Posted by Tim Stobbs on July 24, 2007
Global Warming is generally agreed by most people to have some serious implications to everyone’s lives. Often experts explain things like more severe weather and shifting rainfall patterns (for example see the latest from Environment Canada).
Perhaps this is the wrong approach after all I can’t really understand things unless you talk in terms I can relate to. For example, why can’t they take the information and hand it off to an economist and have them come up with some changes your personal spending. Now that is something I could relate too.
For example, if we take Environment Canada’s rainfall map and do a little creative thinking about Canada’s crops you are forced into some interesting conclusions. Like yes likely we will get a longer growing season overall with more rain, but not where we need it most ( the southern prairies). Instead that is going to dry out and we can kiss goodbye some great farm land. Which will force farming towards the north with poorer soil and more natural lakes and rivers which could flood with increased rain. So overall we would lose farmland. That would result in reduced wheat and canola yields which would be further reduced to do severe weather which could destroy crops in various areas. Overall your baking is going to cost more and your cooking oil is likely to cost more. If you add in the severe weather factor then the price is likely to be significantly more unstable as it will be hard to tell if you have a good crop until you can get it off the field and sold before bad weather strikes.
So imagine they did that for not just Canada, but the world? How expensive would your coffee get if growing conditions change in South America? How often would go to your timeshare if the warm island you knew was now a barren desert? Could you afford flood insurance in Canada if it happened more frequently everywhere?
For me that would be useful climate data and likely get a much better response from the general public that just rainfall patterns.