Climate Change

Unprepared, ill-equipped

Scientists tell us that greenhouse gas emissions are major drivers of climate change. Substantive changes in public policy have been rare or non-existent and British Columbia will continue paying a high price for inaction.

A 2019 study led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography — “Precipitation regime change in Western North America: The role of Atmospheric Rivers” — warned:

Atmospheric rivers along the West Coast can produce in excess of 50% of total annual precipitation and are historically associated with extreme precipitation and flooding. They can also penetrate far inland along preferred topographic corridors. Consequently, the majority of western floods are orchestrated by ARs land-falling upon the West Coast and so are flood insurance claims.

Thermodynamic enhancement of vertically integrated horizontal water vapor transport (IVT) in a warmer future will lead to wetter, wider and longer ARs globally, exacerbating their impacts. For the West Coast, evidence of increasing IVT as well as of AR landfalling activity associated with observed long-term Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) warming has been reported with impacts on precipitation over the West…

CBC program The Fifth Estate lifted its usual focus from eastern Canada and did an excellent report that revealed long-term flood management failures by British Columbia’s provincial government:

While this might have seemed to be the result of an unforeseen weather event, it was, in fact, a scenario engineers have repeatedly warned was likely to happen one day.

“There’s that pit in your stomach where you’re thinking, ‘Is this the moment where I get to say I told you so?’ ” said Tamsin Lyle, an engineer and one of several experts who had warned of flood risks in the Lower Mainland.

In fact, a report commissioned by the B.C. government in 2015 found that the Sumas River dike, which protects the Sumas Prairie from floodwaters, was “substandard,” “too low” and “need[ed] to be updated.”

The same report also found that none of the 74 dikes examined in the Lower Mainland fully met the province’s standards.

 Jason Lum, chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District, said the flooding has been “catastrophic” for his hometown of Chilliwack and other communities. 

He said he’s warned for years about the need to update infrastructure and the financial challenges municipalities face in trying to maintain dikes.

It was preventable and I think it was predictable,” Lum told The Fifth Estate…

Despite massive disruption to the entire province, John Horgan’s government has made no change to its policies of promoting fossil fuels with lax regulation and multi-billion dollar industry supports. It continues to employ climate change deniers in senior positions. British Columbia remains North America’s leading coal exporter.

The BC NDP has admitted no failures in its current strategies. Instead of substantive policy changes to protect the ecosystem. It seems to believe the only actions needed are saturation advertising campaigns that play fast and loose with the truth.

One example: government tells people it is protecting ancient timber but the Wilderness Committee revealed that old growth destruction is ongoing.

Little will change in Victoria until citizens mobilize and demand new priorities. Maybe Fraser Valley farmers should deliver the carcases of dead animals to the Legislature’s main entry.

13 replies »

  1. I like your suggestion to deliver dead livestock carcasses to the main entrance of the Legislature. Drop a few at the front door of John Horgan’s constituency office as well

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  2. Boiler plate off the shelf responses from politicians-
    1-Once in a lifetime
    2-Didn’t have enough resources

    Not acting on deficiency reports ,even a little,
    A breach of a public trust and fiduciary duty.?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Federal and Provincial governments need to call an immediate halt to environmentally destructive mega projects like mines, pipelines, hydro dams and deforestation that are contributing to our lack of sustainability. We all need to focus on stopping this from getting worse, reducing ghg emissions, and building socially and structurally in a more adaptive manner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great ideas which aren’t going to happen. Shutting down site C is going to put 3 to 5K people out of work. that is a lot of unhappy voters, same goes for the logging industry. Over looking the Inland highway, some times I wonder if there will be any trees left, given the number of fully loaded trucks going by. But I also remember when the forestry industry started its collapse on Vancouver Island back in the day. As a result the first food bank in B.C. was established–to provide food for laid off forest industry workers.

      Society, politicians, etc. need to have a plan of some sort to ensure children don’t go food insecure, that people aren’t loosing their homes, etc. One in five children in B.C. live below the poverty line/are food insecure and that goes for the rest of Canada also. Trudeau’s cheques for kids have helped a lot but if we were to do as you suggest, we would need a plan to ensure those children do not grow up in poverty.

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  4. No traction to very serious policy changes required to continue
    to have a place in the natural world begs the question why. The
    Horgans of the world are an easy target but do you really believe
    that is the problem. May I suggest they really reflect a mirror
    of the society that put them into the puppet power position they
    now occupy. If you still believe we live in a democratic society
    then the voting public is quite happy with the current actions or
    lack there of. It is beyond the pale the amount of down right lies
    that have been coming forward of late but again crickets. The
    reports are and in some cases gathering dust for some time but
    any ray of leadership to address these very serious issues and
    implementing some corrective action is just not possible. The
    misinformed voting public is making sure.

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    • Tim makes good points and indeed, a majority of our fellow citizens tolerate the status quo. But, I suspect that is because they are poorly informed.

      Consider the massive advertising campaign the NDP Government is waging to convince people their old growth forestry policy is reasonable. It deals in lies and half-truths, like BC Hydro’s “powered by water” campaign that fails to mention that some of the electricity sold by the provincial utility is generated by other means, like gas, coal and wood burning.

      Some major media outlets are simply unwilling to report matters that don’t suit their corporate agenda. Others, like Postmedia regularly push climate change denial.

