg/lb     =     3.572 trillion kg of gasoline burned every year.

The equation expressing the burning of gasoline and Oxygen, and emission of CO2 is as follows:

Equation #1:

For normal heptane C7H16 with a molecular weight equal to 100.204, 1.000 kg of C7H16 requires 3.513 kg of O2 (or 15.179 kg of air).

Calculation of the total mass of O2 burned if all the crude oil produced in the world in year 2005 was converted to gasoline.

3.572 trillion kg x 3.513 kg of O2     =     12.5 trillion kg of O2 burned / year.

Expressing this result in other units:

12.5 trillion kg x 1.293 liter/kg = 16.16 trillion liters of O2 burned / year
16.16 trillion liters x 10-3 m3 /liter = 0.01616 trillion m3 O2 burned / year

The heat given up by gasoline can be found:
3.572 trillion kg of gasoline x 43 megajoule/kg =
153.6 trillion megajoules per year = 153.6 x 1012 x 106 joules/year
= 153.6 x 106 Tj/year = 153.6 x 106 x 947.8 million Btus
= 153.6 x 947.8 x 1012 Btus =     145,582 x 1012 Btus
= 145,582 TeraBtus = 145.582 PetaBtus =     145.582 PBtus
= 153.6 x 106 x 277,800 kilowatt-hours =     42.67 Tera kilowatt-hours

These are different ways of expressing the heat released to the atmosphere by the combustion of gasoline alone. Thus the heating of our atmosphere is not a fake of our imagination. It is made obvious within the boundaries of a large city where this heat fails to dissipate into the air quickly but instead warms up the entire city including structures and buildings. Eventually some of that heat is absorbed by the air and new heat is created by more burning of fossil fuels.

Other types of estimates such as that of the greenhouse effect due to CO2 acting as a GHG keeping the infrared radiation from escaping into space can be found on the website of the Global Community.

Since monitoring began in the 50s, fossil fuels burning was found to be the major contributor of the increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and, therefore, of the increase in the average global temperatures and the greenhouse effect causing global warming of the planet. Concentrations have increased approximately 21% since 1958. The average rate of increase since 1958 has been about 0.4%/year, which is an absolute increase of about 1.5 parts per million by volume (ppmv). Based on the climate change model researched and developed by the Global Community, in year 2005, the predicted value of CO2 concentrations will be 402 ppmv. CO2 persists for a long time in the atmosphere and has a residence time in the order of decades to a century.

Carbon dioxide is by far the largest contributor to Canada's GHG emissions.

While Canada contributes only about 2% of total global GHG emissions, it is one of the highest per capita emitters, largely the result of its size, climate (i.e., energy demands), and resource based economy. In year 2005, Canadians will release 0.8064 trillion kg of CO2. Over the 11-year period from 1990 to 2001, it was 23.1 metric ton CO2 equivalent of GHGs per capita. In 2005, it will be 25.2 metric ton CO2 equivalent per capita.

Oxygen production by photosynthesis

Virtually all oxygen in the atmosphere is thought to have been generated through the process of photosynthesis. Obviously, all respiring organisms (including plants) utilize this oxygen and produce CO2 . Thus, photosynthesis and respiration are interlinked, with each process depending on the products of the other. The global amount of photosynthesis is on the order of a trillion kg of dry organic matter produced per day, and respiratory processes convert about the same amount of organic matter to CO2 . A large part (probably the majority) of photosynthetic productivity occurs in open oceans, mostly by oxygenic prokaryotes. Without photosynthesis, the oxygen in the atmosphere would be depleted within several thousand years. It should be emphasized that plants respire just like any other higher organism, and that during the day this respiration is masked by a higher rate of photosynthesis.

When green plants absorb solar energy, they convert it to chemical energy. This chemical energy aids in the growth and functions of the plant. When an organism eats the plant, it acquires energy to carry out its processes. Without solar energy, plants could not grow, and life on earth would cease to exist.

Oxygen is produced by forests through the process of photosynthesis as shown by the following basic equation:

Equation #2:

It is estimated that all green plants on earth, together, convert 1.44 x 1014 kg of C from CO2 to produce energy containing carbohydrates every year.

Plants use light to manufacture their own food and tissues (leaves, wood, fruits, etc.). They are called producers or autotrophs: they live on the most basic inorganic (not living) elements, such as carbon dioxide and water, and not by consuming other living organisms.

Every living organism that dwells in an ecosystem depends entirely on the photosynthetic process carried out by plants. The more vigorous its plants, the more dynamic an ecosystem will be.

All animals, insects and micro-organisms are directly or indirectly fed by plants and are called consumers or heterotrophs. For example, a deer eats leaves from a tree and produces waste, which in turn feeds the decomposers. The hunter who eats the deer benefits from the meat that his prey produced from plants. Organic matter thus circulates in the food chain, is transformed, and is ultimately decomposed into basic elements (CO2, water, nitrogen, etc.) that can once again be assimilated by plants.

Throughout this process, the energy that is incorporated by plants into the biomass is liberated through the respiration of autotrophs and heterotrophs, and gradually dissipates as heat.

Photosynthesis is influenced by several factors, including:

a)     temperature: the optimum temperature is between 20 and 35°C. Photosynthesis ceases at temperatures below 0°C because of the slowing of the plant's physiology (e.g. leaves drop off and water absorption is reduced);
b)     the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air: an atmosphere rich in CO2 promotes photosynthesis;
c)     intense light: One of the most important, as light intensity increases, the rate of photosynthesis initially increases and then levels off to a plateau; the more light there is, the more effective the chlorophyll will be. Photosynthesis will be less intense under a cloud cover than in bright sunshine;
d)     leaf surface area exposed to light: the lower leaves of hardwood trees often grow larger and thinner than those higher up in order to compensate for the lack of light. The leaves of conifers are very small in order to achieve better frost resistance, but they are also very numerous;
e)     the availability of water in the soil: the plant must transpire in order to absorb carbon dioxide. If water becomes scarce, the plant reduces transpiration and slows photosynthesis.


Respiration is the opposite of photosynthesis. It consumes oxygen (oxidation of sugars) and releases carbon dioxide (CO2) and water. Respiration is common to all living organisms, whether plants, animals or micro-organisms. The basic equation for this process is shown here.

Equation #3

The following are a number of factors that affect respiration in plants:

temperature:    respiration falls to a minimum at temperatures below 0°C, and is at a maximum at 45-50°C;
the plant's developmental stage:    respiration increases during the flowering stage of trees;
the type of plant:     respiration is less significant in woody than herbaceous plants.

