The record setting heat this week puts into stark focus the urgency of our climate crisis. The heat places the health of our most vulnerable directly at risk. I shudder to think of the ramifications for the wildfire season — including all the stress associated with evacuations and air quality advisories. The harsh reality is that things will continue to get worse unless we rapidly reduce our climate pollution (see basinclimatesource.ca for local projections). There will be no “new normal.”
This is not the world I had wanted to leave to my children. I am saddened and outraged that we are still not doing all we can to address the climate emergency. We have known about the problem for many decades. We hear a lot of talk from all levels of government, but the reality is that greenhouse gases continue to build up in the atmosphere. Canada is the only G7 nation whose emissions are rising. B.C. spends a billion dollars a year subsidizing the fossil fuel sector. It will take a huge commitment to our children to reverse these trends.
Yes, it will be hard. But we can confront this problem with the creativity and resolve that brings out the best in humanity. We need to support policies that phase out fossil fuels and other climate pollutants, while protecting and enhancing the carbon that is stored in forests, wetlands, and soils.
There are so many positive reasons to act — cleaner water and air, better health, and thriving ecosystems. So let’s not shrug our shoulders in despair or apathy. Our children deserve better. Please get involved in helping to create a livable world. We need you!