I write this with a heavy heart. It’s impossible not to think about the catastrophic damage that has been done with the recent floods in B.C.
Drought, fires, smoke, heat dome, floods. What’s next?
Where do we go from here? How do we pull our way out of this? How much more can we endure?
We’re moving at a pace that we simply cannot sustain. We’ve completely changed the DNA of the planet we inhabit.
Let’s take a look at the Sumas Prairie, for example. The area, which is now mostly farmland and completely under water, was a lake until the early 1900’s.
Sumas Lake was a hub for the local community for thousands of years, until newcomers drained the lake, built a canal and completely changed the makeup of that area.
According to Author Chad Reimer in his book “Before We Lost The Lake”, during the spring and winter the waters of the lake would rise, expanding its size by at least double with the freshet and rain.
The traits that were considered ‘flaws’ of the lake made it an exceptionally fertile place for plants and animals, Reimer says.
“Let’s drain a lake and build a town, what could possibly go wrong?”
Now, Mother Nature wants her lake back. Mother Nature is not happy.
There’s only so much that we can do as individuals to reverse, nay, fix what has already been done. There needs to be change on a national and international level.
Don’t get me wrong – I drive a car, use a smartphone and a computer. I use products that are made with petroleum. I use propane regularly. I heat my house with natural gas (although that is one of the cleaner fossil fuels). Plus a plethora of other things that impact my personal ecological footprint.
I also compost and recycle. I walk or bike to work when possible. I garden and I grow my own food. I share that experience with others. I try to purchase my meat and produce from local farmers. I try to purchase products that are ‘eco-conscious’. I try to avoid single use plastics. I carry a water bottle and a metal straw in my bag. I had to use a plastic fork at work two years ago, and I’m still using it today. It all feels so futile though.
As Terry Galvin wrote in the National Post this week, “there are things we can do, and there are things beyond our control” with regards to climate change.
According to the Carbon Majors Report, “a relatively small set of fossil fuel producers may hold the key to systemic change on carbon emissions.” You’ve probably heard this; 100 companies are the source of more than 70 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gasses.
It’s a huge undertaking, and there are solutions, but it’s not going to happen over night.
If our country, the Earth, continues to warm the way it is, these catastrophic events will continue to unfold. People will continue to be evacuated from their homes and communities. People and animals will continue to perish and the Earth continue to suffer.
Canadians are a strong and resilient bunch. We’ve seen time and time again how communities come together and how people help one another during times of disaster. We show up for one another. We need to show up for Mother Nature, too.