Letter: December rains in the Cariboo bring home climate change crisis

It’s raining outside. That might not sound unusual, except that this is mid-December in the Cariboo.

Editor:

It’s raining outside. That might not sound unusual, except that this is mid-December in the Cariboo. This precipitation should be forming our snowpack, storing water for our drier summer ahead. Instead it is running over the ground, into our lakes and rivers and heading to the ocean.

The most recent UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warns of a very bleak world ahead if drastic action to cut carbon emissions isn’t taken soon. Some municipalities and regional districts have started to act without waiting for direction from national governments as they can see the local effects of climate change on ranching and forestry operations, ski hills and other tourism businesses and municipal water sources. Cities in the South Western United States are running out of water as aquifers deplete and glacier-fed rivers dry up. What will they do when the Colorado River has given up its last drops and there is nothing left underground? Thirty million thirsty Americans looking north at our water has serious implications for Canadians.

Locally we have seen the effects on the forest industry of the pine beetle; ski hills with no snow; ranchers with dry creeks, the rising cost of insurance as claims soar with increased frequency of forest fires, storms and floods province wide. Our electricity in B.C. depends on a steady water supply, in turn dependent on a no longer predictable snowpack.

Grocery bills are climbing. It is hard to farm when the  your fields are flooded in the spring, you face increasing droughts in the summer or torrential rains, the creek you used to irrigate from dries up and your electricity and insurance rates have soared.

Looking further afield, climate change can be directly linked to emerging health threats, potential military conflicts and the collapse of marine ecosystems as the ocean acidifies.

B.C. introduced a carbon tax in 2008: since then, fuel consumption is 17 per cent lower, yet economic growth has out-paced the rest of Canada. So while individual actions matter, the real responsibility for the big changes needed lies with our policy makers. This is too big an issue to place on individuals alone.

We need to elect representatives at all levels of government that can see the bigger picture. Ones that understand that the environment and the economy are the same thing. Maybe then we can start to look forward to a reasonable future for our children.

For more information on Water Wise or Waste Wise and any of our school and community programs, contact the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society at sustain@ccconserv.org or visit the website at www.cconserv.org.

Jenny Howell

Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society

Just Posted

VIDEO: Supernault family and RCMP make appeal to witnesses in Sugar Cane unsolved murder

The body of Gerald Supernault was discovered on the outskirts of Sugar Cane Reserve Oct. 5, 2008

Bernadette Ducharme voted the 2019 Keeper of the West

Horsefly born and raised singer-songwriter honoured at Kamloops Cowboy Festival

Provincial government needs to fund search and rescue: CRD

CRD board wants NCLGA resolution calling on the province to ensure secured funding is in place for SAR groups

Quesnel and Williams Lake under air quality advisory

Dust and overall air quality prompts Environment Canada to issue statement

Province gives CRD $25,000 towards new Emergency Operations Centre

‘The CRD is working towards constructing a new Emergency Operations Centre’

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Most Read