By Bonnie White, member of Creston Climate Action Society
Wow, that heat wave we just experienced was scary! If that wasn’t a wake up call for more people about the realities of climate change, I don’t know what would do it.
Many people and animals died, food crops were damaged, life was just plain miserable, and summer has just begun. Records were being broken by four or five degrees. High temperatures are predicted for all of summer in our area. Please be ready well in advance for the threat of forest fires and extreme heat.
If climate change is left unchecked, those heat waves could be our new summer normal. Just imagine that for a minute. According to the World Health Organization’s Report on Climate Change, the Earth has warmed just one degree since pre-industrial times. With that seemingly small change we are seeing massive weather changes such as bigger and more sudden rain and wind storms with more thunder and lightening, extreme flooding, more heat waves, larger forest fires and more widespread smoke, water shortages, and drought conditions.
If nothing is done, we are currently on track for the Earth to warm another four to five degrees by 2100. We cannot ignore what is happening anymore and that was just a little taste of what could come in the future. Please do your part and take this seriously, it is up to all of us to be the change and make it happen from the top down in our society! This is at a crisis level and that heat wave was not a one shot deal. It was a horrible sign of what is to come if we don’t take all the action we can. We can all take steps to help lower our emissions such as walking or biking instead of using your car, purchasing an electric vehicle or e-bike, pressuring governments and politicians to take action, planting more trees and green spaces, trying to base your decisions on what their impact to the environment will be, and looking at ways to lower emissions at your workplace. Let’s keep the conversations going and get involved!
The second part of this column, we would like to focus on another one of David Attenborough’s suggestions to help our planet from his latest documentary. He suggests that we need to think about stabilizing our population on the Earth to keep all of nature in balance. There are only so many available resources here after all. And, we have definitely gotten to a point where we are using and taking much more than what the planet can provide while still maintaining it’s own climate balance and conditions that are favourable for healthy life. More people means more forests being cut down, more emissions and pollution, more vehicles, more land cleared for food or livestock, more water being used, more animals being displaced, and more environmental destruction. It’s an endless cycle of more, more, more. We are all part of nature, from the tiniest ant to a huge blue whale, and every life on this planet is part of a connected cycle. Humans have become removed from that natural cycle of nature. Where does it end? The poor Earth just cannot keep up and we are seeing the increasing effects of that now. All of our decisions need to factor in the big picture. What is the global population’s magic number? I don’t know the answer to that, but I know without a doubt that things are certainly off kilter!