Currently Canada is pretty stable, but what will it be like in 25 years? Hello, my name is Megan and I have been hired by the "Youth Minister for a Sustainable Future" to create a better place for people to live as well as a better environment for Canada 2041. I will be talking about the recent issues in Canada and what solution I feel would help improve this wonderful country. Most importantly, I will be talking about why these solutions will help Canada and how I will bring my proposal from something you see on your computer screen to an environment that you are actually living in.
AGING POPULATION PROBLEM
To start off, a problem that I feel has a huge toll on Canada is its population. Canada has an aging population. This means that in 25 years, the majority of Canada's population will be over the age of 65. With a non stable population, and potentially not enough immigrants coming to Canada, not enough people are working in certain industries such as the primary, secondary, and service industry. If only a small amount of people are working in primary industries, then we won't be able to get main resources such as coal, oil, fish, agriculture, etc. If only very few people are working in the secondary industries, then not enough things are being produce to satisfy society's needs these days. If not enough people are working in the service industries, then we have nowhere to buy our wants and needs. With only a small portion of Canada's population being still capable of working, then taxes for things like our healthcare will become higher.
NO MORE GREEN SPACE
The definition of urban sprawl is the uncontrollable growing of urban areas which are growing outwards. As our population increases, we have to build more residential areas, more retirement homes, more industrial areas, more commercial areas, and more institutional areas. People always want more. People are so addicted to buying more things and living a technological life style, that they don't see how having bigger and better thing can actually affect our future. As urban cities grow outward, more green space is being taken up. This will then affect the agricultural industry due to the fact that urban planners pay farmers for their land causing them to move out of the rural areas and into the urban areas. Due to the lack of green space left, there won't be any space for us to grow plants and crops. This also affect wild life because we are destroying their habitat. In addition, forests are being clear cutted in order for there to be more space to make new buildings. This affects all humans and animals because our oxygen source is now being reduced.
Fracking is a method of extracting oil. It's when you fracture the Earth's crust using water pressures and steam in order to relise the oil and gases in pockets. In order to fracture new wells, it can could almost a grand total of $8 million, while refracturing can cost up to $2 million.
Fracking leads to many natural disasters like earthquakes. Fracking mainly causes magnitude 3 earthquakes, which people tend to not be able to feel. A few months back, Oklahoma had experienced a magnitude 5.6 earthquake. Just within two years, Oklahoma had experienced an equal amount of earthquakes one would experience in 1000 years. In addition, fracking decreases our water supply. Fracturing one well takes up almost 8 million gallons of water. This then affects humans because we need water to survive. This would also affect agriculture because you can't grow crops with polluted water. Also, the biggest oil industry in Canada is in the Interior Plains, but the biggest water supply in Canada is in the St. Lawrence Lowlands.
Another problem faced by Canada is its transportation problem. With the majority of Canada's population being in the reproductive and post-reproductive age group, most people can drive. With too many people being able to drive means that are numerous amounts of cars on the roads these days. This means that too much greenhouse gases are being released into the air. In fact, 70%-80% of greenhouse emissions are caused by the burning of fossil fuels from vehicles. This of course leads to climate change. In addition, Canada's transportation issue also affects the oil industry because so much oil is being taken up by cars.
Climate change is caused due with the urbanization of cities many greenhouse gases are being released into the air. Now, greenhouses gases are good for the Earth otherwise we would be stuck in another ice age. The reason why the last ice age past was because the greenhouse gases melted the ice and plate tectonics kind of 'moved' the land so the water wouldn't be on the surface of the land. But if there is an excessive amount of greenhouse gases the Earth would then become over heated. Even though greenhouse gases allow sunlight to travel through the atmosphere, it also trapes carbon dioxide in the process. When carbon dioxide levels increase so do sea levels. This is because the carbon dioxide melts the ice caps which causes the Earth's temperature to increase. In addition, ice reflects sunlight into space, but if the ice melts, the water would then absorb the heat which is another reason why ice caps are melting.
