Climate change isn’t some distant risk to our grandchildren. It’s been affecting us since pine beetles destroyed a forest the size of Sweden, costing $43 billion in lost lumber, $10.2 billion in lost stumpage fees, 27,000 direct jobs, and hundreds of millions for B.C.’s Pine Beetle Action Plan.
The cause is climate change, driven by an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion, leading to milder winters and hotter, drier summers.
Climate change has increased the frequency and severity of B.C.’s wildfires. In 2018 wildfires burned 1.2 million hectares, cost $568 million in fire suppression, and displaced 65,000 people.
Climate change doesn’t just favour forest diseases, insects, and wildfires; it has other costs, such as melting glaciers and warming fish-bearing waters.
These expenses are the taxes we’re already paying in B.C. for the carbon we’ve dumped into the atmosphere.
We need climate action now to cut the cost of climate change.
Robert Macrae, Environmental Technology Instructor, Castlegar