To the editor;
The arrival of a new decade that finally has a familiar ring provides an opportunity to reflect on the previous one, make predictions about the upcoming 10 years and compare it to its namesake, the Roaring ‘20s.
No doubt it will be as roaring as the last one, but the roar will more than likely not be coming from the wild dance parties, but from wildfires, intense storms, rising social upheavals and yet more wars.
With so many countries now run by leaders seemingly populist, but increasingly authoritarian and in cahoots with the greedy elites, it is likely at some point citizens will rebel when they see themselves increasingly marginalized.
As climate change impacts more people, it is inevitable that public opinion tide will turn with Greta Thunberg’s movement, gaining support and influence.
What is too often missing in any article about climate change is the true nature of the problem — that all predictions call for exponential growth.
We are witnessing the exponential growth of most impacts already, including glacier loss, wildfires, ocean acidification and intense, unpredictable storms.
There is little doubt the upcoming decade will be much warmer, which could provoke a tipping point in public opinion toward greater uncertainty about the future and greater distrust of status quo governments.
It has been an ominous start to the new decade, with fires devastating Australia and another Mideast war brewing. Here in much of B.C., an unprecedented, climate change-fueled storm that combined massive amounts of heavy, wet snow with strong winds resulted in thousands of trees either snapped in half or fully down. As a result, most homes experienced a power outage, while some customers were without power for up to four days.
The impacts from the new year’s “snowmegeddon” will be felt far into the year as many hiking and cross-country skiing trails are crisscrossed with upwards of hundreds of trees. The downed trees can also attract fir bark beetles, whose populations can then expand into the standing forests.
With record amounts of snow and more on the way, the possibility of flooding in the spring increases. As well, if warm weather arrives early and is accompanied by heavy rains, there will be more slides and other erosion events we have already seen too often in the province.
At best, we can begin the decade with our fingers crossed in the hope that one of the best places in the world to live will continue to remain green and viable.
Jim Cooperman, president,
Shuswap Environmental Action Society,