LETTER: Climate change co-ordinator needed now

From reader David Beringer

This morning, as I pedalled past a street drain filled to overflowing with gravel washed out of alleyways by torrential rain, I thought again about the many ways in which climate chaos, or climate destabilization, whatever we decide to call it, is already affecting the City of Nelson.

I was also struck by the realization that there has been no mention of who has been hired to be Nelson’s first climate change co-ordinator, a position that was advertised very briefly and only in a limited manner at the end of April/beginning of May. The deadline for applications was May 10.

I understand that someone has been offered the job, but there has been no official confirmation of this, let alone any clarification of what this person’s mandate will be. I wrote to the city’s personnel department requesting a copy of the job description, as it had already been taken down from the city’s website by the time I became aware of the posting, but received only a standard response:

“The City of Nelson follows a very comprehensive process for filling all positions that become available and we have had great success with it. The climate change co-ordinator went through the same rigorous process and we were very satisfied with the number and the quality of the applicants we received. Once again, we thank you for your email.”

It is now July 18. The latest CO2 level data from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography shows no change in the steady increase of CO2 levels in our atmosphere.

The City of Nelson’s July 11 newsletter does highlight changes that have been made to building regulations to address the increasing risk of wildfire so it is not that nothing is being done. My concern is that there is so much that needs to be done that we do not have the luxury of waiting even a few months for this climate change co-ordinator to hit the ground running.

David Beringer


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