Letter: North Okanagan-Shuswap MP urged to step up on climate change

Warnings in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report a concern

My name is Anna, I’m 16 and live in Salmon Arm.

When I heard of the findings from the recent IPCC report I was saddened and angry, but not surprised.

Climate activists have known for years that the climate has been changing dramatically for the worse. This report is not surprising to us; it simply confirms what we have known for decades.

However, this report gives a new and unusually bleak outlook on the future compared to reports of years past. With startling facts such as that extreme weather, including the heat wave and forest fires we have already experienced this summer in B.C., will now be a normal occurrence all over the world, and that if we continue polluting the earth with carbon dioxide at the rate we do now we’ll only have 10 years before we hit the maximum safe level of 1.5 degrees of warming.

You can imagine that with these kinds of dire warnings most people would be eager and willing to do everything they can to stop this irreversible warming. Some people, however, remain unconvinced about this issue, and I feel that you and your party are some of those people. It upsets me to know that many members of the Conservative party don’t seem to care about my, and other young people’s future.

Read more: ‘Nowhere to run’: UN report says global warming nears limits

Read more: UN report ‘must sound death knell’ for fossil fuels as Canada faces climate urgency

The climate crisis is undeniable, especially now, since we can see it happening right in front of our eyes. Extreme heat waves, raging forest fires and heavy snowstorms are now becoming normal in B.C. and in Canada, when they never were before. This crisis affects everyone, and it affects young people most of all. For years now we have been protesting in the streets demanding government action, and for years we have been ignored. We want a healthy, normal earth for us and our future children to grow up in, and we don’t want it jeopardized because governments won’t do their part.

While it is true that individual actions do matter, what we really need to combat the climate crisis is government action. The IPCC report has made it clear: there is no time to waste. You need to step up and do your part now.

Anna Lutjen-LaBelle,

Salmon Arm

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