Plants respire both during the day and at night. However, photosynthesis takes place during the day only, in the presence of light.

The carbon cycle deals with the reactions that allow living organisms to use carbon to manufacture their tissues and release energy.

Plants are the starting point of the carbon cycle. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon from the air (CO2) and incorporate it into their biomass (leaves, wood, roots, flowers, fruits). This organic matter provides food for heterotrophic organisms (consumers). By releasing energy when they respire, heterotrophs and autotrophs return carbon to the atmosphere (CO2).

A growing forest is a carbon sink; in other words, it fixes more carbon through photosynthesis than the amount it releases via respiration. When the forest reaches maturity, an equilibrium is created between the quantity of carbon fixed and the amount released.

While a forest contains carbon in its trees, in a northern climate, carbon is mostly stored in forest soils as:

*     humus (stable organic matter, rarely attacked by decomposers);
*     roots in the soil;
*     non-decomposed plant litter on the ground;
*     heterotrophic organisms on the ground.

In forest ecosystems, natural disturbances as well as those induced by human activities lead to changes in the rates of carbon fixation and release (photosynthesis and respiration). For example, climate warming could accelerate decomposition of plant litter by enhancing the respiration of decomposers. In such a case, the forest soil could become a source of carbon; in other words, more carbon would be released than fixed.

In a mature balsam fir forest such as is found in the Boreal Ecoregion, a balsam fir stand of approximately 60 years old can be considered to be a mature ecosystem because an equilibrium has been achieved between:

a)     the quantity of carbon fixed by plants during photosynthesis;
b)     the quantity of carbon released by the respiration of all the organisms (plants and animals) living in the forest.
c)     the forest has been fixing carbon for 60 years, storing it in its wood, roots and plant litter. As long as it is growing, the forest is a carbon sink.
d)     the quantity of carbon present in this ecosystem, i.e. its carbon pool, is stable.
e)     photosynthesis by plants still fixes carbon, but an equal amount is released by the respiration of all the organisms living in the forest; the ecosystem is no longer growing; it is maintaining itself.

The Montmorency Forest, Université Laval's experimental forest, is a good example of a typical mature forest. The site is located in the mountains north of the Quebec City region. The forest is comprised primarily of balsam fir and black spruce. Precipitation is abundant both in winter and summer, and the growing season lasts three months. This study site, measuring approximately 1 ha (10 000 m²), has made it possible to measure the quantities of carbon circulating in this ecosystem.

The carbon pool at the Montmorency Forest site contains 17.3 kg of carbon/m² (or 173 t of carbon/ha), distributed as follows:

A)     7.3 kg in the vegetation
4.5 kg in the wood
1.5 kg in the branches and leaves
1.3 kg in the roots
B)     10 kg on and within the soil

3 kg in humus
7 kg in mineral soil

Circulation of carbon in the ecosystem
At the Montmorency Forest site, tree photosynthesis allows 1 kg of carbon/m² to enter the ecosystem (in the form of atmospheric CO2) each year(2.7397 x 10-3 kg of carbon/m2/day).

Tree respiration alone releases 0.5 kg of carbon/m²/yr, half of which comes from root respiration. Roots respire a great deal because they expend a large amount of energy to absorb nutrients from the soil.

A very small proportion of the carbon (0.06 kg/m²/yr or 6% of the carbon fixed by photosynthesis) accumulates in trunks and roots; the quantity of carbon in the leaves and branches of mature trees remains stable.

The remainder (0.44 kg/m²/yr) makes its way into the plant litter (dead leaves, branches and trees) and the soil (roots).

In the soil, respiration by the decomposers that consume plant litter releases a quantity of carbon equivalent to that supplied by the plants: 0.44 kg/m²/yr.

As a summary to this study:

A)     Soil carbon pools are in equilibrium because the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere (respiration) is equivalent to the quantity fixed in the plant litter.

B)     In this type of forest, vegetation represents the only carbon sink. However, it is not very efficient, accumulating barely 0.06 kg carbon/m²/yr.

C)     Overall, equilibrium has almost been achieved, but could be disrupted by a disturbance, such as fire or insect infestation, that could cause the site to become a major carbon source.

Losses of biomass through deforestation and the cutting down of tropical forests put our supply of O2 gas at risk. The Earth's forests did not use to play a dominant role in maintaining O2 reserves because they consume just as much of this gas as they produce. Today forests are being destroyed at an astronomical rate. No O2 is created after a forest is put down, and more CO2 is produced in the process. In the tropics, ants, termites, bacteria, and fungi eat nearly the entire photosynthetic O2 product. Only a tiny fraction of the organic matter they produce accumulates in swamps and soils or is carried down the rivers for burial on the sea floor. The O2 content of our atmosphere is slowly declining.

In the Earth's Atmosphere, the volume % of O2 in dry air is 20.98, in order words the abundance percent by volume is 20.98%, or again the abundance parts per million by volume is 209,800. The weight % of O2 at surface level is 23.139%. We are concerned here with the troposphere.

The troposphere is the atmospheric layer closest to the planet and contains the largest percentage of the mass of the total atmosphere. It is characterized by the density of its air and an average temperature decrease with height. The troposphere starts at the Earth's surface extending at most 16 km high. As you climb higher in this layer, the temperature drops from about 17 to -52 degrees Celsius. The air pressure at the top of the troposphere is only 10% of that at sea level (0.1 atmospheres). The density of air at sea level is about 1.225 kilograms per cubic meter. This density decreases at higher altitudes at approximately the same rate that pressure decreases (but not quite as fast). The density is 0.1654 kg/m3 at the top of the troposphere.

Calculation of the total mass of O2 in the Earth's atmosphere. We can calculate the volume of the Earth and that of the troposphere. The equatorial diameter of the Earth is 12,756.3 km, the radius is therefore 6378.15 km.

Volume of the Earth.
4 x ¶(6378.15)3 /3     =     10.8687 x 1020 m3
Radius from the centre of the Earth to the top of the troposphere:
= 6378.15 + 16 = 6394.15 km
Volume to the top of the troposphere.
4 x ¶(6394.15)3 /3     =     10.9506 x 1020 m3
Volume of the troposphere.
[10.9506 - 10.8687 ] x1020 m3     =     8.14 x 1018 m3

Rough estimate of the total mass of the air in the troposphere.

