By Don Peat,City Hall Bureau Chief
First posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 09:48 PM EST | Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 10:59 PM EST
(TORONTO SUN FILES)
A report on the future of Toronto’s climate had the city’s parks committee hot and bothered Tuesday. Councillors on the committee unanimously accepted a consultant’s report on climate change that projected harsh weather conditions in the city between 2040 and 2049. The report highlighted the need for the city’s infrastructure to be prepared for more extreme weather events. Councillors approved a climate change working group and asked staff to develop a “climate change adaption toolkit” for city departments to use. “It is the fiscally responsible thing to do,” Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon told the committee. “Climate change is staring us right in the eyes.” Councillor Gord Perks stressed that city officials indicated “our climate will become untenable” and that “people will die.” “We are unprepared ... it is time we get right back to work on it,” he said. Although Councillor Norm Kelly, the parks committee chairman, voted to push ahead with the city’s efforts around climate change — he’s still skeptical whether the phenomenon is actually happening. “I wish the future could be as clear as the futurologists in all fields are suggesting whether it is social, political, economic, climate,” he told the committee. “Life is so complex that it is very difficult to get a handle on what may be coming our way but nonetheless I think this is an important contribution to debate at City Hall. It is worth looking into in detail.” Kelly said he has to be skeptical of climate change because it could lead to the city spending “billions and billions” on preparation. “I think a healthy skepticism is always important especially when you consider the fact that any wide-scale amendment to our infrastructure in the City of Toronto is going to cost billions and billions of dollars,” he said. “If you’re going to be spending big money, you better have approached it with a healthy, skeptical perspective.” Asked if he still believes global warming could be good for the city, Kelly said one climatologist told him it could give Toronto the same climate as Tennessee. “That ain’t bad,” Kelly said.
Report warns Toronto's infrastructure can't survive 'climate change'
By Simon Kent,Toronto Sun
First posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 04:44 PM EST | Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 08:44 PM EST
TORONTO - Here is the weather forecast for the next 24 hours. Tomorrow will be snowy in the GTA. Or not. That depends.
It will be cold or warm. Or not. That depends.
It will be icy or not icy, windy or not windy, sleety, drizzly, clearing or cloudy. Or not. That depends. Take your pick of one or all of the above. It all depends ... on the weather and just who you ask. Now, you wouldn’t plan your day around a forecast couched in such variables. You’d like a more accurate précis, not one based on forecasters looking out their window and wondering out loud: “Hey, what’s with the weather?” then building a scientific model to match their best guess. Herein lies the problem. Predicting what tomorrow will be like really IS mostly guesswork. Even the meteorological professionals acknowledge that — after all, they get it wrong so many times, they’re left with no choice. As for predicting what the global climate will be like next week, or in a year or a decade’s time, would anyone in all honesty build their life (much less an entire city’s future) around a forecast that claimed to see that far ahead? I didn’t think so.
Short of visiting a shaman, dissecting chicken innards or consulting a fortune teller, it’s just not possible or advisable. It’s also likely to have the same unimpeachable authority as any of those three sources. City Hall...