Prepare for climate change: climatologist

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David Phillips keynote speaker at Charlottetown water and wastewater conference this week

David Phillips, senior climatologist for Environment Canad, holds the 25th anniversary edition of the Canadian Weather Trivia calendar while in Charlottetown this week for the Atlantic Canada Water & Wastewater Association annual conference.

It is time for the general public to make sure government is planning for climate change, says David Phillips, climatologist with Environment Canada.

He was on P.E.I. this week as a keynote speaker at the Atlantic Canada Water & Wastewater Association 2012 annual conference underway at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown.

As an example, he said subdivision permits should now require planning for extreme rains and wind when issuing permits for sewer and water drainage.

The same can be said for new schools and hospitals, said Phillips. Can they stand up to tornado-force winds even here in Atlantic Canada, is a question that needs to be asked.

There may be disagreement about the cause of global warming but everyone agrees it’s happening, said Phillips.

“The insurance industry is absolutely convinced that what they are seeing is the result of climate change. Since 2000 they are paying out gobs of money because of severe weather and flooding issues. It is something that we have to convince at all levels, municipal, provincial, and federal governments that we have to invest in our infrastructure.

“It’s a responsibility of government to protect us from ourselves and to prepare us for the future,” said Phillips. “If the future is going to be warmer, wetter and wilder, than we need to be forward thinking about this.”

He uses the Confederation Bridge as an example, saying that it was designed one metre higher than was necessary at the time in the centre span to account for rising sea levels. “Just factor climate change in, as cost of infrastructure,” said Phillips.

“I’m hopeful about the future. Climate change is not the bogeyman people think it is.”

The problem is simply one of planning for more frequent extreme weather events.

“We build hospitals and design schools based on normal weather but the weather is no longer normal,” said Phillips. “We are getting these wild cards. That is where we should be concerned as Canadians and why we have to invest in climate change.

“Our motivation for doing something is not based on what we see,” said Phillips. “It’s based on what we are likely to see.

“It’s going to get more challenging before it gets easier. We need to look at it seriously and invest in it more.

“Let’s not be caught unawares,” said Phillips.

Organizations: Atlantic Canada Water Wastewater Association, Delta Prince Edward

Geographic location: Charlottetown, P.E.I., Atlantic Canada

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Recent comments

  • al gore
    October 17, 2012 - 09:27

    Science has never said it will happen, only might happen despite being at the brink of unstoppable warming. Not one single IPCC warning is without “maybes”. Help my planet is on fire maybe? If science just said it will happen, not just might happen, the former believer voting majority would return, maybe. Meanwhile, the entire world of SCIENCE, lazy copy and paste journalism and Liberal progressivism had allowed bank-funded and corporate-run “CARBON TRADING STOCK MARKETS”(ruled by trustworthy politicians) to trump the UN's and entire world's efforts into 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 26 years of insane attempts at climate CONTROL.

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      October 18, 2012 - 07:13

      I never thought these words would ever come out of my mouth but here goes: "I agree with Al Gore, that is, the Guardian commentator Al Gore listed here."

  • tim tonkin
    October 17, 2012 - 09:22

    When the heck was weather ever normal?

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    October 17, 2012 - 09:21

    He is another globalist. I ask him to watch 2 movies, "Why In The World Are They Spraying" and "What In The World Are They Spraying". He says "Just factor the cost in as part of the infrastructure" and I say tell them to stop spraying. If you don't know what I am talking about go and find out. Start with those 2 movies then investigate the Geo-engineering that is taking place on a global scale. The stuff that is going on is incredible and it is being done out in the open right in front of us and we do nothing. WHY?

    • Shellie Brown-e
      October 17, 2012 - 19:37

      $ $ $ - MONEY - Billy - $ $ $ - Money Bill Kays - $$$ Money.

  • Sentance
    October 17, 2012 - 09:14

    Given the stories we've heard over the past year or so about the tight leash our federal government has it's scientists on, one has to wonder if this is the scientist speaking or the government spinning. Certainly the notion that we had best get ready is a sound one as it seems there is no way anyone, least of all our government, is going to lift a finger to even try to stop climate change. The idea that it's "not the bogeyman people think it is" however seems wishful thinking at best, irresponsible spin at worst.