[1.225 kg/m3 ] x 8.14 x 1018 m3     =     9.97 x1018 kg of air at the Earth surface.
[0.1654 kg/m3 ] x 8.14 x 1018 m3     =     1.346 x1018 kg at the top of the troposphere.
Taking an average will give a rough estimate of the air mass in the troposphere:
[9.97 - 1.346 ] x1018 kg / 2     =     4.31 x1018 kg of air.
The mass of the O2 is found knowing that the weight % of O2 at surface level is 23.139% (but there again this value can hardly be used for the entire volume as the weight % changes with height).

[4.31 x1018 kg] x 23.139/100     =     1.0 x1018 kg O2
Mass of O2 in the troposphere     =     1.0 x1018 kg

Now it was obtained above here that there are 12.5 trillion kg of O2 burned / year. Assuming that the combustion of gasoline could go on forever, the number of years before we run out of O2 can be calculated.

[1.0 x1018 kg] / 12.5 x 1012 kg/year     =     80,000 years

If the combustion rate of 5 billion gallons of gasoline per year was to go on forever, it would take 80,000 years before all of the O2 is burned out. Of course, this value should be corrected to include all other forms where O2 is lost or burned.

The above calculations are obviously not right as they do not take into account several factors that change with height. More importantly, these calculations do not reflect the impact of the combustion CO2 on the atmosphere and impact on the climate. Certainly the losses of biomass through deforestation and the cutting down of tropical forests should be included. A rough estimate is more in the range of one thousand years at the most. Even one thousand years is wrong as life on Earth will hardly survive the kind of climate change humanity has already started with the burning of O2 and deforestation. It is wrong because the burning of fossil fuels (same thing as saying the burning of O2 to produce CO2) is creating a global warming of the planet which in turn forces the climate to change. The climate change has already started and is likely to be tough on us and all life within a few decades.

There are many other factors affecting the O2 abundance in the air we breathe. Unequal and poor air mixing within cities are certainly major factors as they can rapidly reduce the O2 abundance made available to people and replace it by air pollution (GHG emissions and other types of emissions) resulting in health problems. Air pollution stays for some time within the immediate boundaries of the cities before moving eastward. The dynamic of air mixing and pollution within a city is dependent on many factors such as:

a)    the physical characteristics of the weather systems over the city (there are often more than one weather systems);
b)    types of GHG being emitted and their quantity;
c)    other pollutants being emitted and their quantity;
d)    changes in the average temperature, precipitation and wind patterns;
e)    type of city landscape and buildings; and
f)    the surrounding physical land or water characteristics.

Taking into account all above factors yield the following global curve.

These findings show clearly that it is not just pollution emissions thrown into the air that cause health problems in a large city. The burning of O2 is even more important.

Our climate change model includes the following factors:

1.    The variation in the radiation balance of the Earth;
2.     Greenhouse gas concentrations;
3.     The hydrological cycle of precipitation;
4.     The melting of glaciers and the Greenland ice cap;
5.     Deforestation;
6.     Land use conversion;
7.    The ice and snow fields;
8.     Pollutants found in the atmosphere;
9.     Absorption of heat by the oceans;
10.    Changes in the ecosystems of the Earth and in biodiversity;
11.     Urban growth;
12.    Characteristics of weather systems
13.    Types of ecoregions;
14.    Types of physical environments;
15.    Volcanic activities; and
16.     Photosynthesis in terrestrial and ocean systems.

When applying the above model to a city such as the City of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, yields the following results.

Climate change impacts on the province of Alberta

Climate change is happening, and it has serious implications – for our health, our economy, and our future. Human activities, including the heavy use of fossil fuels for heating, transportation and electricity, release greenhouse gases that are accumulating and causing global warming. Average global temperatures are rising – the 20th century was the warmest the world has seen in 1,000 years, and the 1980s and 1990s were the warmest decades on record. As a northern country, Canada will feel the impacts of climate change more than most countries. The Prairies are likely to experience increased temperatures with climate change. Recent models suggest that summer temperatures in Alberta could warm by 3 to 5°C by 2080. Such changes would be the largest and most rapid of the last 10,000 years and would have impacts on ecosystems and quality of life.

Alberta is experiencing rapid industrial, agricultural and municipal growth, which is putting more pressures on existing water supplies and potentially affecting the quality of surface water and groundwater. The risk of flooding is expected to increase in the small rivers of the interior Cordillera and on the southeastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. With annual evaporation exceeding precipitation on the prairies, water supply is dependent on snowmelt runoff from the prairie and mountain regions to replenish lakes, reservoirs, wetlands and groundwater. Any alteration to the critical balance of this cycle could have a significant impact. Climate change may, for example, affect the timing of runoff and precipitation, the form or amount of precipitation, or the amount of evaporation. Over time, flows may decrease in the Bow and the North Saskatchewan Rivers during the late summer and fall months. This could cause water shortages in communities that depend on rivers for their water supply. Climate change could result in the significant retreat of large glaciers, such as the Athabasca glacier. Over the last century, drastic reductions in the surface area of glaciers have resulted in reduced downstream water flows. Glacial melt waters are necessary to maintain water levels, and to sustain the habitat that enables trout to migrate and spawn in the late summer and autumn in the Bow River. Reduced flows from glaciers may already be having a serious impact on the Bull Trout. The Alberta hydroelectric industry would also be affected by lower water flows.

In a warmer climate, the boreal forest, aspen parkland and open grassland, may shift northward. Much of the boreal forest in the province of Alberta will be replaced by aspen parkland. Similarly, large regions of aspen parkland are expected to become grasslands. In the northern regions, forest growth may benefit from warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons. However, forest fires and insect outbreaks are expected to increase throughout the province.

Changing weather patterns are becoming more obvious and frequent in Alberta. Extreme events, such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, hailstorms, and heat waves, may become more common on the Prairies due to climate change. Warmer winters may increase the likelihood of both intense winter storms and rainstorms. In the summer, local flooding may increase as rains become more intense. The pattern of other weather conditions, such as droughts, may also change.

