After declining in 2016, CO2 emissions went back up in 2017. According to estimates from the Global Carbon Project, emissions increased by almost 600 million tonnes, ending up at 41.47 billion tonnes. Emissions had actually decreased in 2016 after flattening out over the last few years, bringing hope that we had finally reached peak carbon pollution, but it was not to be. Still, emissions have only edged up slightly in five years, so there is hope that the curve will finally start to bend downwards. Just as the curve had flattened mostly because of decreasing coal use in China, the Middle Kingdom was also responsible for the increase, with emissions going up by 3.5%, including 3% growth in coal emissions. China has promised to peak its emissions before 2030, but not quite yet it seems. Let’s hope they do it soon.
There are good reasons to calculate our carbon budget. The carbon pie shows how much CO2 we’ve got to play with, how much we’ve used and how fast we’re using it. This isn’t a license to pollute, but a warning about how much we have already polluted. As long as we didn’t precisely know how much carbon we could emit, it was easier for those with responsibility to run away from it or push it ahead of them. The carbon pie should be a visceral reminder of how urgent the problem has become and it should compel governments to reflect on what they all need to do to avoid overshooting. The small remaining carbon space no longer allows anyone to continue with business-as-usual.
The most glorious ceiling in all of Toronto is — where else? — in a bank. Commerce Court was built in 1931 as the HQ for the Canadian Bank of Commerce, now CIBC.
For Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, the government commissioned a new tulip. The red is meant to look like a maple leaf, and you can kinda see it.
When the summer melting season ended in 2007, the icecap floating in the ocean over the North Pole had shrunk to its smallest size ever recorded. According to satellite data, the remaining summer sea ice measured almost forty per cent less than the average for the period of 1979 to 2000. More than one-and-a-half million square kilometres that had been covered with ice the year before was open ocean. The event was a serious confirmation that had been suspected for a while in the scientific community: that the Earth may be prone to abrupt climate change and tipping points. The new science of non-linear change is challenging our notions of what climate change is and when it will occur—and it is utterly alarming.
Niagara is one of a few places in Canada where it is possible to cultivate wine grapes. These grapes are still on the vine and either they’re soon to be harvested or they are destined for a late-harvest or an ice wine.
One of the many well-preserved old houses that lend historical Niagara-on-the-Lake its charm.
A tree in deep orange hues lean over the gates to this property in Queenston, Niagara-on-the-Lake
All the colours of fall reflect off the pond in Saint John’s Conservation Area in the Short Hills area of Niagara.
Green pastures in fall in the Short Hills area of Niagara.
Are you dizzy yet? Effect achieved by zooming in from 18mm to approx 100mm and pressing the shutter simultaneously. The shutter speed was 1/50s, at f/3.5 ISO 100.
Scattered clouds add interest to this sunset over Lake Ontario, seen from St Catharines.