The Coming Water Scarcity

Press release by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research 

10/08/2013

More than 500 million people might face increasing water scarcity 

Both freshwater availability for many millions of people and the stability of ecosystems such as the Siberian tundra or Indian grasslands are put at risk by climate change. Even if global warming is limited to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, 500 million people could be subject to increased water scarcity – while this number would grow by a further 50 percent if greenhouse-gas emissions are not cut soon. At 5 degrees global warming almost all ice-free land might be affected by ecosystem change. This is shown by complementary studies now published by scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

“We managed to quantify a number of crucial impacts of climate change on the global land area,” says Dieter Gerten, lead-author of one of the studies. Mean global warming of 2 degrees, the target set by the international community, is projected to expose an additional 8 percent of humankind to new or increased water scarcity. 3.5 degrees – likely to occur if national emissions reductions remain at currently pledged levels – would affect 11 percent of the world population. 5 degrees could raise this even further to 13 percent.

“If population growth continues, by the end of our century under a business-as-usual scenario these figures would equate to well over one billion lives touched,” Gerten points out. “And this is on top of the more than one billion people already living in water-scarce regions today.” Parts of Asia and North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East are particularly vulnerable.

Even greater changes ahead for the green cover of our planet

For the green cover of our planet, even greater changes are in store. “The area at risk of ecosystem transformation is expected to double between global warming of about 3 and 4 degrees,” says Lila Warszawski, lead author of another study that systematically compared different impact models – and the associated uncertainties – in order to gain a fuller picture of the possible consequences of climate change for natural ecosystems. This is part of the international Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP).

A warming of 5 degrees, likely to happen in the next century if climate change goes on unabated, would put nearly all terrestrial natural ecosystems at risk of severe change. “So despite the uncertainties, the findings clearly demonstrate that there is a large difference in the risk of global ecosystem change under a scenario of no climate change mitigation compared to one of ambitious mitigation,” says Sebastian Ostberg, lead author of the third study.

The regions at risk under unabated global warming include the grasslands of Eastern India, shrublands of the Tibetan Plateau, the forests of Northern Canada, the savannas of Ethiopia and Somalia, and the Amazonian rainforest. Many of these are regions of rich and unique biodiversity.

The combined changes to both water availability and ecosystems turn out to be nonlinear. “Our findings support the assertion that we are fundamentally destabilizing our natural systems – we are leaving the world as we know it,” says Wolfgang Lucht, one of the authors and co-chair of PIK’s Research Domain of Earth System Analysis.

“This is not about ducks and daisies, but the very basis of life”

The studies use a novel methodological approach, introducing new measures of risk based on changes of vegetation structure and flows and stores of carbon and water. To this end, biosphere simulation models were used to compare hundreds of climate change scenarios and highlight which regions may first face critical impacts of climate change.

“The increase in water scarcity that we found will impact on the livelihoods of a huge number of people, with the global poor being the most vulnerable,” says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, one of the co-authors and director of PIK. This might get buffered to some extent through adaptation measures such as expanding of irrigated cropland. However, such an expansion would further increase the pressure on Earth’s ecosystems and water resources. “Now this is not a question of ducks and daisies, but of our unique natural heritage, the very basis of life. Therefore, greenhouse-gas emissions have to be reduced substantially, and soon.”

Article: Gerten, D., Lucht, W., Ostberg, S., Heinke, J., Kowarsch, M., Kreft, H., Kundzewicz, Z.W., Rastgooy, J., Warren, R., Schellnhuber, H.J. (2013): Asynchronous exposure to global warming: freshwater resources and terrestrial ecosystems. Environmental Research Letters, 8 [doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034032]

Weblink to article: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/3/034032/article

Article: Ostberg, S., Lucht, W., Schaphoff, S., Gerten, D. (2013): Critical impacts of global warming on land ecosystems. Earth System Dynamics, 4, 541-565, [doi:10.5194/esdd-4-541-2013]

Weblink to article: http://www.earth-syst-dynam.net/recent_papers.html

Article: Warszawski, L., Friend, A., Ostberg, S., Frieler, K., Lucht, W., Schaphoff, S., Beerling, D., Cadule, P., Ciais, P., Clark, D.B., Kahana, R., Ito, A., Keribin, R., Kleidon, A., Lomas, M., Nishina, K., Pavlick, R., Rademacher, T.T., Piontek, F., Schewe, J., Serdeczny, O., Buechner, M., Schellnhuber, H.J. (2013): A multi-model analysis of risk of ecosystem shifts under climate change. In: Environmental Research Letters (accepted)