Climate change impacts on the City of Calgary

Nearly 60 percent of Albertans, almost 2 million people, live in either Calgary or Edmonton, and the area around Calgary is the fastest growing region in the Prairies. Climate change is expected to affect life in the city in several different ways. Warmer summers are expected to increase the number of very hot days, decrease air quality, and increase energy demands, due to greater air conditioner usage. On the other hand, warmer, shorter winters mean that heating demands would decline and the need for snow removal would be reduced. In the summer, campers and hikers could enjoy a longer season. However, water-based activities, such as boating and fishing, could be negatively affected. People who enjoy winter activities would find their season shortened

A measurement of sustainable development was conducted within the City of Calgary and the Province of Alberta. Then a measurement was done for Canada. This report was a progress report on the measurement of sustainable development. The first measurement was made early 1990s and, more measurements were made and summarized on the website of the Global Community at http://globalcommunitywebnet.com/gdufour/RestorationPlanet.htm. The first report was published in 1990. The tilte of the report is:

"A grassroots process on Global Change: to develop new policies, and create new mechanisms and strategies, to increase our planet's ability to assure the continuation of life, and to pursue the goal to make Canada, by the year 2000, the world's most environmentally friendly country." Researched and written by Joseph Germain Dufour.

Several reports followed and in 1997 the author researched and developed indicators to measure sustainable development. The theory was applied to the City of Calgary, the province of Alberta and to Canada. The report was titled:

"On the measurement of sustainable development: a benchmark for the 21st Century."

The evaluation of the Gross Environmental Sustainable Development Index (GESDI) was conducted and results were tabulated here.

Evaluation of sustainable development in Canada
from year 1990 to 2005
RegionYear 1997
% scoring
Year 1997
letter scoring
Year 2005
letter scoring
City of Calgary
Province of Alberta
where E was defined as meaning an "unsustainable development, and there is a need
to take immediate actions and totally different approaches in line with a sustainable development"

The reports include all aspects of sustainable development:

a)    economic development
b)    resources
c)    people needs, social, cultural and community development
d)    environment
e)    energy produced and used
f)    consumerism
g)    local and global impacts of human activities
h)    health and security
i)    government leadership
j)    NGOs and businesses leadership
k)    quality of life

GHG emissions for the province of Alberta, by Sector

GHG Source and Sink Category 1990 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Sum of CO2,  CH4,  N2O,  HFCs,  PFCs,  SF6
in kt CO2 eq
Stationary Combustion Sources
Electricity and Heat Generation  40200  51300  51800  51500  53500  54700 
Fossil Fuel Industries  30900  31300  33000  42100  44300  44000 
Mining  2400  3920  3450  3450  5500  5800 
Manufacturing Industries  9400  10500  10000  9650  9590  8210 
Construction  236  211  136  166  172  168 
Commercial & Institutional  4950  5020  4640  4580  5290  4760 
Residential  6630  7710  7350  7450  8280  7210 
Agriculture & Forestry  468  380  341  348  361  286 
Stationary Combustion Sources Total 95100  110000  111000  119000  127000  125000 
Transportation Combustion Sources
Domestic Aviation  1660  1910  2040  2090  2110  2220 
Road Transportation 
Gasoline Automobile  5630  4770  4960  4820  4680  4880 
Light Duty Gasoline Trucks  3650  4700  4840  5480  5610  6120 
Heavy Duty Gasoline Vehicles  649  1180  1320  990  1130  1120 
Motorcycles  25.2  23.6  26.7  25  25.5  27.1 
Diesel Automobiles  51.9  36.3  38.1  38.3  36.7  34.9 
Light Duty Diesel Trucks  87.1  104  85.3  95.2  158  158 
Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicles  3650  6250  6240  6300  6840  7120 
Propane & Natural Gas Vehicles  628  478  433  336  271  270 
Road Transportation Total 14400  17500  17900  18100  18700  19700 
Railways  1800  1340  1360  1460  1770  2200 
Domestic Marine  0.3 
Off Road  4050  5440  5750  5600  5620  5520 
Pipelines  1270  3160  3250  3210  2670  3410 
Transportation Combustion Sources Total 23100  29400  30300  30400  30900  33100 
Fugitive Sources
Coal Mining  240  280  290  240  210  180 
Oil and Natural Gas  25000  33000  33000  34000  34000  33000 
Fugitive Sources Total 25000  34000  34000  34000  34000  34000 
ENERGY TOTAL 143000  173000  175000  183000  192000  192000 
Mineral Production 1
Cement  679  726  860  896  924  893 
Lime  190  83.3  83.3  147  149  166 
Mineral Production Total 869  809  944  1040  1070  1060 
Chemical Industry 2
Nitric Acid Production  660  670  660  670  670  670 
Adipic Acid Production 
Chemical Industry Total 660  670  660  670  670  670 
Metal Production
Iron and Steel Production 
Aluminum Production 
SF6 used in Magnesium Smelters 
Metal Production Total
Consumption of Halocarbons 1
Other & Undifferentiated Production 2 7270  10400  9870  9980  9750  9320 
INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES TOTAL 8800  11800  11500  11700  11500  11100 
SOLVENT & OTHER PRODUCT USE 38  43  44  45  45  46 
Enteric Fermentation 5100  6300  6200  6400  6500  7200 
Manure Management 1800  2100  2100  2200  2200  2400 
Agriculture Soils
Direct Sources  9000  8400  8500  8800  8700  8100 
Indirect Sources  1500  1800  1900  1900  2000  2000 
Agriculture Soils Total 10000  10000  10000  11000  11000  10000 
AGRICULTURE TOTAL 17000  19000  19000  19000  19000  20000 
Prescribed Burns 34  31  34  60 
Wildfires in the Wood Production Forest 80  11  850  190  6.9  170 
LAND USE CHANGE AND FORESTRY (non-CO2 only) TOTAL 110  11  850  220  41  220 
Solid Waste Disposal on Land 870  880  910  1000  1000  1100 
Wastewater Handling 140  150  160  160  160  160 
Waste Incineration
WASTE TOTAL 1000  1000  1100  1200  1200  1200 
TOTAL 171000  205000  207000  216000  224000  224000 

1 Emissions Associated with the use of HFCs, PFCs, Limestone and soda ash are reported in the national industrial processes total.
2 Ammonia Production emissions are included under undifferentiated production at the provincial level.
3 CO2 emissions and removals in the LUCF sector are not included in the national totals. Non CO2 emission from fires located in the National Parks are not included in the provincial/territorial totals but are reported in the national totals.

Impacts of weather systems on communities and impacts of communities on weather systems as they progress eastward.

Typical example:     the City of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Weather systems are affected by several local and global land, water and air factors. It is necessary to understand these factors to understand the region being studied. In Canada, weather systems can cover an area as large as several provinces together.

Calgary is found east of the Rocky Mountains within the scenic Foothills Natural Region. It is a landscape of rolling hills clothed with lodgepole pine, aspen and spruce. But the foothills have been altered by resource and human development. There are only a few small places where foothills ecosystems survive essentially intact.

Calgary is a metropolitan city of nearly 1,000,000 people located in the southern half of the province of Alberta, Canada at the junction of the Bow and Elbow Rivers. It is the fifth largest city in Canada with an area of 721.73 square km (278.54 square mi). West of Calgary are Rocky Mountains shown here on the photos in the background (about an hour away via the Trans-Canada Highway). Calgary is situated on the western edge of the Canadian Prairies in the "Foothills" at an elevation of 1,139 metres (3,740 feet above sea level), where the terrain is changing from flat prairie to the Rocky Mountains.

The Bow River enters from the north-west and exits in the south-east. The Elbow River enters from the south-west, creates the Glenmore Reservoir and empties into the Bow river just east of downtown. The large diamond-shaped park in the city's north is "Nose Hill". The Calgary International Airport is to its right. The large horse shoe shaped park at the south is Fish Creek Park.

The following figures show the ecozones enclosing Calgary.

East of Calgary are the Prairies or Grasslands (in yellow) extending through Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The Prairies

The Prairies enclose Calgary and extend directly east of the city. The Prairies ecozone arcs from the western edge of Alberta to the eastern edge of Manitoba. It is characterized by relatively little topographic relief with its grasslands and limited forests. The Prairies ecozone is often characterized as flat, rural, wheat and oil-producing, or cold. It is the most human-altered region in Canada. Farmland dominates the ecozone and covers nearly 94% of the land base.

Termed the 'Breadbasket of Canada', the Prairies Ecozone contains the majority of the country's productive agricultural cropland, rangeland, and pasture. This ecozone, spans an area of 520 000 square kilometres. Loss of habitat is the most critical threat to the flora and fauna. Little of the natural vegetation is left, leaving little habitat for animals unique to the grasslands.

Wetlands, which provide critical habitat for 50% of North America's waterfowl, have been altered by agricultural practices and only half the presettlement wetland area remains.

Today, the Prairies Ecozone is home to high numbers of threatened and endangered wildlife species, and its native ecosystems are among the most endangered natural habitats in Canada.

The Boreal Ecoregion

In North America, the boreal ecoregion stretches 3 800 kilometres from Newfoundland to Alberta, the Boreal Shield includes parts of six provinces, covers more than 1.8 million square kilometres and encompasses almost 20% of Canada's land mass and 10% of its fresh water. Almost two thirds of the country lies on Shield rock.

Canada's largest ecosystem, the boreal forest, forms a continuous belt from the east coast to the Rockies. It is a broad, U-shaped zone that extends from northern Saskatchewan east to Newfoundland, passing north of Lake Winnipeg, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

By far the most dominant tree species are conifers which are well-adapted to the harsh climate, and thin, acidic soils. Black and white spruce are characteristic species of this region along with Tamarack, Jack Pine and Balsam Fir. There are also deciduous trees which are at times mixed in among the conifers, especially in more southern areas - they may include White Birch and Poplars.

Also characteristic of the boreal are innumerable water bodies: bogs, fens, marshes, shallow lakes, rivers and wetlands, mixed in among the forest and holding a vast amount of water. The winters are long and severe while summers are short though often warm.

Fire is a crucial disturbance factor in the boreal ecoregion. It facilitates the destruction of old, diseased trees along with the pests that are associated with those trees. Many animals are able to escape natural fires and some trees such as aspen and jackpine actually require fires to stimulate their reproductive cycles. Furthermore, the nutrient-rich ash left behind helps fuel plant growth. A patchy mosaic of plant communities left in the wake of fire action provides the variety required to sustain different species of wildlife.

Although the human population in this ecozone is relatively sparse, there are many small communities which rely on various resource extraction industries such as forestry and mining. Unless they diversify, their existence is extremely tenuous, often relying on one mill or mine as their economic mainstay.

For generations, the boreal forest has also been home to First Nations people including the Cree, Innu, Métis, Dene, Gwich'in and Athabascan. Traditional Aboriginal lifestyles are also deeply tied to the continued existence of wildlife.

Major industrial developments in the boreal ecoregion include logging, mining, and hydroelectric development. These activities have had severe impacts on many areas and these will face increasing pressure for resource exploitation in the coming years. Approximately 90% of all logging that occurs in this region is by clearcutting, using heavy, capital-intensive machinery. As wood shortages become more and more prevalent in the southern regions of Canada, timber that was once considered unprofitable to log in the north, is now being threatened to sustain "fibre supply". Vast regions of Canada's boreal forests are under leases to forestry companies, mostly for the production of pulp and paper. These human activities are threatening the O2 abundance of the air and have impacts on GHG emission levels in the cities.

The "high mineral potential" in this region is also very problematic. Specific concerns include the disposal of acidic effluent from tailings, containment of radioactivity and the effects of emissions from processing plants.

The construction of most hydroelectric facilities (dams) in Canada have taken place in the boreal ecoregion. Massive hydroelectric development has produced changes in streamflow patterns, flooded large areas to result in a dramatically altered landscape and cause the production of methylmercury. Acid rain also continues to be a serious problem for the lakes and shallow soils of the boreal region despite legislation curbing acid precipitation-producing emissions in both the US and Canada. Furthermore, organochlorine and heavy metal contamination especially mercury and cadmium continue to be a source of concern.

The Parkland Natural Ecoregion

The Parkland Natural Region is one of Alberta's richest agricultural regions and comprises about 12 percent of Alberta. It offers rich and varied scenery. With a moister climate than the grassland regions to the south, small streams and wetlands abound; bluffs and aspen and balsam poplar offer shelter and the rich black soil produces bounteous crops. The rolling terrain and abundant sloughs sustain large numbrs of waterfowl.

The mosaic of aspen forest, fescue grasses and wetlands sustains a rich diversity of plant and animal life.

Most of the original aspen parkland survives only in small fragments because few farmers can afford to leave large tracts of original parkland intact. Farmers have cut their trees to obtain more money from insurance payments when crops do poorly in some situations. And, fires, which are integral to parkland ecology, are suppressed, changing the natural vegetation mosaic.

Today, less than 5 percent of Aspen Parkland remains in its native state.

