Who would have thought that waking up to one of the worst air qualities on the Earth while covid was taking a toll on every day’s life would be part of summer vacations? With provincial state of emergency, thousands of properties in British Columbia are in the evacuation order.
2020 witnessed the bushfires in Australia coupled with drought. The horrific images in the news are comparable to what B.C. is unfortunately experiencing. What would have been the peak tourist season is not facing a decline as tourists are urged to stay out of fire impacted communities. The tale of locals is yet another trauma . Every day is an ordeal as one tries to breathe amid heavy smoke and dark clouds.
THE ROLE OF FIRST NATIONS
Hats off to Indigenous fire crews for playing a pivotal role when the provincial crew is short of staff. They are on the front lines of Canada’s changing climate. In the words of an indigenous fire keeper: “If you listen to the elders, they say that if we look after the land, it will look after us!” If only we all pay heed to these gems of wisdom.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE WILDFIRES
The stark reality is that when one experiences the potential threat to health and safety due to wildfire, then only the term ‘Climate Change’ starts to make sense. The hue and cry created by the advocates of climate change all year-round are sadly lent a dead ear.
Temperature rise on land is about twice the global average increase, leading to rapid expansion and more common wildfires and heatwaves like what we are experiencing in British Columbia. Globally we have witnessed a drastic change in weather extremes not only in hot regions but also in the Arctic. This leads to an impact ecosystem and thus the extinction of many species.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year from heat exposure in elderly people, increases in diarrheal disease, malaria, dengue, coastal flooding, and childhood undernutrition.
HOW WE CAN BE THE CHANGE?
Let’s be honest, we are in this together! Climate change is hazardous not only for the Earth, but the residents too. Food and water shortage, infectious diseases, displacement etc are all part of the game. They are bound to leave a mark on future generations. So, what can we do to be part of the solution?
- Raise your voice. Reach out to your M.P.
- Resort to low carbon energy sources: Wind and solar sources for the fuel
- Forest preservation and coastline protection
- Opt for fresh, seasonal produce locally grown. This will help reduce harmful emissions from transport and refrigeration.
- Fly economy: Facts state that a person who travels business class has 3 times higher carbon footprint than the person traveling in economy class.
- Go for a walk, carpools, cycles, public transport. Better to minimize car use as they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Cut down on energy use and bills at home and offices: Try replacing light bulbs with LEDs and turn off appliances not being used.
- Have more green spaces by planting trees as they absorb carbon dioxide and reduce pollution.
- Cut down on fast fashion and single-use items. Spend your money wisely.
You can connect to the following resources :
You can help by funding to prevent wildfire through here.
- EmergencyInfoBC Online source for emergency alerts
- DriveBC Road conditions and closures
- B.C. Air Quality
Visit our Donate page to learn more about how your contribution can make a real difference.
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