by Douglas Hunter

On March 13, 2007, a draft climate change bill was introduced in the British House of Commons that promised to make Britain the first country to set legally binding carbon reduction targets. The bill called for a 60 percent reduction by 2050, with specific targets to be determined every five years.

In Toronto, climate change is being blamed for a boom in stray cats. Lee Oliver, spokesperson for the Toronto Humane Society, told the Toronto Star, “We’ve been racking our brains – now we realize the spike in kittens and strays is because of the weather.” Warmer winter weather means pet owners are allowing their cats outdoors more often, which results in increased breeding. Université Laval and the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS ) announced the Canadian Carbon Program (CCP), a Canada-wide research network that will work to develop a carbon monitoring and prediction system for North America. A $4.4 million grant from CFCAS will fund the program for the next three years. The global consulting firm Emerging Energy Research (EER ) predicted that $1.8 billion will be invested in wind power in Canada by 2015, with Ontario and Quebec accounting for 60 percent of the growth of this market. EER said Canada has moved rapidly from obscurity to become “one of the world’s largest and fastest growing wind power markets.” The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and other sponsors announced Resilience 2008, “the first international high-level science conference on the concept of resilience – the capacity to deal with change and continue to develop.” Canada’s federal government announced funding for 44 scientific research projects as part of International Polar Year 2007-08. Among the projects given the green light in Ontario are Inuit use and occupancy of sea ice (Carleton University), the effect of climate change on landscape and water systems in the High Arctic (Queen’s University), permafrost conditions and climate change (University of Ottawa) and the PEAR L atmospheric research laboratory at Eureka, Nunavut (University of Toronto).