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B.C. Trudeau cites climate change a key take-away from 2021| Climate-related disasters causing surge in mental health problems | Trudeau cites climate change a key take-away from 2021

B.C. Trudeau cites climate change a key take-away from 2021| Climate-related disasters causing surge in mental health problems | Trudeau cites climate change a key take-away from 2021

B.C. Climate News Dec. 27 to Jan. 2, 2022: Premier John Horgan says 2021 will be remembered as 'year that climate change arrived on our doorsteps' | Climate-related disasters causing surge in mental health problems | Trudeau cites climate change a key take-away from 2021

(source: United Nations IPCCWorld Meteorological Organization,UNEP, Nasa, climatedata.ca)


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Premier John Horgan says 2021 will be remembered as ‘year that climate change arrived on our doorsteps’

B.C.’s premier says even for an optimist like himself, 2021 was an exceptionally challenging time.

“For many, this will be remembered as the year that climate change arrived on our doorsteps. Here in B.C., we faced record-setting droughts, heat waves and forest fires, floods and mudslides,” said John Horgan, in a statement about the New Year.

“Through it all, British Columbians have risen to the challenge. People all over the province have welcomed their neighbours into their homes, and onto their lands. They have provided food and shelter, helped rescue livestock and rushed to fill sandbags at all hours of the day and night.”

As well, the premier said there have been so many more losses from COVID-19 but he still has hope because of B.C.’s successful vaccine campaign.

“As we reflect on the year, let us celebrate the incredible resilience of British Columbians. Together, we look forward to the brighter days ahead,” he said, in the statement.

“On behalf of all British Columbians, I wish you a Happy New Year!”

Dr. John McMahon says that climate-related disasters are causing a surge in mental health problems in B.C.

As mental health problems rise in B.C. Due to back-to-back climate catastrophes, some doctors recommend a walk in nature or joining a climate action group for eco-anxiety.

UBC’s Cool ‘Hood Champs program wants to help out with that. Researchers created a series workshops to help people feel less overwhelmed by climate action. This can be as simple and straightforward as planting a tree in your neighborhood.

Dr. Melissa Lem is the president-elect of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. She noticed an increase in mental health problems linked to climate change this year.

“The start of the pandemic was really hard on people but when I really noticed the spike in my own practice was when the wildfire smoke would come,” said Lem, who is an assistant professor in UBC’s faculty of medicine.

“I think it was probably a combination of the smoke having a direct adverse impact on people’s brain functioning and mental health but also feeling like you weren’t safe anywhere.”

Solastalgia, a new term that describes environmentally-induced distress, is called Solastalgia.

As opposed to nostalgia — the homesickness experienced by individuals when away from home — solastalgia is the distress people feel about their changing environment while they are at home.

“So you feel homesick at home because of the negative changes in your environment,” said Lem.

Continue reading HERE.

—Tiffany Crawford

B.C.’s 2021 temperature extremes reach record territory across high-low divide

B.C. has seen extreme temperatures in a single year. B.C. has probably set a record for the largest range between summer highs and winter lows in a year of extreme temperatures.

Lytton fell to -25.4 C on Monday morning. This is a 75-degree decrease from the peak of 49.6 C in the summer heat dome on June 30, which was just days before the little community was devastated by fire.

“I think we’re going to be very confident that this will be the most extreme spread in temperatures that we would have ever seen in a year,” said meteorologist Philipe-Alain Bergeron of Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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Bergeron stated that this is an unofficial estimate, but it would need to be confirmed by department climateologists who will be back at work next week.

In the meantime, a quick search revealed that Inuvik, NWT might have seen the next extreme temperature spread. This was where there was a 74-degree difference between its -43 C low last Winter and its 31.6 C high during the heat dome.

Continue reading HERE.

—Derrick Penner

Trudeau, 2021: Climate change, reconciliation key takeaways

Coming to terms with the “historical wrongs” of Canada’s past, as well as boosting vaccination efforts, and tackling climate change remain some of the country’s top priorities as 2021 turns to 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Trudeau stated in his year-end report that Canada will need to continue to work together to end the pandemic.

“I know that the incredible strength, determination, and compassion we have seen in our communities over the past year will keep inspiring and guiding us in the new year,” he said.

After unmarked graves were discovered near former residential school sites, the country had to confront its past.

In May, it was announced that ground-penetrating radar at a former school site on the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation in Kamloops, B.C., detected what are believed to be the remains of 215 children. Similar technology was used to locate unmarked graves elsewhere in the country.

“This year has been particularly difficult for Indigenous Peoples in Canada — deep wounds were reopened as we were faced with the hard truths of our past and its ongoing, tragic legacy,” he said. “We must continue to tell these truths, support the process of healing that leads to reconciliation, and work together to eliminate the injustices experienced by many Indigenous Peoples.”

He said that Canadians are also facing the effects of climate change, including record-breaking heat waves and wildfires, and historic flooding, which have destroyed communities and damaged highways.

Continue reading HERE.

—The Canadian Press

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