For further information please contact:
PIK press office
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
E-Mail: press@pik-potsdam.de
Twitter: @PIK_Climate

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Comment on “The Coming Water Scarcity”

  1. “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”…Woody Allen

    Poor old Potsdam. They must have noticed the yawns and guffaws that greeted the latest IPCC report. The models have failed. A new panic attack was required. The rising of water levels and submerging of cities hasn’t panned out although if we keep building on flood plains, below sea levels and on reclaimed land it soon might. That won’t be Nature’s fault though will it?

    As for Canada’s northern forests, it is hard to determine which northern forests they refer to. Go too far and you’re on the Tundra and ice. Our Tundra is often referred to as ‘barren land’ as so much of it is lacking in trees though there seems to be an abundance of rock outcrops. They might be green and mossy during the short summers of continuous daylight but I am sure Potsdam was thinking further south for the “forests of northern Canada.” The long winters and arctic nights in our Tundra feature constantly blowing strong winds and winter blizzards. The soil conditions are generally wet resulting from permafrost and frost action. Plants in the Tundra unlike trees, grow near the ground. In fact, one would be hard pressed to call them trees at all. The Canadian Boreal Region, on the other hand, is a tract of land over 1,000 kilometers wide. It separates our Tundra in the real north from our more temperate rain forest and deciduous woodlands found in the more southerly and westerly parts of Canada, literally coast to coast. This must be “the forests of Northern Canada” Potsdam refers to.

    If we lose any water it is to the U.S. through the Great Lake and our southern flowing rivers but hey, it’s between friends right?

    Sadly, PIK’s models fair no better than those relied upon by the scandal ridden IPCC. The words “might”, “could be”, “might be”, “likely to occur if”, to name but a few render any believable facts meaningless. The fact that the boys and girls on the gravy train swap models, research, papers and memberships on committees in order to fortify their cases explains why and how all their results are so similar and jam packed with errors. Garbage in, garbage out.

    Not even the daily exhibition of dither and delay as tragically performed by President Obama can compete with the bob and weave of the latest IPCC report #5. With its climate models failing faster than they can create them, they artfully ignore the fact that none of us will be around to say, “I told you so,” when the results come in notwithstanding the fact there is not enough money in the world to do want they want. This will all be explained, no doubt, by the new addition to the IPCC Working Group III, Oxford professor of Moral Philosophy, John Broome. If we can’t beat them with science, we’ll kill them with philosophy. PIK take note.

    Anthropogenic warming did not take centre stage until Report #2. It was advanced then more in theory rather than on any basis of scientific observation. After several decades and bazillions of dollars in grants, subsidies, and expenses not to mention substantial investments in climate models we are pretty much where we started, poorer but no wiser. The models failed to predict the decline in temperatures and the increase in greenhouse gases that accompanied it. IPCC insiders bemoan their loss of scientific and political influence. CO2 emissions targets have proven infeasible as members and governments realize that climate does not respond to emissions targets. Several countries, including some in Europe and Australia, are currently backing away from emissions policies as their economic costs and the negative impact on their economies become known. The highly charged political rhetoric has contaminated academic research. Those scientists found not in tune with the approved IPCC narrative find themselves marginalized, unfunded and unpublished. PIK knows this. You gotta be with the sheep. That’s where the money is. Neither the science nor the policy is being advanced. The IPCC and PIK refuse to see beyond their own models. They cannibalize themselves. They are locked into a single climate model. As a result, they have become the problem, not the solution. Worse, they steal money from other valuable research.