In the video above, they explain what would happen if the ice caps were to melt. While the melting of the ice caps can be good for specific shipping companies, it can also affect aquatic life. If the ice melts, then animals including polar bears, walruses, and seals will no longer have their own habitats. Although, the melting of the ice caps can benefit the oil industry. Because of the circumstances in this situation, they see this as an opportunity to travel further up north to search for more oil. In order to do so, a certain method is used. It's called seismic blasting. Seismic blasting distributes air explosions into the water, mapping out the ocean floor and finding oil. Although, this process effects the entire ecosystem. It causes "physical trauma and and habitat relocation of whales". If ice caps continue to melt, the sea levels will rise. Sea levels can rise up to a minimum of 70 meters. Most people live near large bodies of water. If sea levels rise, then those who live near that area will have to relocate. In order to repair just the smallest amount of water damage, it could have a grand total of trillion dollars. Even something as small as 2 ft could cost a trillion dollars worth of repair. "A rise of 10 meters would displace more than 630 million people, nearly 10% of the world population. At 25 meters, 1.4 billion people, roughly 20% of humanity is left homeless". A rise of 70 meters would result in most of the US seaboards, most of the West coast, all of Florida, Bangladesh, and must of Northern China would become completely wiped out. Also a new inland sea would be formed in Australia. If this happened, Earth would be just 70% water, it would be even as high as 90% water. And not freshwater, but salt water. Therefore the water wouldn't be useful to us.
DISBAND RETIREMENT AGE
Currently Canada population is getting older. This means that all of Canada's baby boomers are round the age of retirement. This results in more people drawing from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) instead of contributing to it. As of right now Canada has a retirement age that is around 65 years of age. If we disband the retirement age, than those would still want to work because they rely to much on the Canada Pension Plan or for those who are still capable of working can still be employed with having to extend their retirement age without special services. This helps Canada because then we can still have many people contributing to the economy rather than consuming the money. Also, with a good amount of people still being employed, businesses won't have to close down or at least not until Canada gains even more immigrants and more baby boomers. With businesses still open, taxes for many thing including our healthcare can still get paid for.
In this video I talked about how building up is a solution to help Canada's increasing population. By building up, not only will it offer the immigrants more places to live in, but it does without taking up to much green space. As more people are coming to Canada, we will need more job opportunities for them so they can work, provide for their family, and help pay government taxes for thing like our free healthcare.
By making the apartment buildings mixed buildings, not only will it allow more job opportunities for the people that are living in those buildings, but it will also take up less green space. This will help over crowded/over populated areas such as the St. Lawrence Lowlands because it takes up less space while still allowing more people to live in that specific area.
Also, we can put solar panels and solar heaters on the buildings. By using solar panels, we would have a new source of energy. Instead of having to use burn fossil fuels to get our electricity, we can use solar energy. Not only is it renewable, but it is also a cheaper alternative for electricity and it's better for the environment as well. If we use solar heater, we can have a new and better way of getting hot water without having to burn gas or use electricity. Solar heaters recirculate the water that is currently existing in your hot water tank. This would help us because if we don't have to burn fossil fuels or use electricity, then less greenhouse gases will be released into the air. This will then slow down the melting of ice caps which will slightly slow down climate change.
SWITCH TO ELECTRIC CARS
To help with Canada's transportation problem, I propose that we switch to electric cars. Electric cars are safer for the environment. Electric cars run on electricity but not on fossil fuels. Since electric cars don't burn fossil fuels, they don't release greenhouse gases. With less greenhouse gases, the Earth won't become so over heated which will slow down global warming and climate change.
Even though electric cars don't run on fossil fuels, it doesn't affect the oil industry. In fact, electric cars would be saving the industry. With most of the oil in Canada being non accessible, if we keep using oil at at a constant rate as we are now, we will run out of by 2052. We use oil for everything, whether it's for our houses, our vehicles, or to make things like plastic, so much of it is being used. If we switch to electric cars then we will be savoring our oil supply which we can use for other things as well.
In conclusion, I think that with all of the problems happening in Canada, there are many ways we can fix them. We can disband the retirement age. We can build up instead of building out, making those buildings mixed building with solar panels and solar heaters installed onto the roofs of them. We can create a law to stop fracking. We can even switch to electric cars. Any one of these ideas will do wonders for Canada by 2041. And like I said before, let's make Canada a better place to live.