Ecosystem dynamics are constantly being disturbed and modified by natural disturbances: fire, insect infestations, diseases, windfall, glaze ice and die-back. These events can result in the death of trees over areas of several thousand square kilometres.

Disturbances transform environmental conditions (release of nutrients, changing light and moisture conditions, etc.) in the ecosystem. A process of secondary succession, or changes in the composition of the stand, follows.

Natural disturbances giving rise to secondary successions vary in terms of frequency, severity and affected areas, as well as in the changes they produce in the ecosystem. In addition to large openings in the forest cover, disturbances can cause an accumulation of ground debris, changes in water quantity and quality, a loss of organic matter, etc. All these factors influence regeneration and the species that will make up the new stand.

By studying natural disturbances, we gain a better understanding of the impact that human activities have on forest ecosystems. The impact of some human disturbances, such as forest cutting, is similar to that caused by natural disturbances.

Many human activities result in forest disturbance: road construction, land clearing for agriculture, the installation of power transmission lines, mining, gas operations and logging.

Timber harvesting is a major disturbance: approximately one million hectares of forest are logged in Canada every year. Like severe natural disturbances (fire, insect infestations, etc.), forest cutting alters ecosystem dynamics and initiates secondary succession. It often leads to the renewal or rejuvenation of the forest.

Today, logging operations must be carefully planned to take into account sustainable forest management principles, including:

A) the conservation and maintenance of biological diversity (flora and fauna);
B) soil and water conservation.

In this context, there are as many management plans as there are ecosystems. For instance, in one harvested area, it may be possible to:

1.    leave strips of forest intact to protect lakes and rivers;
2.    avoid cutting on slopes to limit erosion;
3.    leave patches of trees to protect wildlife habitats or preserve seed reserves;
4.    protect specific areas of the forest that have high biodiversity value from being harvested;
5.    spread the harvest out over space and time to ensure the continuity of the forest cover.

A bad situation will occur when several cities close to one another have no forests west of them to photosynthesize the Oxygen people need. The air will not have the time to replenish itself quickly enough and air mixing will not be happening fast enough. People gradually become ill and die of a lack of Oxygen.

GHG emissions by the City of Calgary

From the table shown above, and studying trends, in year 2005, the GHG emissions from the city of Calgary were obtained from studying trends on the data shown in the table just above here. In year 2005, Calgarians will emit:
72,000 kt CO2 equivalent = 0.072 x 109 metric tons CO2 equivalent =
0.072 trillion kg CO2 equivalent = 72 Tg CO2 equivalent

From equation #1, in year 2005, the total mass of O2 used to burn all of the fossil fuels in the city of Calgary would be:
0.072 trillion x 3.513 kg of O2 = 0.253 trillion kg of O2 burned/year =
= 0.253 trillion kg/365 days = 6.93 x 108 kg of O2 burned/day

Quantity of O2 available that day

Volume of the Earth. 4 x ¶(6378.15)3 /3 = 10.8687 x 1020 m3

Calgary is a metropolitain city of 721.73 km2. Assuming the pollution extends to a height of 0.08 km. Then the volume enclosing this pollution is 57.74 x 109 m3

Volume of the troposphere to the height of 0.08 km.

Radius: (6378.15 + 0.08)km = 6378.23 km
4 x ¶(6378.23)3 /3 = 10.8689 x 1020 m3
Volume to the height of 0.08 km
[10.8689 - 10.8687 ] x1020 m3 = 0.0002 x 1020 m3
Volume % of the city of Calgary with respect to the volume around the Earth to the height of 0.080 km.
57.74 x 109 m3 / 0.0002 x 1020 m3 =
= 0.28869 x 10-3 %

Total air mass to the height of 0.08 km.
The density of the air is 1.225 kg/m3 at the Earth’s surface:

[1.225 kg/m3 ] x 0.0002 x 1020 m3 = 0.000245 x1020 kg of air in the volume considered
The mass of the O2 is found knowing that the weight % of O2 at surface level is 23.139% .

[0.000245 x1020 kg] x 23.139/100 = 5.6691 x1015 kg O2
Mass of O2 in the volume above the city of Calgary
5.6691 x1015 kg O2 x 0.28869 x 10-3 % = 0.01637 trillion kg O2 in the city

Total O2 available that day: = 163 x 108 kg of O2

% of O2 burned that day with respect to the O2 available in the city of Calgary:

6.93/163 x 100% = 4.3 %

Heat created within the city that day

0.072 trillion kg CO2 equivalent x 43 megajoule/kg / 365 days = 8482 x 1012 joules

Expressing this result in other units:
= 8.0392 x 106 x 947.8 million Btus
= 8.04 x 1012 Btus
= 8.482 x 103 x 277,800 kilowatt-hours = 2.356 109 kilowatt-hours

Calgary is very fortunate to be so close to the Rocky Mountains. Most of the times weather systems blow away pollution created in the city. Calgary is also fortunate because forest in British Columbia replenish the air with a large quantity of O2 and absorbed also a large quantity of CO2. Calgarians dont realize that during a typical day they are creating:

a)    1.97 x 108 kg of CO2 equivalent was emitted
b)     6.93 x 108 kg of O2 was burned
c)    4.3% of the total O2 available that day was burned by people in the city
d)    during the day the heat created by the process of burning fossil fuels and the above amount of O2 can be expressed in different units: 8482 trillion joules, 8.04 trillion Btus, 2.4 billion kilowatt-hours.

Knowing the GHG CO2 emissions equivalent emitted by Calgarians that typical day and knowing the value of the sink for carbon (that is the CO2 absorbed by the mature forest considered above) of a typical forest the same size as Calgary, it is possible to calculate the ratio of emissions over sink:

1.97 x 108 kg / 118 kg = 1.67 x 106

There are 1.67 x 106 more times of CO2 emitted by Calgarians that day than absorbed by the mature forest of the same size.

Calgary health impacts of CO2 GHG emissions and of burning O2 on the health of communities east of Calgary and Alberta

Weather systems travel eastward and carry with them pollution and heat given up by Calgarians that day. And every day of the year! Perhaps now is time to ask Harvard researchers and other health researchers all of the world to tell us what statistical data have shown over the past decades as they relate to the health of people. Dont forget the lack of O2 in your analysis.

