February 27th, 2018

PEI is virtually a sandbar. Its lowest lying parts will therefore be covered with water if sea levels rise by more than two meters, according to scientists from the University of  Prince Edward Island’s Climate Research Lab. So from mid-February through the first week of March, they’re touring the island province making presentations to the communities that will be most affected if current predictions of a rise of up to 3 metres over the next 100 years are correct.

New satellite imagery suggests the world’s oceans will be at least 2 feet (61 centimetres) higher on average by the end of the century, while other data reveal that the accelerated melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica is speeding up already rising sea levels. Global sea levels were stable for 3000 years. However, they rose at increasing rates during the 20th century due to the burning of fossil fuels which drove global warning, and they continue to rise.

The UPEI team believes that without  protection from a bridge or a causeway, a rise in sea level of one and a half to two meters would leave certain areas of PEI vulnerable to coastal erosion and storm surges. These areas would in time become covered by water, dividing the Island from one land mass into three. The presentations by the UPEI researchers will give residents an opportunity to ask questions and to discuss how sea-level rise will affect them in coming decades.

Given the impact of human activities on climate change and the associated effects on sea levels and ocean acidity, action to address human population growth is ever more urgent. Exponential global population growth is undoubtedly harming our planet not only through climate change, but also through deforestation, overfishing, habitat destruction, the decimation of wildlife, depletion of rivers and aquifers, and all manner of pollution.

PIC believes that every country must strive to achieve a sustainable population through education and universally available contraceptives. PIC believes Canada, with its high per capita emission levels of greenhouse gases, could and should set a better example by stabilizing its own population and, through the inclusion of family planning in its external aid, support other countries in doing the same.