      Non-profit media supported by readers are far more reliable reporters of environmental and political news. These properties have growing readerships but are followed by a minority of citizens.

      In the end, a poorly informed populace is vulnerable to misinformation and there’s plenty of that thrown at them.

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  5. The NDP have shown themselves for what they really are, a bunch of bumbling technocrats who blame everyone else but themselves.

    They assume no responsibility and continue, with dogged determination, that they believe will win for them, the next provincial election.

    Personally, I think they are laying the foundation for another 2021, with their abysmal programs. The NDP cannot see 10 minutes into the future and what does that future hold.

    The NDP refuse to set strict rules for civic politicians, which local councils are a hot bed of graft and corruption.

    It is now being widely reported that food prices may jump $1,000 in 2022 due to inflation.

    Civic taxes are increasing 5% to 7%.

    The metro Vancouver’s tangled web of sleaze and corruption means those living in the the area will see large tax hikes to fund bureaucratic disasters and metro Vancouver has absolutely 0 public oversight.

    The NDP’s 5 days sick leave is not funded and it is expected that the struggling small businesses will fund the program, leading many to shutter their doors.

    TransLink is desperately in need of funding and due to politcal interference, the Expo Line extension to Langley is now over $1 billion unfunded. The now over $4 billion 16 km project now costs more to build than the 27 km phase 1 & 2 LRT originally planned for.

    The heat dome and subsequent rainfall and the damage done came to surprise with those in the know and all the NDP can do is run in circles screaming :shock and disbelief”.

    And now a cabinet minister was attracted on the street, which is a sure sign that the public are just fed up. Treat us like idiots, well the public will act like idiots.

    There is major unrest in our land and, ruling elites remain blind, deaf and dumb.

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  6. I wouldn’t say the “ruling elites remain blind, deaf and dumb”

    They know their job and the most important job for any politician is to stay in power. all else is secondary.

    Those 5 sick days may not be funded, but for those who receive them, will need it. When people work for small businesses, especially in the service sector, when they don’t work, they don’t get paid. When they don’t get paid, their kids don’t eat. For far too long its been all about small businesses. the model they use, paying low wages and no benefits, is not sustainable. Why do you think we have so many food insecure children in this country? their parents don’t make enough money. I’m quite sick of hearing about “small business”, its still the big corporations who drive the economy. Small businesses don’t pay their employees enough for them to have any real disposable income.

    For all the NDP bashing going on, what would you do, and more importantly do you want the B.C. Lieberals back? I don’t and neither do people I know who weren’t voting NDP until they couldn’t take the B.C. Lieberal b.s anymore and voted NDP. What they got is what they wanted, more schools and staff in the schools, and more hospitals coming. In Nanaimo parents in our area, are happy we at least got a Nursing Center, at least their kids are getting health care. They opened a second medical school so we will have more doctors, eventually. Its better than nothing. Could things be better? Of course. are the overages on the mega projects acceptable, of course not, Never having been a fan of Meggs or Balemy, things might be better if they left and others were placed in their positions. they didn’t do much for the city of vancouver, in my opinion.

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    • E.A. Foster, your comment poses a false dilemma when you imply that critics of the BC NDP either support the Horgan government or they want the BC Liberals returned to power.

      That might be true for about one-third of voters who want the province to be ruled by a right-wing coalition of big business interests and fear traditional NDP values like support for social safety nets and workers’ rights.

      But a large number of NDP critics want to see a reformed progressive party that cares more about climate change, the environment, and an ethical and transparent administration.

      If NDP party members and potential supporters withhold criticism of the party and accede to every policy initiative of leadership, they give up the chance to improve the party. That will please the handful of people who control the NDP and are working to prevent internal debates that would give members opportunities to oppose leaders’ policies.

      A group of NDP members tried to get a resolution before the party’s 2021 virtual convention regarding government funded armed attacks on Wet’suwet’en leaders who were in the way of pipeline construction.

      Party leadership refused to allow consideration of the issue. The people in control just don’t believe in progressive principles and that is resulting in membership losses.

      I said on Twitter recently:

      Q: When principled people leave a political party, who is left behind?

      A: Hyper-partisans, ass-kissers, self-interested opportunists and the thoroughly corrupt.

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    • In terms of driving the economy, large businesses do not stand out.

      “In 2016, small businesses contributed 41.9 percent to gross domestic product (GDP) generated by the private sector, while the contribution of medium-sized businesses was 13.4 percent and the contribution of large businesses was 44.7 percent.”

      https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/061.nsf/eng/h_03126.html#5.1

      Page 47 in the link below shows the wage gap between employees of large and small businesses, by sector.

      Click to access sb_profile.pdf

      Large businesses (and government) do pay more than small businesses. The wage gap appears also to vary depending on the industry and whether the workers are unionized. Utilities, oil and gas, and civil servants (all subsidized or funded directly by thee and me) jump out as doing very well. No food insecurity there.

      The subsidies provided to the fossil fuel industry in particular would go a long way to reducing food insecurity if they were redirected. Not to mention the $16Billion to BC Hydro and its parasitic cohorts. It’s a matter of priorities.

      The NDP has delivered on some expectations but hasn’t been exactly as advertised on others, some of which are critical betrayals of long time supporters. “Vote for us, we’re better than nothing!”

      I don’t think it will fly.

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