It never ceases to amaze me just how short sighted and/or purposefully uninformed many people can be when it comes to the issue of climate change.
I attended the two climate strikes that were held in Duncan this year and was impressed by the work and passion of Sierra Robinson, Katia Bannister, and the other members of the Cowichan Valley chapter of Earth Guardians, to put together such organized, well attended and informative events.
It made me feel proud to see the younger generations taking the bull by the horns and demanding action on an issue that will likely have a direct impact on their futures.
It was also heartening to see so many adults take the time to join the strike to support the kids, and for their own best interests as well.
But, while I think most people agree with those trying to draw attention to the need to do something to keep climate change in check, there always seem to be those who just refuse to see the forest for the trees.
A number of letters to the editor that we received after last month’s climate strike that was held in Duncan City Square ridiculed the youngsters who organized it, and told them they should be in school rather than protesting what many of them feel is an issue that has been blown far out of proportion by the media and special interest groups.
But the facts and studies by internationally renowned scientists are available for everyone to see.
Last week, the United States released its latest National Climate Assessment. Its conclusions were in line with those of the UN and other climate organizations.
That is to say the global climate is changing, according to the assessment, and “the global warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuels.”
Following the release of that report, the UN World Meteorological Organization concluded global temperatures are headed for a rise of 3 C to 5 C by the end of this century, far above the original projection of a rise of 1.5 C to 2 C.
The rise in temperatures doesn’t seem to be that much, but it only takes a drop of average global temperatures of just a few degrees to trigger an ice age.
There are many thoughts on why some people are just not buying it.
Some analysts have suggested that many people who have a conservative political outlook just don’t want to believe in climate change because, if it’s true and it’s largely being caused by human activity, then there has to be substantial action on behalf of governments around the world to deal with it, and that goes against conservative ideology.
Some, like those in Alberta’s oil patch, may see a threat to their jobs if climate change is taken too seriously, while others may just not like having to pay the extra taxes that efforts to mitigate carbon in the atmosphere call for.
The only way to deal with this impending crisis is to have as many people as possible on the same page as to what is happening and what must be done to deal with it.
Get your heads out of the sand people, and acknowledge what the rest of us recognize as indisputable facts.
It’s up to all of us to do something.