Friday, July 26, 2019

Facing Facts in British Columbia

The near total absence of fanfare marks the release by the BC government of a 400-page climate assessment for the province for the next 30 years.  The Vancouver Sun's Vaughn Palmer reports it makes for grim reading.

More than 400 pages, the report evaluates the risks to B.C. over the next 30 years of 15 specific climate-change-driven events, each weighed on a sliding scale of consequences from “low” to “catastrophic.” 
Only one, the prospect of increased incidence of tick-borne Lyme disease, was ranked as “low” risk. 
Severe wildfires and seasonal water shortages were given the two highest rankings. B.C. was also estimated to face significant risks of heat waves, ocean acidification, loss of glacier mass, longer-term water shortages, river flooding and coastal storm surges. 
All but four of the 15 events were judged to have potentially “catastrophic” consequences in injury and loss of life and damage to property, the economy and provincial finances. 
As if that weren’t enough to inspire the script for a big budget disaster movie, the report also speculated about a combination of events:
“A seasonal or long-term water shortage, followed by wildfire, which in turn primes the landscape for severe landslides following heavy precipitation.” 
The foregoing is not unlike what has been happening in real life in the state of California, causing significant loss of life and billions of dollars of damage.
...Given the low-key release, the report did not attract much attention at first. But Dustin Godfrey, a reporter for the New West Record newspaper, began tweeting the contents on social media at mid-week. 
“Oh, f…!” was one of the first reactions, followed by the suggestion the foregoing epithet should replace “splendour sine occasu” as the provincial motto.
Before the story hit the Vancouver Sun, I had heard nothing about this provincial climate assessment. The NDP government certainly did not go out of its way to publicize the report. There's no way of knowing whether Victoria is afraid of alarming the public or afraid that the more the public knows the less accepting we might be of the government's carbon energy programmes.


Owen Gray said...

We continue to sleepwalk to catastrophe, Mound.

The Mound of Sound said...

Pretty much, Owen, although the walking pace is really picking up.

Lorne said...

'Apocalyptic' is the only word that does justice to what we face, Mound.

Hugh said...

BC govt wants BC to export lots of LFG (liquefied fracked gas).
In BC the govt makes us pay carbon tax on natural gas.
The idea is to encourage us not to use natural gas.
But it's ok if people in other countries use it.