    The devil is always in the details and now the IPCC offers up a solitary figure for each decade as opposed to the actual temperatures for individual years as is in past reports. IPCC #5, still carries the prejudice of its predecessors in favoring climate hysteria. In admitting their errors about the observable past they completely undermine any faith we might have in their ability to predict the future. Their models are no better than electronic tarot cards. Recording the past is a simple matter when compared to predicting the future. To its shame, PIK admits no errors.
    Rather than make a serious attempt to recap their previous reports and perhaps illustrate any significant changes since then, the bureaucracy, or should I say the club, that has grown up around the IPCC and their sycophants decided to gather their brooms and sweep any difficulties under their collective rugs.
    The earth is the greenest it’s been in decades according to the most recent satellite photos. This is due largely to carbon dioxide emissions, also known as Mother Nature’s fertilizer of choice. IPCC reports and like-minded editorialists aside, many top scientists have long disputed global warming alarmism, not the warming understand, just the alarmism. There were only 2 challenging questions from the sycophants at the IPCC press conference; one from the Economist who should have asked more. Don’t expect too much critical reporting in your local media. Doom and gloom always gets better press whether it is true or not. Murder and mayhem still beats all though.
    The planet has warmed, cooled and frozen many times as I have gone to great lengths to point out in past missives. But the boys and girls in the IPCC and their student writers have found themselves back pedalling away from their rugs this time out. I guess the scary movies they support are meant to replace their own ‘sky is falling’ scenarios.

    IPCC Report #5 struggles woefully over how to address the wee wrinkle in the meteorological data. The heating of Planet Earth’s surface has slowed over the past 15 years even though greenhouse gas emissions kept rising. I’ll repeat that. “Greenhouse gas emissions kept rising.” The models are failing, the models are failing. Run and tell the King or, at the very least, PIK. Lost for an explanation they turned to the creative writers in their midst. Happily they have many of those. Also happily, many scientists have previously offered explanations for them to expand upon. Hey, these guys have fibbed before. There are over 9,000 people, some qualified, who have helped the IPCC write its many reports over the past 25 years. That’s a lot of writers for any task. But #5 didn’t come up with too much other than what we have already heard from more independent scientists who can write all by themselves. There’s the “natural variability in the climate system” and the “cooling effects from volcanic eruptions”. Oh yes, and then there is that, ”downward phase in solar activity”, a point a multitude of scientists have been making for years and my personal preference as far as root causes of climate change goes. I mean the sun is already warm, right? They also provide vague allusions suggesting the “missing” heat is simply settling “temporarily”, you know, like hiding in the ocean. I figure it’s pretty deep too. But like the fish and currents, it moves. Mind you, so too does the cold water. Who would have ever thought?

    A prestigious new study by Robert S. Pindyck, a physicist, engineer, professor of Economics and Finance at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a true believer in the negative impact of global warming, clearly states the Climate Change models, the Integrated Assessment Models (IAM), which combine data from both climate models and economic models, predicting disaster are “close to useless.” Tom Rand of Toronto’s MaRS group, another true believer says, “I couldn’t agree more. The IAM models are garbage.”

    The Climate Change debate provokes real passion. I like passion but we would do well to understand that this is more than a debate about the weather. This is about money and lifestyle, everybody’s money and everybody’s lifestyle. Those of us who read the report and many of our descendants will be long dead before anybody knows if any of the IPCC models of doom prove to be true, or even half true as they currently claim.

    The IPCC writers gleefully pound the word “likely” into the ground. PIK is no better. Even the blame we poor humans must assume is deemed to be “more than half.” Seems kind of vague to me and no more scientific than “likely.” What is “more than half,” is it 51% or 89%? A science instructor in any high school lab would demand more. What about all the natural factors like the ocean currents, cloud formations, volcanic eruptions, or the tilt of the earth’s axis? Or why not think further out of the box where true climate dynamics and theory should live? Instead of focusing on the old climate models, we need to understand the effects of the sun on climate, the network of natural internal variability on multiple time scales, the mathematics of extreme events and the predictability of a complex system characterized by spatio-temporal chaos. See, I read too! Vagueness in science is failure. Vagueness when it comes to the unaffordable and staggering costs these people are talking about borders on the criminal.

    The EU’s Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, doesn’t care about the costs or the facts. Apparently science just gets in the way too. “Let’s say,” she says, “that science, some decades from now, said ‘we were wrong, it was not about climate’, would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?”

    She means the little “things” those on the public purse with their guarantees and indexing will not have to give up while the rest of us dramatically reduce our use of fossil fuels and permit the deliberate reduction of our economic growth along with our standard of living. While we suffer the consequences of political solutions brought on by failed policies like carbon taxes, cap-and –trade and the dubious and expensive subsidies given to wind and solar power which cannot exist without them, Connie Hedegaard will happily be expensing any and all extra costs in the public good, don’t you know.

