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Letter to the Editor: Climate crisis worsening

Letter to the Editor: Climate crisis worsening

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In the summer of 2021 fires erupted in Canada’s Western Provinces and Ontario. The smoke from the north reached Southwestern Ontario, turning the summer sun into a hazy orange glow. Farmers in Manitoba had to sell large parts of their herds due to severe drought. It was impossible to sustain the livestock with water and feed because of the extreme conditions. The fields were left barren and unproductive after the driest July in 150-years. In Europe, communities continue to reel from the catastrophic flooding of mid-July, which incurred €2.55 billion in damage and the loss of 229 lives. Canadians became familiar with the stories about torrential waters after the floods that struck B.C. this past fall, as well as in the weeks leading up to January 2022.

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On June 29, 2021, Lytton B.C., was 49.6 C. That is halfway to boiling. People will die from just going outside due to the continued warming of parts of the globe. Lytton was burned to the ground on 513 kilometres. This is about the same area that was covered by Shakespeare, St. Marys Mitchell, and Brunner. Imagine if all of Sebringville and Kinkora, Gads Hill and Stratford were torched?

I was raised on a farm in Perth County, and now live with a farming family. I’m a 2021 graduate of the University of Guelph, which was an agricultural school at its genesis. I understand the impact of weather on the livelihoods of farmers. My dad used to check the radar every morning while I drank my coffee. The weather can have a huge impact on a rural community’s economic health. I worry about the future of the farming communities that depend on the weather to feed the world. The droughts in Western Canada are just the beginning of many more natural disasters.

We cannot afford to not act. We will all be worse off if we do not address the glaring climate crisis. This is not about saving our planet. After we’re gone, the planet will continue to exist. There will be new species that adapt or not to the mess we have made. This is about saving ourselves. The climate crisis is not a distant problem that will affect future generations. It is already happening and will continue to get worse.

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I urge readers, as members of this community, to speak out and demand immediate action. We are all someone’s sibling, father, mother, brother, sister or friend. Think about how your children, family members, and youth will grow up in a world where our current actions have had a negative impact on their lives. How would you like them to look back on the actions we have taken?

The UN climate report 2021 states that we must take the following steps to prevent irreparable environmental damage.

  • Stop extracting fossil fuels
  • Protect and restore natural carbon sinks (spaces that absorb atmospheric CO2, such as forests).
  • Quadruple the solar and wind capacity, and triple renewable energy investments before 2030;
  • Reduce methane emissions by a great deal

Canada responded quickly to March 2020’s public-health crisis caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. We must show that we can act in another emergency. This affects not only our health, but also our economy and quality of life. This emergency isn’t going away if we just close our eyes. Even though we are blind, we can still feel heat.

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