How many trees should Calgarians plant to:

1. pay back the Oxygen burned in their city by the burning of fossil fuels, and
2. absorb the amount of CO2 they have created by burning fossil fuels

Knowing that at the Montmorency Forest site, tree photosynthesis allows 1 kg of carbon/m² to enter the ecosystem (in the form of atmospheric CO2) each year(2.7397 x 10-3 kg of carbon/m2/day) (most of this CO2 is re-emitted by respiration), the number of mature trees needed to absorb the pollution from Calgarians that day can be calculated:

721,730,000 x 1,670,000     =    1 x 1015 trees

Climate change responsibility and accountability

Calgarians are getting the best air in the world from the forests of British Columbia. They are also releasing large amounts of pollution into the air and decreasing the Oxygen contents of the air. Communities east of Alberta are getting this polluted air with less Oxygen. This situation is not sustainable locally and globally. Albertans ought to be made responsible and accountable for their reckless lifestyle.

There are two fundamental types of response to the risks of climate change:

1. reducing the rate and magnitudes of change through mitigating the causes, and

2. reducing the harmful consequences through anticipatory adaptation.

Mitigating the causes of global warming implies limiting the rates and magnitudes of increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, either by reducing emissions or by increasing sinks for atmospheric CO2. We know that stabilizing emissions of greenhouse gases will not stabilize concentrations. While slowing the rate of increase in atmospheric concentrations, such actions will still likely lead to a doubled CO2-type environment within this century. Considering the residence time of various greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, a reduction of 10% in methane emissions would be required to stabilize methane concentrations, reductions in excess of 50% would be required to stabilize CO2 and N2O emissions, and virtual elimination of emissions would be needed to stabilize concentrations of very long-lived gases such as fully fluorinated compounds.

Scientists will also need to become more involved in assessing the viability of response options aimed at storing excess carbon in terrestrial or ocean systems. Land use changes from agricultural to forest ecosystems can help to remove carbon from the atmosphere at rates of 2 to 20 tonnes of carbon per hectare per year for periods of 50 years or more, until a new ecosystem equilibrium is reached. Similarly, soil conservation practices can help build up carbon reservoirs in forest and agricultural soils.

Proposals to extract CO2 from smoke stacks and dispose of it in liquid form in underground reservoirs or deep oceans also need careful evaluation in terms of long-term feedbacks, effectiveness and environmental acceptability. However, much remains to be learned about the biological and physical processes by which terrestrial and ocean systems can act as sinks and permanent reservoirs for carbon.

The Global Community has created a global ministry to help humanity be prepared to fight the harmful consequences of a global warming through anticipatory adaptation. The global ministries on climate change and emergencies have now been developed and are operating.

The ministries have developed:

1. policy response to the consequences of the global warming, and

2. strategies to adapt to the consequences of the unavoidable climate change.

It is a priority for businesses to apply for one ECO, your Certified Corporate Global Community Citizenship (CCGCC), a unique way to show the world your ways of doing business are best for the Global Community. You can obtain the citizenship after accepting the Criteria of the Global Community Citizenship and following an assessment of your business.The process shown here is now standardized to all applicants. You are then asked to operate your business as per the values of the citizenship.

As a business, a government, an NGO, or a group of well-intentioned persons, you have to make economic decisions into your operations and products, and you may:

a) be corporate shareholders in good standing
b) be a socially responsible investor
c) have taken the challenge of a more integrated approach to corporate responsibility by placing environmental and community-based objectives and measures onto the decision-making table alongside with the strategic business planning and operational factors that impact your bottom-line results
d) provide not only competitive return to your shareholders but you also operate your business in light of environmental and social contributions, and you have understood the interdependence between financial performance, environmental performance and commitment to the community
e) have taken a full life-cycle approach to integrate and balance environmental and economic decisions for major projects
f) have an active Environmental, Health and Safety Committee and integrated codes of conduct, policies, standards and operating procedures to reflect your corporate responsibility management
g) have scored high on categories such as:

* environmental performance
* product safety
* business practices
* commitment to the community
* employee relations and diversity
* corporate governance
* share performance
* global corporate responsibility
* health, safety and security
* audits and inspections
* emergency preparedness
* corporate global ethical values
* standards of honesty, integrity and ethical behaviour
* in line with the Scale of Human and Earth Rights and the Charter of Earth Community

h) support a balance and responsible approach that promotes action on the issue of climate change as well as all other issues related to the global life-support systems:
* global warming
* Ozone layer
* wastes of all kind including nuclear and release of radiation
* climate change
* species of the fauna and flora becoming extinct
* losses of forest cover and of biological diversity
* the capacity for photosynthesis
* the water cycle
* food production systems
* genetic resources
* chemicals produced for human use and not found in nature and, eventually, reaching the environment with impacts on Earth's waters, soils, air, and ecology

Now is time to reach a higher level of protection to life on Earth. We all need this for the survival of our species. We can help you integrate and balance global life-support systems protection, global community participation, and economic decisions into your operations and products.

Acceptance of the Scale of Human and Earth Rights. To determine rights requires an understanding of needs and responsibilities and their importance. The Scale of Human and Earth Rights and the Charter of the Global Community were researched and developed by the Earth Community Organization (ECO) to guide us in continuing this process. The Scale shows social values in order of importance and so will help us understand the rights and responsibilities of global communities.

Scale of Human and Earth Rights

* Ecological rights and the protection of the global life-support systems

* Primordial human rights

* The ecological rights, the protection of the global life-support systems and the primordial human rights of future generations

* Community rights and the right that the greatest number of people has by virtue of its number (50% plus one) and after voting representatives democratically

* Economic rights (business and consumer rights, and their responsibilities and accountabilities) and social rights (civil and political rights)

* Cultural rights and religious rights

The Global Community can contribute in evaluating options and strategies for adapting to climate change as it occurs, and in identifying human activities that are even now maladapted to climate. For example, identification of tree species that can grow well under current as well as projected future climates will help develop reforestation programs that are less vulnerable to both climate variability and change. Genetically improved species can be developed to replace the weakess species. Assessment of the role of agricultural subsidies and disaster relief programs in actually encouraging farmers to cultivate lands which are highly susceptible to droughts or floods can improve the adaptability of the agricultural sector. Alternatively, developing socio-economic activities that can thrive under anticipated climate changes can help realize some of the benefits of climate change. Collectively, such actions will help reduce human

vulnerability to climate change, and hence raise the threshold at which such change becomes dangerous. We need to improve on our ability to:

* predict future anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. While demographic, technological and economic factors are in many respects inherently speculative, better observations and understanding of the processes by which human activities directly or indirectly contribute to emissions are clearly required. These in particular include emissions from deforestation and agricultural activities.
* obtain more data on the effect of human emissions on atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. Not only do we need to reduce the uncertainties about past and current sinks for emitted greenhouse gases, but we need to better understand and quantify the long term feedbacks such as CO2 fertilization and physical and biological response to climate change if we expect to improve our confidence in projections of future concentrations.
* measure direct and indirect effects of radiative forcing of greenhouse gases and aerosols.
* measure climate sensitivity to changes in radiative forcing.
* measure the response to climate change of biological and physical processes with the terrestrial and ocean systems. * obtain an early detection of the signal of human interference with the climate system against the change caused by natural forces or internal system noise is important in fostering timely and responsible coping actions.
* develop actions to limit emissions of greenhouse gases and prepare to adapt to climate change.
* live with the facts that climate change is unavoidable, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are already signficantly higher than pre-industrial levels, and that aggressive efforts to reduce their anthropogenic emission sources would only slow down the growth in their concentrations, not stop it. Therefore, policy response to this issue must also include strategies to adapt to the consequences of unavoidable climate change.

There are important results obtain from research done so far:

* the model equilibrium responses of average surface temperatures to a doubling of CO2 consistently lies between 1.5 and 4.5°C, and clearly exclude zero change;
* the rate of average global warming due to increasing greenhouse concentrations anticipated over the century is in the range of 0.2 to 0.5°C per decade. Inclusion of effects of increases in aerosols may reduce this by 0.1°C/decade;
* land areas warm more than oceans, and high northern latitudes more than equatorial regions. Greatest warming is in high northern latitudes in winter.
* precipitation and soil moisture increases in high latitudes in winter. Most models also project dryer summer soil conditions in interior continental regions of northern mid-latitudes;
* global sea levels are expected to rise about 2 to 8 cm/decade for the next several centuries, in response to melting land ice and increasing ocean temperatures. Such rises threaten many island states and low lying coastal areas around the world with inundation. For example, a one-meter sea level rise would displace millions of people in countries such as Bangladesh, and would affect 15% of agricultural lands in Egypt.
* margins of many terrestrial ecosystems will experience increasing stress as ambient regional climates become mismatched with those required for healthy growth of species within. While most species can migrate in response to slow climate change, paleo studies suggest than rates of change in excess of 0.1°C/decade are almost certainly too rapid to avoid disruption. Species in mountainous terrain also have absolute limits in vertical migration potential, with high elevation species threatened with extinction as climate warming eliminates their climatic ecozones. Increased vulnerability to insect and disease infestation adds to such stresses.

There are approaches to limit and regulate the pollution emissions of industrial activities. These are standards, taxes and pollution permits. The choice among these alternatives depends on the administrative structure of a nation.

In an urban community site, air usually contains materials such as nitric oxide, sulfur oxide, carbon monoxide, aldehydes, dust and many others.

A city would have a department measuring indicators and indices in order to:

a) Provide a daily report to the public

b) Define air pollution in terms of the amount of pollution created by polluters

c) Define air quality in all parts of the city

d) Measure progress toward air quality goals

e) Propose abatement steps

f) Alarm the public in case of danger

g) Provide data to researchers

h) Provide information for compliance

i) Make intelligent decisions with regard to priorities of programs toward environmental improvement

The Earth Community makes the following recommendations to alleviate the effects of climate change in the world:

* Introduction of appropriate sustainable agricultural system with balanced use of chemical fertilizers incorporated organic minerals and green manure's.

* Phase wise replacement of chemical fertilizer by organic fertilizer. Similarly biodegradable insecticide should be replace by the non-biodegradable insecticides.

* The entrepreneur should take proper mitigation measures of industrial pollution by set-up of industrial waste treatment plant.

* Control of insect, pests through biological, natural process, alternatives of using harmful insecticides or fungicides is important to introduce.

* Promotion of research activities in the field of industrial waste utilization and waste recovery process.

* Re-utilization of agricultural residues through bio-conservation to industrial products.

* Need proper implementation of Environmental Policy, Environment Conservation Act’s and Legislation.

* Enhancement of the capacity of NGOs, Govt. agencies to successfully implement poverty alleviation program including non-formal education on environmental pollution awareness.

* Immediate and honest actions by the USA, Russia, Japan and Canada, and all countries in resolving the problems creating the greenhouse gases. The ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and the implementation of measurable positive actions to resolve the problems of global warming.

* The support of the Climate Change Ministry.

The province of British Columbia should introduce measures in the following areas to reduce GHG emissions.

Government leadership – set aggressive GHG reduction targets for provincial facilities and vehicle fleets, enforce standards for major building projects;

Urban land use – use tax shifting to discourage sprawl and favour more compact, transit-oriented communities; develop a policy to promote shared energy systems; and work with municipalities to provide incentives and tools for encouraging GHG reduction targets in official community plans and regional strategies by 2005;

Transportation – implement increased funding of transit and strategic road improvements, California-style vehicle emission standards for cars, higher emission standards for light to heavy duty trucks, and incentives to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles and lower GHG fuels;

Buildings – establish phased-in energy performance standards, with a revolving fund for energy efficiency upgrades, provincial tax relief for the purchase of sustain-able products and equipment, and other supporting policies;

Electricity – adopt a GHG emission standard and offset requirement for thermal power generation that is coordinated with the federal government and builds on the province’s current energy efficiency and clean energy objectives;

Natural gas – develop an efficient and harmonized regulatory, fiscal, and land access framework to facilitate expansion of natural gas production consistent with sustainability; and tax or other incentives to reduce fugitive emissions and to promote acid gas reinjection into depleted reservoirs for disposing of CO2 emissions;

Fuel cells – prepare a strategic plan to grow BC’s world leading fuel cell cluster; make a long-term provincial commitment to the hydrogen economy; and ensure active government participation in private and public sector fuel cell demonstrations;

Forest products – establish incentives to encourage energy from biomass; targets and support for afforestation and reforestation projects; and policies to prevent deforestation (all consistent with international carbon accounting protocols); and

Aluminum (and other sectors) – negotiate voluntary binding agreements for GHG emission reduction with the aluminum smelting and other industry sectors that are harmonized with federal initiatives.

For More Information Contact:
Germain Dufour
Project Officer
Global Dialogue 2004
Global Community WebNet Ltd.
186 Bowlsby Street, Nanaimo, BC, Canada V9R 5K1
Tel: (250)- 754-0778

Internet: gdufour@globalcommunitywebnet.com


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