    So, we have arrived at the point where there is widespread agreement from numerous true believers that the models and their widespread disaster scenarios are nonsense. But the true believers still want to take over world policy. Of course they do. The UN alone has over 10,000 employees. They have to do something now that the world is so peaceful. The IPCC and PIK want us to take action on Climate Change regardless. It’s an insurance policy only an insurance company could love. The premiums are high, the payments are guaranteed by government and the payout is unlikely to ever materialize. The policy holders, the taxpayers, will never receive any benefits. There’s an idea only a government or party with no understanding of the difference between deficit and debt could love. Either that or they have a tree in their ecologically pure back yard that grows money. Let’s spend billions, perhaps trillions we don’t have, impoverishing us all, on something we do not need. Kind of makes you feel good though doesn’t it? I’ll bet the speech will be great!

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, energy equals civilization. Renewables without massive subsidies are decades away. Even then, subsidies may still be required. Countries with stable resources or supplies of fossil fuel energy enjoy the best quality of life, the longest life spans and the strongest economies. Those without, do not. Redistributing wealth to the so-called Third World will not turn them into the First. That’s not a plan. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. The beginning of the end for any country occurs when half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them. At that point, the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get the benefit of their effort.

    In spite of the IPCC, I refuse to feel guilty about where I was born. I would say the same no matter where it was. There is no harm in being proud of your country of birth, fortunate or otherwise. There is harm in feeling superior about it. Nationality is, after all, a mere fluke of birth. There is also great harm in ignoring the value of work and self-reliance. Dependency hurts everyone.

    “Entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid.”

    Guess who said that? If you said a Tea Party member or a congressional Republican, you would be wrong. No, it was Bono, singer, celebrity and global anti-poverty activist, speaking to Georgetown’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative last year. Surprise, Bono knows the value of work. The IPCC and PIK know only the public purse and the transference of wealth which, if the ivory tower they live in received newspapers or internet service, they would have noticed is already occurring. It has been projected, without the use of rigged models, that by 2030 the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) could overtake the G7 (U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Britain and Canada) in economic size. Are the new titans expected to share or diminish themselves? Hell no. Only the West must suffer and redistribute their wealth. Only the west must reduce their standard of living.

    IPCC Report #4 said increasing hurricane intensity was “likely” (that word again) on the basis of the climate models. #5 is oddly silent on the topic with nary a word on the massive decrease in hurricane activity in recent years. It doesn’t seem that way but it’s true. Our media loves a disaster and everyone naturally becomes the “biggest”, the “worst”, as well as “extreme” and a “monster.” By the way, the biggest Hurricane in American history, a category 5 which struck Galveston in 1900, was cleaned up at .38 cents an hour. Kind of explains why a category 1 Hurricane today causes more dollar damage doesn’t it? Anyway, the divergence between model and observational estimates is left to a footnote in #5, (“lack of agreement on values across lines of evidence.”) Great word smithing but neither scientific nor decisive. I can hardly wait for #6. It ought to be a pip!

    The IPCC crowd have been unworthy of trust, practically from the beginning. When the IPCC was awarded half of the Nobel Peace Prize back in 2007 (Al Gore laughingly won the other half), Rajendra Pachauri, the much discredited chairman, wildly over-stepped his authority by writing to all IPCC-affiliated academics proclaiming: “This makes each of you Nobel Laureates.” Had it been merely his rhetoric and ego running a foul it would not have been so bad. We’ve become quite used to that. Sadly, the teenagers and non-climatologists amongst the 9,000 believed him and began calling themselves Nobel Laureates. This cringe-worthy exaggeration encouraged the many insecure egos to run amok and run amok they did. Even academics who should have known better ran amok too. The IPCC’s chairman set the worst possible example. All the rest simply followed. Who thinks honestly or independently at the IPCC? Is it all herd mentality?

