It’s all interconnected.
As we come out of the worst heat wave the Cowichan Valley has ever experienced, it behooves us to reflect on the bigger picture.
Last week the community of Lytton, now almost entirely gone after a wildfire ripped through it, registered the hottest temperatures ever seen in Canada. The Cowichan Valley and many other communities in B.C. were not far behind, with the thermometers registering unprecedented leaps into the 40 C-plus range.
Which brings us to climate change. Extreme weather events like this heat wave are exactly what scientists have been predicting would be the effects we would feel as climate change progresses around the globe. There can be little doubt that climate change is the culprit here as we hit new highs.
Also continuing in the news last week were the protests against old growth logging taking place west of Cowichan Lake. Consider that clearcutting our forests as we have been doing unthinkingly for decades is undoubtedy contributing to climate change.
Much like the depths of our oceans, which we pollute and dredge largely without care, we are only just beginning to understand the depths of our old growth forests. We are only now coming to understand how the trees communicate not just with each other, but with everything around them. Simply replanting trees cannot recreate these unique ecosystems, teeming with life. We should not be cutting them down. Period.
Logging and all of its associated jobs are important. But these must be limited to second growth forests and younger. Some call for “balance”, claiming that there are yet still hectares upon hectares of old growth in our province. That may be true, but when one considers how much we have already stripped, we can see that the balance was tipped years ago.
Valuing our old growth as nothing but logs is antiquated thinking. It’s time to face the future and take real steps to make sure it’s one we can live with.