COLUMNS: Feelings of unease

“I don’t want to play in your yard, I don’t like you any more.”

“I don’t want to play in your yard, I don’t like you any more.” – remember that one?

It could be Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s theme song. In the original song the two combatants kissed and made up.

According to reports, the latest in a long line of investors to stop funding fossil fuels is HSBC.

Europe’s largest bank says it will mostly stop funding new coal power plants, oil sands and arctic drilling. Kinder Morgan won’t have to worry, though, the Alberta government seems willing to prop the pipeline company up with several billion dollars.

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Last year’s wildfires not only discombobulated us at the time, they left a feeling of unease. What’s going to happen this summer? We’re being told that in spite of the snowy, cold winter, the grasslands in the Cariboo are bone dry and pose a real fire threat.

On the other side of the coin, Interior regional districts are preparing for floods or dealing with them. They say the beetle and fire-killed timber changed the nature of the watershed resulting in more likelihood of floods. Funny thing about that. Some years ago I attended a workshop where the impact of beetle kill on the watershed was explained. At the time, the government focus was on logging the affected trees while there was still money to be made from them, not what would happen to the land.

So are the current fires and floods the result of climate change/weird weather or have humans helped things along?

***

On the better side of the news: 1.) the Korean war seems to be over and 2.) investment advisors are recommending people to put their money in the fastest growing business on Earth — marijuana. From the sound of it, the pot market is expected to be the world’s economic savior.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian and book author.

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