    In fairness, Pachauri got a great deal of help promoting his big lie. Socialite of State, John Kerry, called Pachauri a “Nobel Laureate” in a speech this past June in New Delhi. Other notables who have also erroneously described Pachauri as a Nobelist include the New York Academy of Sciences, the office of the Prime Minister of Norway and the Mayor of London. Citadels of learning do not perform due diligence either. In 2011, Utrecht University (Netherlands), sponsored a lecture by “Nobel Laureate Rajendra Pachauri.” The University of Eastern Finland has made “Nobel Prize Winner, IPCC Chair Dr. Pachauri” its first honorary professor. Yale’s Environment 360 magazine has titled an article “A Conversation with Nobel Prize Winner Rajendra Pachauri.” And so it goes yet no one called him on it and worse, he never denied it. Nor did he make any attempt to correct this misinformation or more correctly said, this lie. The Internet is replete with articles and news stories that call him a Peace Prize winner. Amazon.com tells us his 2010 novel was written by a Nobel Laureate.

    Why do science academies and media outlets say nothing year after year while Pachauri and his 9,000 allow themselves to be falsely described as Nobel Laureates? If they cannot be relied upon for honesty in such a simple matter how can they be relied upon for something more complex like say, Climate Change? It’s not like they have ever been caught inflating their numbers before. Why not their Curriculum Vitae?

    To top it all off, last October, U.S. meteorologist Michael Mann, lead author for one chapter of the IPCC’s 2001 report, filed a defamation lawsuit against journalist Mark Steyn and others. Right in the second paragraph of his massive claim of suffering and financial harm, a 37-page legal document, it proudly states that “Dr. Mann and his colleagues were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize” as a result of their climate research. Trouble is, the Peace Prize is not a science honour. It’s called the Peace Prize not the Science Prize. Duh! For the record, Gerhard Ertl won one of those, for chemistry. I have no idea who the others were. The 2007 Nobel Prize was foolishly awarded because the Nobel committee believed climate change “will increase the danger of war.” Gore and Pachauri can be counted on for the front lines of that war. Hah!

    But it was the great man himself, Pachauri, who started all this nonsense by telling thousands of worker bees that they were Nobel Laureates. The egomaniacal eco-warriors believed him. Who would have thought?

    Under pressure from a journalist, a Nobel official confirmed that Mann was not a Peace Prize recipient, repeat NOT! Someone then suggested it would be a good idea for the IPCC to clarify this matter. You have to wonder where Mann found his lawyer as two weeks after he filed his legal papers, the IPCC was forced to issue a statement contradicting Pachauri’s 2007 proclamation. Five years after the fact, the IPCC finally acknowledged that its chairman was a liar with delusions of grandeur.

    Of course, in a demonstration of their lack of character and integrity, they merely said the prize was awarded to the IPCC as a whole “and not to any individual associated with the IPCC. Thus it is incorrect to refer to any IPCC official, or scientist who worked on IPCC reports, as a Nobel laureate or Nobel Prize winner.” Hey, we fudge our figures why should we name names? The IPCC posted the statement on its website, but it did not send a copy to the same list of people who received Pachauri’s earlier, erroneous message. Nor did it issue a press release. Does the word ‘weasels’ come to mind?

    The writers of#5, scientists, statisticians and students have all dismissed the 15 year slowdown as a statistical mirage. They are creative. They argue that it reflects “random climate fluctuations” and “an unusually hot year” picked as the starting point for temperature charting. You have to admit, they’re good. But they’re wrong.

    Ever notice how warm it gets in a crowded room? How much heat do you imagine the over 4 billion additions to the planet have generated since my birth? I knew some of these people. They were hot! How much more will each additional billion add merely by their very existence never mind their workplaces, livestock and pets? The IPCC infer that we humans are all doing bad things. We are breathing! We work! We live! Shame on us. Please note, there is not a “likely” on offer here. Population has always been a problem and, I suspect, always will. The herd needs to be culled. While we think about it, perhaps Mother Nature will take care of it herself, naturally.

