“We live on a different planet from the one our parents grew up on, says American environmentalist Bill McKibben.” Actually Bill, that’s only true for some of us mate (and it is something we have long suspected of you )
Climate change from our rampant combustion of fossil fuels has pushed the world into a new era of bizarre weather anomalies.
In British Columbia, warming has been greater that the global average, with costly consequences, including the pine beetle epidemic, downtime for ferries and highways, raging forest fires and flooding.
The big question is whether carbon emissions can be stabilized at some level by human collective action, or whether we will soon pass critical thresholds that will trigger a runaway climate change scenario.
Canada has recently thumbed its nose at global negotiations, in favour of digging ever deeper into the hole of extreme energy that is causing the problem. Even though climate costs are mounting – in Canada and especially in poorer and more vulnerable countries – the immense profits from our exports of coal, gas and oil dominate Canadian politics.
British Columbians in 2035 will be facing a variety of climate-related challenges to a decent quality of life. Food supplies from California will dry up; storms will be more devastating; animal and plant species will be threatened. Even if we are lucky, climate impacts in other parts of the world could lead millions to our shores.