Quebec and China’s Carbon Footprint Concerns

by gregpdesrosiers on February 17, 2014 - 1:53pm

This article discusses about the carbon footprint us humans leave in the environment that surrounds us. As such, I will be discussing the phenomenon from three different perspectives: two from two different news articles, one from Quebec and one from British Columbia, and one perspective from a research magazine. I will finally conclude this discussion with an academic discipline and explain why this perspective is related to the subject matter discussed here.

According to Christopher Curtis’ “Quebecers’ carbon footprint too high: activists; But it’s still half the national average,” published in The Gazette on September 28, 2013, regardless of Quebec’s strong contribution to environmental support, there is still a growing concern for how much pollution it generates. It says that even with Montreal’s strong public transit system and electricity generation from hydroelectric dams, the province may not reach their environmental goal, which is reducing emissions by 25% by 2020. As Montreal is having a suburban sprawl in surrounding boroughs like Longueuil, there is a rise in cars than having to use public transit more often; as a result, emissions will increase if the province has to increase oil production. In addition, recently from CTV Montreal, Premier Pauline Marois and the Parti Québecois announced to proceed with oil exploration on Anticosti Island.

Additionally, Peter Foster’s “China’s carbon footprint near world’s biggest; Rapid development, boom in heavy industry contribute to boost in per-capita emissions,” published in The Vancouver Sun on September 28, 2011, discusses on how China’s hike in carbon-intensive industries from the 2008 global recession has made a drastic increase in emissions than was predicted. The extreme increase in pollution is the result of its rapid economic development.  It does have sources of renewable energy generation, but it is not enough to overcome the necessary carbon-based industries China needs to build its capita. The pollution generated to China is somewhat compared to other nations, with the expectation of becoming the world’s largest greenhouse gas producer by 2017.


The two articles discussed are related to one another on the basis that both deal with climate change and the growing concern for future disasters and other negative consequences to take place from environmental damage alone. Furthermore, the academic journal “Ignoring the Elephant in the Room: The Carbon Footprint of Climate Change Research” by Ryan K. Brook, published in the Arctic magazine in June 2009, discusses about the carbon footprint in extreme detail. It even explains how a carbon footprint is made in researching climate change alone. After learning the extreme numbers of how much pollution has been generated from the transport needed to conduct the research, the author decides to approach climate change with information gathered from his colleagues, and other resources including the official website for the Copenhagen Climate Council. In addition, the author addresses why “climate change is really only an environmental issue, not a social problem.”

                The academic discipline explained here is mostly environmental sciences. The news can also relate to other disciplines as well, including transportation, natural resource management, sustainability studies, economy, environmental chemistry, environmental economics, wildlife management, petroleum engineering, and industrial engineering. That’s because the issue to be dealt with here, based on the articles and academic journal, not only has to do with pollution, but also the implications of increasing pollution on the weather, environmental toxicity, and how it affects us as a whole society. In fact, from my understanding of a National Geographic documentary on Hurricane Katrina as well as the film An Inconvenient Truth, it’s the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere that triggered the natural disaster. Other kinds of human actions are adding to the carbon footprint as well: deforestation, water pollution, fossil fuel burning for energy, using up the natural resources available, exhaust of fumes, and both direct and indirect actions of animals.

                Overall, I think this should be a fully adequate situation that we must bring awareness to in order to plan out multiple actions to lessen the consequences of the carbon footprint. But how we can do it lies within the limitations of what else we can do to keep consumerism and energy for future generations. Essentially, very important measures shall be put in place and thus the planet can sustain more people than having to suffer. Until we have a chance to perform interplanetary or intergalactic travel (not relevant to the issue, but something to consider for alternative human civilizations), we are stuck here with a growing concern for the environment.

Comments

This is a very important topic. There is much that needs to be done in order to start protecting the environment. I think this area of business is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to look into because the potential to make a lot of money and be successful is there because our society needs to start changing.

About the author

English college student in Computer Science and Mathematics.