Sunday, April 22 was Earth Day, a day when more than one billion people around the globe participated in Earth Day events voicing their appreciation for the planet and demanding its protection. This year Côte Saint-Luc added its voice to the multitude by holding is own Earth Day event, a lecture by the renowned scientist andMcGillUniversityprofessor, Dr. Lawrence Mysak. A special Earth Day story time and activity took place simultaneously in the Children’s Library. In addition, St. Viateur sponsored a delicious breakfast of bagels and cream cheese.
Before Dr. Mysak took to the stage, Lisa Morin, the manager of TD Canada Trust Cavendish Mall was on hand to present the library an award from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. The Library had a applied for a grant for a project titled The Eco Café : a Library Driven Initiative Towards a Sustainable Future. The grant proposal outlined the following initiatives:
- To offer a variety of programs and books to both adults and children that emphasized environmental education
- To create an information centre where pamphlets and other brochures could be displayed
- To create a library eco blog where information could be disseminated
- To create an indoor community herb garden
All these initiatives will take place in the newly reopened library café.
After the presentation, Councillor Dida Berku introduced Dr. Mysak. His talk was entitled Climate change: Where On Earth Are We Going? Dr. Mysak explained climate change to the audience in a way that was easy to understand.
- There is a layer of insulation in our atmosphere that protects the earth from too much radiation. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important gas in this layer of insulation.
- We release CO2 into the atmosphere naturally but also through activities such as burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) and cutting down trees. As a result, today’s atmosphere contains 32 per cent more carbon dioxide than it did at the start of the industrial era.
- We have released so much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that our planet’s atmosphere is now like a thick, heat-trapping blanket. By disrupting the atmospheric balance that keeps the climate stable, we are now seeing extreme effects around the globe. It’s like a thermostat that’s gone haywire — it just doesn’t work the way it should. The result: the climate changes, and it gets warmer. Extreme weather events also become more common.
It certainly didn’t feel like global warming that freezing cold Sunday morning, but I am sure for those of us who bravely came out, the lecture proved interesting and enlightening.