Thanks to leaders that lead in times of emergency

Get on electric bus, treat climate change emergency with the urgency science tells us is necessary

Thanks to leaders that lead in times of emergency

Hats off to the brave elected officials at Duncan and North Cowichan who voted respectively to declare and acknowledge a climate emergency.

As with any serious problem, the first and most important step in addressing it is to admit and/or acknowledge that you really do have a problem. Now that we are all on the same page, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work addressing our collective climate emergency.

But wait a minute; we are apparently not all on the same page. Two dissenting voices are on record at North Cowichan. Councillor Tek Manhas is quoted as saying “If we really believed that there was a climate emergency, we wouldn’t drive our cars and other things”. Which is like saying “If we do things that we are told are bad for us, (like smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, or distracted driving for example), then obviously they aren’t bad at all, because we are still doing them”. Make sense?

Mayor Al Siebring is quoted as saying “People intuitively understand that no amount of government action will control the weather”. For most of human history, that same intuitive understanding told us the world was flat, that organisms that we could not see, (such as viruses and bacteria) could do us no harm, and that diseases (like cancer) could not be caused by external forces such as smoking and sunburn. Fortunately, most of us accept that years of scientific research and accumulated evidence have proven all of those “intuitive understandings” to be dead wrong.

A good starting point for those politicians (and others) who “don’t get” climate change would be to watch one of the many online videos where young children explain the difference between climate and weather and the greenhouse effect. For those who do get the reality and science of climate change, the facts that the Arctic is on fire, the ice caps continue to set record lows and a million species are at risk of extinction ought to sound loud alarm bells. But if that is not enough, and you need something closer to home, perhaps the real possibility that the Cowichan River will run dry this year which could result in the death of most of the fish and other aquatic life in the river and the loss of the fall salmon runs; plus the closure of the pulp mill which is the largest taxpayer and employer in the municipality, should seem like something of an impending emergency.

I hope that for the sake of our Valley and our children, that all of us, locally and globally, get on the electric bus and treat this climate change emergency with the urgency that science tells us is necessary.

Or maybe it is all a hoax and we should just relax…and maybe the world really is flat.

David Slade

Cobble Hill

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