Today's letters: Preserving the environment, nature, heritage (but not tax forms or time change)

By Sherry Nigro, Ray Pierce and Faith Schneider, Ottawa Citizen Letters to the Editor, April 27, 2019

A fee that will hurt the environment

Re: Tories may allow developers to pay fee in lieu of endangered species actions, April 19.

After a months-long public consultation, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment announced changes to the Endangered Species Act that reflect more input from land developers than from conservation experts. The changes create workarounds to circumvent existing environmental protection measures. My heart sinks: What will this look like locally?

Let’s say condo developers eye the million-dollar views of the Ottawa River from Petrie Island, an east-end recreation area currently owned by the city. The cash-strapped municipality could be tempted to sell the flood-prone wetlands, and a fee to the newly created Species at Risk Conservation Trust would absolve all parties from any responsibility for environmental harm.

(...)Ottawa climate change is serious

Re: Letter, Local skier sees no ‘climate emergency,’ April 20.

I don’t begrudge the letter-writer’s joy in the length of this past winter’s ski season. It was a big hit with my family as well. But I recommend he look past the tip of his skis in the off-season, at what decades of data collection and research are now telling us about Ottawa’s changing climate.

He might start at, “… an interactive tool for citizens, researchers, businesses, and community and political leaders to learn about climate change in Canada.” It contains details on climate projections for all of Canada’s metropolitan areas.

(...)Time is not on our side with climate change

Your “Letters of the Day” space last Saturday featured a photo of the crowd that turned out urging the City of Ottawa to declare a climate emergency. I was surprised to also see the letter from a reader who dismissed climate change because he so enjoyed skiing in all the snow this past winter.

A recent article in Scientific American speaks of climate change being about the long-term trends. The reality is the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Program to provide an objective source of scientific information to the nations of the world, has released its latest Assessment Report. It is categorical in its conclusion: Climate change is real and human activities are the main cause. Time is not on our side.

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