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Hard Choices

Climate Change in Canada

Edited by Andrew J. Weaver & Harold Coward
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Paperback : 9780889204423, 282 pages, June 2004
Ebook (PDF) : 9781554580811, 282 pages, January 2006

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Hard Choices: Climage Change in Canada, edited by Harold Coward and Andrew J. Weaver
1. Introduction | Jan Zwicky
Part I What’s [Going to] Happen[ing]?
2. The Science of Climate Change | Andrew J. Weaver
3. The Human Challenges of Climate Change | Steve Lonergan
4. Impacts of Climate Change in Canada | James P. Bruce and Stewart J. Cohen
Part II What Can We Do?
5. Terrestial Carbon Sinks and Climate Change Mitigation | Nigel J. Livingston and G. Cornelis van Kooten
6. Technology and Climate Change | Gerard F. McLean and Murray Love
7. Economic Aspects of Climate Change | G. Cornelis van Kooten
8. Regional Adaptation Strategies | Stewart Cohen, Brad Bass, David Etkin, Brenda Jones, Jacinthe Lacroix, Brian Mills, Daniel Scott, and G. Cornelis van Kooten
9. Legal Constraints and Opportunities: Climate Change and the Law | Alastair R. Lucas
Part III Hard Choices
10. A Canadian Policy Chronicle | James P. Bruce and Doug Russell
11. Beyond Kyoto? | Gordon S. Smith and David G. Victor
12. What Can Individuals Do? | Harold Coward
13. Concluding Remarks | Andrew J. Weaver
About the Authors
Brad Bass has been a member of Environment Canada’s Adaptation and Impacts Research Group (AIR) since 1994. His research interests broadly include complexity, using ecological technologies to adapt to climate change and the impacts of climate change on the energy sector. More specifically, he is developing the cobweb software to explore how a system of individual agents adapts to change and the emergence of different attractors in a complex system. He has been the Environment Canada lead for Green Roofs, collaborating with many other partners on research projects related to energy efficiency, the urban heat island, and stormwater runoff. Currently, he is working with other faculty at the University of Toronto to assess how green roofs and other components of the urban forest can be integrated with other measures to reduce energy consumption at a neighbourhood scale. In collaboration with partners at the University of Regina, he has examined the impact of climate change on the energy sector in the Toronto-Niagara Region and has developed a regional-scale energy model for this type of analysis.
James P. Bruce, OC, FRSC—Jim Bruce is a senior associate of Global Change Strategies International, Inc., and Canadian policy representative of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. His more than 40-year career has been in the fields of meteorology, climate, water resources, disaster mitigation, and environment as research scientist, and later in senior executive positions within the Canadian government and UN organizations. From 1986 to 1989, he was director of technical cooperation and acting deputy secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, Geneva. In the 1990s, he completed terms as co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III on Economics, and as chair of the Canadian Climate Program Board and chair of the UNs Scientific and Technical Committee for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. He is now vice-chair of the Board of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. He has been made an Officer of the Order of Canada and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Waterloo and McMaster University. Recent awards include the Massey Medal of the Canadian Geographical Society and the IMO Prize of the World Meteorological Organization for “exceptional world-wide contributions in meteorology and hydrology.”
Stewart J. Cohen is a scientist with the Adaptation and Impacts Research Group, Meteorological Service of Canada of Environment Canada, and an adjunct professor with the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois in 1981. He works primarily on the regional impacts of climate and climate change, and has organized case studies throughout Canada, including the 1990–1997 Mackenzie Basin Impact Study, published by Environment Canada (1997). He was a lead author of the chapter on North America in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report volume Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (2001). He currently serves on the editorial boards of Climatic Change and Integrated Assessment (formerly Environmental Modelling and Assessment), and is serving as science director of the British Columbia node of the Canadian-Climate Impacts and Adaptation Research Network (C-CAIRN BC).
Harold Coward is past director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society and professor of history at the University of Victoria. He received his PhD from McMaster University. His main fields are comparative religion and environmental ethics. He has served as an executive member of the board of the Canadian Global Change Program. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has been the recipient of numerous research grants from sshrc and the Ford Foundation. He has been a visiting Fellow at Banaras Hindu University and the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh University. He has written 65 articles and is author/editor of 36 books, including: Hindu Ethics (1988); The Philosophy of the Grammarians (1990); Derrida and Indian Philosophy (1990); Ethics and Climate Change: The Greenhouse Effect (1993); Population, Consumption and the Environment (1995); Visions of a New Earth (2000); and Just Fish: Ethics and Canadian Marine Fisheries (2000).
David Etkin has been with Environment Canada since 1977. During his career, he has been a weather forecaster in Nova Scotia and Ontario, taught meteorology to new forecasters, and done applied research in the Arctic and Industrial Climatology Divisions of the Canadian Climate Centre. In 1993 he joined the Adaptation and Impacts Research Group of the Meteorological Service of Canada, specializing in the interdisciplinary study of natural hazards and disasters. Since 1996 he has worked at the University of Toronto, with the Institute for Environmental Studies. He has contributed to several national and international natural hazard projects, including the 2nd US national assessment, and is currently pi of the Canadian National Assessment of Natural Hazards. He has authored 21 peer-reviewed publications, 27 reports, and edited one book on natural hazard related issues.
Brenda Jones is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at the University of Waterloo (UW). She has worked as a research associate for the Adaptation and Impacts Research Group since 2000 at their UW location. Her research interests include hazards and the spatial representation and analysis of vulnerability in the urban context.
Jacinthe Lacroix works as a natural hazards specialist at the Public Safety Branch of the Quebec Ministry of Public Security, where she conducts impact studies on meteorological and hydrological hazards and on climate change impacts and adaptation. She is currently working on a PhD in hydroclimatology, on the subject of “Climate Change and Floods in Southern Quebec.” She is president of the Quebec Climatology Association (ACLIQ).
Nigel Livingston is the director of the Centre for Forest Biology and a professor in the Department of Biology, University of Victoria. He received his PhD from the University of British Columbia in 1986. His research expertise covers whole plant physiology, micrometeorology, and environmental instrumentation. His research focuses on the physical and biological interaction between plants and the atmosphere with an emphasis on the mechanisms that determine carbon uptake and water loss by conifers. He serves on or has served on a number of national and international committees, including the International Standards Organization and the Expert Committee on the Regulations Relating to Genetically Modified Trees.
Steve Lonergan is a professor in the Department of Geography, University of Victoria. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981. He works on issues of environment and security, water in the Middle East, and the consequences of climate change. He is the author of Watershed: The Role of Water in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (with D. Brooks, 1994). He is also editor of the policy briefing series Aviso and is past director of the Global Environmental Change and Human Security project (GECHS) for the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change.
