Let’s focus on creating resilient communities.


The flooding that has devastated communities, destroyed infrastructure, taken lives and added ever-more uncertainty and unpredictability is absolutely a result of climate change. Today it is flooding. At the end of June, it was a heat dome. Throughout the summer, it was wildfires and then drought conditions that threatened water security, food security and fish and wildlife habitat.

We are in a climate-altered world, and we are experien­cing not only weather-related disruptions that up-end our lives but grief that we don’t even have time to sit with, much less process. The relentless onslaught of emergencies won’t allow us the time or space to consider what was lost before more losses accumulate.

I feel it each time I look out our windows and see the cedar trees flagging. I grieve for the loss I can see unfolding in real time right in front of me, a grief for our beleaguered world, a world that we’ve collectively shown so little mercy for, for so many decades.

I don’t think there is anyone in this province not affected by the loss and destruction this year has delivered. The farmers returning to the devastation, the rescuing of stranded animals, the lives lost in the mudslide — it is overwhelmingly sad.

Grief generates a lot of emotions: denial, anger, sadness. I cannot imagine getting to acceptance. I cannot accept that we are going to bequeath to our children and grandchildren this relentless loss and grief.

As those in this province tasked with shaping the future, let us be fuelled by this so that we will rise to the daunting and absolutely necessary challenge of treating climate change like an emergency so that future British Columbians can look back and be grateful for our efforts rather than lament our inaction.

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