    Besides, there have been many periods of Global Warming. Some occurred during the 200,000 years of human pre-history; others during the known 5,000 years of human history. None has led to human harm .On the contrary, all past periods of warming have been accompanied by advances in human progress, without exception. Go back wherever you wish, the Roman warming, the time of Christ warming, the Medieval warming and the warming of the last century which has seen unprecedented material wealth and a near-doubling of our lifespans. Most would take that as good. Those that do not please move into a tent, give up your cars, abandon all medical care and proceed to a previous Age. Many respected scientists believe that carbon dioxide and the natural global warming we’ve recently experienced will provide mankind with benefits rather than disasters. It may be that those who have chosen to build too close to rivers, oceans or lakes may have to move back, or not. We foolishly live too near water to begin with. A point underlined by the fact that the Hudson River is now 700 feet narrower than what it once was. This goes for all the world’s famous rivers now banked. Pretty yes and lovely to walk along but it makes the rivers flow much quicker and in times of storms or normal spring run offs they become dangerous. It is where the bulk of all hurricane and storm damage, severe, extreme, monster or not, is felt year after year after year. The city of Calgary, Alberta recently suffered a record flood, the worst natural disaster in Canadian history with damages slated to top some $6 billion. Insurance companies like this kind of policy. The government backs it up. Taxpayers, not so much. They pay. Calgary, by the way is built on a flood plain. The city has previously provided only temporary berms.

    Millions of the world’s poor have already been further impoverished by the unintended consequences of ill-planned and poorly thought out policies meant to prevent Global Warming. Valuable arable land much needed for the cultivation of food has been converted into land for fuel crops in order to create ethanol. This has not only inflated the cost of electricity but, unfortunately, food as well. Fuel poverty has become a household term in Europe today. Here in North America we should be most worried about ‘Legacy Building’ programs that borrow trillions from the future for ‘insurance policies’ neither we nor our heirs will ever cash. Let’s not kid ourselves. This is not just about climate and weather. It is about money and lifestyles, not just mine and yours but everybody’s. Policies promoted by the guys in white hats, the well-financed NGOs and their army of volunteer eco-warriors, affluent, selfish and ill-informed are having a disastrous effect on the world’s poorest. We’ve got ours but in our delusions of goodness we are preventing those in the 3rd world from getting theirs. We are condemning millions to a life of misery and early death by cutting them off from fossil fuels, pesticides and Golden Rice to name but a few of the more strident and illogical environmental policy positions. It is great to say we’ll provide gazillions of vitamin pills, green chemicals and free rice but we don’t, we can’t and they can’t wait either. I’m old. I’ll die. Why should they? Our money, time and energy should be devoted to research not cutting off the poorest nations from what is currently and readily available.

    My semi-patriotic rant for the day concerns the eco-mouths in Washington who love to yammer at Canada about improving our green energy credentials. Well, shouldn’t we all? But, as usual in all things environmental, the pesky facts get in the way yet again. Among the so-called “fossil-fuelled” economies, Canada leads the pack. The London-based World Energy Council’s Energy Sustainability Index published 9/24/13, suggests it is the U.S. that’s behind Canada on sustainable energy development. If the U.S. is looking to raise environmental standards without hurting the gains they have made in energy security and affordability, they should look north. You see, Canada placed sixth in WEC’s latest ranking, up four spots from last year while the U.S. lags far behind at 15, only one spot better than last year.

    “One of the things the index does is it cuts through the political rhetoric,” Mark Robson, a partner with Oliver Wyman, a New York-based consultancy that collaborated with the WEC on the report. “Canada gets a bad reputation largely because of high-energy consumption per capita. Then the oil sands aren’t necessarily perceived the cleanest form of energy — it sticks to us. But the numbers tell it all.”

    Often unfairly lambasted by ill-informed NGOs for lax energy regulatory controls, the ranking shows Canada is ahead of other comparable jurisdictions. Canada even edged out Norway (7th) and Australia (14th), which have comparable resource-based economies and regulatory regimes. Other notables are France (10th), Germany (11th) and Luxembourg (19th).
    The report examined 60 data sets to rank 129 countries with a key focus on three key criteria, which the WEC calls the world’s ‘energy trilemma’ – finding solutions that support secure, affordable and environmentally sensitive energy.

    In the end it is about choice, something those of us born in the free world clearly love. A walk through any grocery or department store might suggest that we have too much choice but we like it, so there you have it. Its risk or reward. Assess and act accordingly.

    One group may choose to do anything they can to prevent what may never come. Another may feel it is inevitable and elect to do nothing. Yet a third may favor adapting to situations as they arise rather than performing a series of meaningless gestures or lying down in complete resignation. Our passions make us debate, argue and fight about it. It’s called choice.

    Me, I write overly long opinion pieces on an otherwise perfectly charming blog!

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