A change in the weather
I came to Prince George in January 1975, a January unlike recent Januaries. I arrived to temperatures ranging around -30 degrees Celsius. In those winters we expected periods of -40 lasting some two weeks or so every winter. It was those cold spells that controlled the pine bark beetle.
It is now another January. I am looking out my window onto a world of slush while the temperature ranges around six degrees and our lodgepole pines are history. It has been years since we have seen temperatures anywhere near what was normal in the “old days”. Ask any oldtimer what those winters were like.
Granted that weather is not the same as climate, but over time changes in temperature, precipitation and such constitute our climate. And even Mike Hawryluk, writer of a letter in this paper on December 30, would be hard-pressed to deny that our weather is not the same as it used to be within living memory.
Who is behind the “climate change deniers” who dispute witness of their eyes and findings of thousands of scientists who examine evidence? Could it be corporations standing to lose if action is taken to mitigate change, action that would damage their profits? Could it be propaganda mills, like Fox News, that continually disparage science at the behest of their corporate sponsors?
The Earth’s climate has seen extremes over past millennia but those changes, ranging from ice ages to the sweltering time of dinosaurs but those changes were gradual. In geological time today’s changes are virtually instantaneous. This rapid change is attributable to industrial society’s release of carbon dioxide, long sequestered in the fossil fuels of oil, gas and coal. The Earth is undergoing rapid, drastic climate change and those who dispute this cannot refer to the work of reputable scientists. Instead they mount ad hominem attacks on those who carry unwelcome news as baby seal lovers and such silliness.
Our climate is changing, humans are responsible and the longer we deny this fact the worse the future will be. Generations to come will curse us for our collective ignorance.