Climate Change in Southampton

Peter L. Storck

Guest Curator

Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre

Did you look out the window today with your first cup of coffee to see what the weather will be like? Or listen to the weather report on the radio, or watch it on television? Did you also think about climate? Global warming?

Do you wonder whether global warming is truly happening? Whether humans are really responsible? Couldn’t it be part of some very large natural cycle?

Global warming is only part of the "bad news". The media is full of talk about the environmental changes that are occurring with land clearance for more extensive agriculture, urban expansion and greater industrialization. In addition to placing more demand on water supplies and producing more greenhouse gases, these activities are threatening or causing the extinction of hundreds, if not thousands, of species of animals.

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Some scientists are warning that if the current rate of extinctions continue, humans will cause a crisis in the history of life that ranks with the top five extinctions of all geological time.

These are sobering thoughts. They may intrude from time to time as we go about our daily lives, catching a glimpse of the front page of a newspaper on the table of a take-out store, seeing a bit of litter on the ground, filling up at a gasoline station, shopping. These are all small windows that show us how we use (and abuse) the planet. Shopping especially. Of course, shopping is necessary. Sometimes it may even be fun. But the truth is, everything we buy will also have to be discarded. All of those "things" on seemingly endless rows of long shelves in the Big Box stores, and other stores as well, is potential landfill, just waiting to be purchased, carried out of the store, used until broken or no longer needed and then thrown away. Of course, how much we throw away depends a lot on how smart we buy. And whether we recycle. Would you like to test yourself? Are you really a smart buyer? And do you really know how to throw away all those things after you’re done with them? You can find out. And also learn how global warming is part of a much bigger story about the Earth itself and all of life. Just visit "Earth’s Climate in the Balance", a new exhibit at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre. We hope it will appeal to both adults and children. The exhibit will be open all summer; and beyond

Make sure you see the exciting exhibit at the Museum

Also, see Dr. Peter Storck's Lecture July 8, 2008