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LETTER: The truth behind B.C.’s disasters

Vernon writer: ‘The truth is, we know there is a problem, we know what the problem is…’
Highway 1 is pictured during a fly over the flood damage in Abbotsford on Tuesday, Nov. 23. (Jonathan Hayward/CP photo)

Of our latest B.C. disaster, our premier stated: “Even the experts were just completely surprised by it. We couldn’t have even imagined it six months ago.”

This is not true. Climate scientists have been predicting exactly this for more than 30 years. A 2018 B.C. Auditor General’s report concluded that “the provincial government was not adequately managing the risks posed by climate change, and that key climate-driven risk areas, such as flooding and wildfires, required additional attention.”

The report highlighted that “increased fall and winter precipitation – in the form of high-intensity, short-duration rainfall events, also called atmospheric rivers – is expected to increase flooding in coast mountain rivers and streams and may result in more frequent landslides that generate debris flows and floods.”

The audit found the government had not comprehensively assessed the risks posed by climate change and didn’t have a plan to move forward.

In spite of the fact that “atmospheric river” has not been a household word, atmospheric rivers are common weather patterns on the west coast of North America – they provide about 50 per cent of the moisture from California to B.C. What is different now (and you will have heard this before) is their strength and frequency.

It absolutely doesn’t help when politicians outright lie, and guide the public into self-destructive thinking. The truth is, we know there is a problem, we know what the problem is, we know what is causing it, we know what we need to do, we know that business as usual (promoting LNG, building pipelines, unrestrained clear-cut logging) is the direct cause of all these so called “unpredictable” disasters. By ignoring the advice of Indigenous Peoples, climate scientists and activists, we are making a conscious decision to destroy our, and more importantly, our children’s future. This is the truth.

Janet Parkins

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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