Murray Love is a research associate at the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems, specializing in computer modeling of renewable energy systems. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Victoria. His research focuses on the technological, economic, and political implications of society’s choices of energy technologies, and he aims to shed light on some less well-understood aspects of renewable energy systems, such as their land area and energy storage requirements. He hopes that his findings will enable citizens to make informed decisions about the future of our energy system.
Alastair Lucas, QC, is chair of Natural Resources Law and adjunct professor of environmental science at the University of Calgary and director of the University of Calgary—Latin American Energy Organization Energy and Environmental Law Project. He received an LLB from the University of Alberta in 1966 and an LLM from the University of British Columbia in 1967. His research is in domestic and international energy and environmental law. He is co-editor of Butterworths’ Canadian Environmental Law, and Emond-Montgomery’s Environmental Law and Policy, co-author of Oil and Gas Law in Canada, and author of various articles on energy, environment, and natural resources law. He is a legal advisor to the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation.
Gerard F. McLean is the past director of the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems and associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Victoria. He received his bachelors, masters and PhD degrees from the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, has worked in the oil and gas industry, and has been involved in start-up ventures to commercialize novel data acquisition systems. He has a broad background in engineering design with applications including bicycle components and testing, embedded systems for structural monitoring, machine vision, automated photogrammetry, and assistive devices for people with disabilities. He has extensive background in PEM fuel-cell systems design, with numerous inventions in stack topology, manufacturing, and manifolding. He is committed to discovering feasible paths to sustainable energy through the development of new technologies and policy tools, and is committed to public education and awareness of energy issues. His current research focuses on micro-structured fuel cells and historical energy patterns.
Brian Mills is an applied climatologist with the Adaptation and Impacts Research Group, Meteorological Service of Environment Canada, based at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo. Brian's research is presently focused on understanding the sensitivity and adaptability of road transportation and urban water management practices to weather and climate.
Doug Russell is the president of Global Change Strategies International Co. He has over 25 years experience in the public and private sectors dealing with international and domestic policy development related to broad-scale environmental issues. His recent work includes a corporate climate change strategy for the Shell Group of companies; a 2001 study for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change on how multinational corporations are setting greenhouse gas reduction targets; a study on issues arising from the establishment of a North American system for emissions trading; and experience with capacity-building initiatives related to climate change in the Caribbean, Argentina, Nigeria, and China. He has also developed and delivered numerous presentations and briefings on the Kyoto Protocol and the emergence of carbon emissions as a commodity. Clients have ranged from large corporations to developed and developing country governments to environmental non-government organizations. Prior to moving to the private sector, Mr. Russell co-headed Canadas negotiating delegation to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Daniel Scott is an assistant professor in geography at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo. Dr. Scott is the author of over 30 publications related to climate change impacts and adaptation, focusing on Canada’s national parks and the tourism industry. He was a contributing author to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report, and is a co-chair of the International Society of Biometeorology—Commission on Climate Tourism and Recreation.
Gordon Smith is director of the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria. He has a PhD in political science from MIT. His last position in the Canadian government was as deputy minister of Foreign Affairs and the prime minister’s personal representative for the G7 and G8 Summits. He has also occupied a number of other senior positions at the deputy minister and ambassadorial level. One of his initiatives in Ottawa was the creation of a Global Issues Bureau in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He is chairman of the International Development Research Centre (idrc) as well as being chairman of the International Network on Bamboo and Rattan (inbar). He is also director of the Canadian Global Change Program, he chairs the board of the Canadian Institute for Climate Studies, and he is a senior adviser to the rector of UPEACE.
G. Cornelis van Kooten is currently the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Studies and Climate Change at the University of Victoria. Before that he was professor of Natural Resource Economics at the University of Nevada at Reno and a professor in the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. He also holds a part-time appointment in the Department of Social Sciences at Wageningen University. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and seven books, including The Economics of Nature (Blackwell, 2000) with Erwin Bulte. Much of his research has focused on forestry, agriculture, and climate change.
David G. Victor is an adjunct senior Fellow of the Council of Foreign Relations. He is an expert on the effects of science and technology on foreign affairs. He has served as senior Fellow and director on the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University; Robert W. Johnson, Jr., Fellow for Science and Technology, Council on Foreign Relations; research scholar with the Project on “Environmentally Compatible Energy Strategies” with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis; and co-leader of the Project on Implementation and Effectiveness of International Environmental Commitments. His PhD is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Andrew J. Weaver is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Atmospheric Science in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria. He joined UVic in 1992, having spent three years as a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) University Research Fellow in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at McGill University. He has written over 120 peer-reviewed papers in climate, meteorology, oceanography, earth science, policy, and education journals. He was involved as a lead author in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) second and third scientific assessments of climate change, and is involved in the planning of the IPCC fourth scientific assessment to appear in 2007. He presently serves on the United Nations World Climate Research Program Working Group on Coupled Modelling and the United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Climate Research Committee, as well as the nas Panel on Climate Feedbacks. He has served on numerous other national and international committees over the last decade and is an editor of the Journal of Climate. In 1997, he was awarded the NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship; in 2001 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; and in 2002, he received a Killam Research Fellowship and a CIAR Young Explorers award as one of the top 20 scientists in Canada under the age of 40, and he was selected as one of the 25 Power Thinkers in British Columbia by BC Business Magazine. In 2003 he was selected as one of the top five Canadian Scientists by Time Magazine Canada.
Jan Zwicky is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Victoria. She received her PhD from the University of Toronto in 1981, and has taught at a number of North American universities since then. Her areas of philosophic interest include metaphilosophy, environmental philosophy, and early Greek philosophy. Wisdom & Metaphor (2003) is concerned primarily with metaphysical questions and the importance of metaphorical insight to the practice of philosophy. A recent collection of poetry, Songs for Relinquishing the Earth, won the Governor General’s Award for poetry in 1999.


