17 June 2008
London City Council
Subject: Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
I would like to provide the following comments in the context of the Drive-thru debate in the City of London. Unfortunately, I am unable to be there to make these comments in person
I have been a climate scientist for over 30 years and have held faculty and senior governmental positions related to this topic.
I am pleased that the City of London has a Mayor’s Sustainable Energy Council, of which I am a member, and recently approved a $1.3-million study of London’s climate change strategy. These demonstrate the concern and commitment of the City for the issue of climate change.
Climate science has demonstrated that the climate is changing and will continue to change over the rest of this century due to greenhouse gas emission from human activities – primarily the use of fossil fuels. The magnitude of the change by mid-to-late century depends on total anthropogenic emissions. New scientific information is demonstrating that dramatic reductions in emissions are needed to avoid dangerous climatic change.
One of the major contributors to Canada’s greenhouse gas emission total is road transportation.
I urge the City of London to consider and to take action on all ways of reducing emissions as part of national and global efforts to combat climate change. This will also have the additional benefit of reducing urban smog which affects the health of Londoners and all Ontarians.
Gordon McBean, Ph.D., FRSC
Professor of Geography and Political Science
Director of Policy Studies, The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction
The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada