By Lawrie Crawford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Yukon might be the only jurisdiction in Canada with a climate scientist sitting in cabinet. 

In the 1970s and 1980s, John Streicker committed himself to convincing others that climate change was real. In 2007, he was one of the reviewers for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report for the polar chapter. In May 2021 he became the Yukon’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. 

Now he’s in a position to do something about it. 

“What the 2021 IPCC report is good for, is that it helps to reinforce that this stuff is unequivocal,” Streicker says. 

The Intergovernmental Panel has had the herculean task to convince the world that climate change was man-made and could be solved with a move to a new energy economy. 

“It’s that they’ve had to fight this crazy fight around denialism, which is not over. The U.S. is not over; but in Canada, it’s mostly done.” 

Streicker cautions, that even though much of scientific debate is quieted, the challenges carry forward. 

“It is not just the warming that is concerning – it’s the rate at which we are warming.” 

He uses a teacher’s example. “Yes, a meteor strikes the earth, and it cools the planet very quickly because it puts up so much dust into the atmosphere. Yes, that’s faster. But other than that, this is the fastest that we know in the geologic record.”  

This item is reprinted with permission from the Yukon News. For the complete article, click HERE

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