Drought, floods, hurricanes, forest fires, ice storms, blackouts, dwindling fish stocks...what Canadian has not experienced one of these or more, or heard about the “greenhouse” effect, and not wondered what is happening to our climate? Yet most of us have a poor understanding of this extremely important issue, and need better, reliable scientific information. Hard Choices: Climate Change in Canada delivers some hard facts to help us make some of those hard choices.
This new collection of essays by leading Canadian scientists, engineers, social scientists, and humanists offers an overview and assessment of climate change and its impacts on Canada from physical, social, technological, economic, political, and ethical / religious perspectives. Interpreting and summarizing the large and complex literatures from each of these disciplines, the book offers a multidisciplinary approach to the challenges we face in Canada. Special attention is given to Canada’s response to the Kyoto Protocol, as well as an assessment of the overall adequacy of Kyoto as a response to the global challenge of climate change.
Hard Choices fills a gap in available books which provide readers with reliable information on climate change and its impacts that are specific to Canada. While written for the general reader, it is also well suited for use as an undergraduate text in environmental studies courses.


Hard Choices goes beyond the usual books on climate change in its presentation of all the issues with a focus on choices, so people can understand and take personal action....It is written to make a difference and it will.

- Gordon McBean, University of Western Ontario, former Assistant Deputy Minister, Environment Canada and lead scientist on Kyoto delegation

Hard Choices cuts through the disinformation promulgated about climate change by certain vested interests in order to produce a clear explanation of the nature of the problem and our options to respond to it. If you are seeking a book that will help you to understand the nature and implications of the climage change debate, then selecting this volume will not be a hard choice, but a good choice.

- Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

Hard Choices cuts through the disinformation promulgated about climate change by certain vested interests in order to produce a clear explanation of the nature of the problem and our options to respond to it. If you are seeking a book that will help you to understand the nature and implications of the climage change debate, then selecting this volume will not be a hard choice, but a good choice.

- Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

What is actually happening to the climate, and why.

- Globe and Mail, June 26, 2004, 2004 September