Where there is smoke there is fire, and vice versa. Much too much smoke last week. Other parts of our country have floods and windstorms, B.C. has fires.
It’s only mid-July and the province has already blown its firefighting budget. Speaking from her constituency in West Kelowna last week, Premier Christy Clark said it could get worse.
According to the Penticton Herald, Ms. Clark said she said given the realities of climate change and the drying climate, the province has to be more prepared for a drier future. She is also reported as saying the province is not going to stop spending money on firefighting just because it is expensive. That’s good to hear. If money isn’t a problem, how about bringing back the Martin Mars waterbomber. In a move that in hindsight seems pennywise and pound foolish, the government cancelled its contract for the huge flying firefighter last year.
A petition is being circulated asking the government to re-instate it.
Speaking of climate change, four B.C. professional associations, representing more than 9,000 biologists, technologists, and professional planners, recently released a joint statement recognizing that “climate change is occurring and it has fundamental impacts on British Columbia’s communities and ecosystems.”
This joint statement from professional associations is said to be a first. Along with committing the associations to take steps to enable and encourage their members to incorporate the best available climate science into their professional decisions, the statement asks all levels of government to support the role of professionals through strong action and leadership on climate change. Let’s hope Ms. Clark is listening.
Historian, author and retired Tribune editor and teacher, Diana French is a Tribune columnist.