LETTER: Don’t let pleasant weather fool you

From reader Marylee Banyard

Just back from a sunny day at Kokanee. It’s been such a gorgeous summer, here in the Kootenays, perhaps climate change is a hoax. Maybe the recent fires and floods in the Okanagan, Grand Forks and Oliver were just a Canadian thing. Such a pity some home owners and businesses will never recover financially.

And July the hottest July on record globally? Well, it didn’t impact us. Nor did the Greenland, Siberian and our own northern arctic melt. The scientists must be wrong in warning of an emergency. It’s all just cyclical? Are doctors exaggerating saying climate change is the biggest threat to public health of the 21st century?

Why are young people panicking about a future that may not happen for them?

Disaster is not happening here, but on my family farm in Zambia where we used to “grow crops to feed the nation” the rain has progressively been failing. Crops no longer survive, labour is laid off. We import food and rely on aid from countries like Canada. But as hardship hits, some Zambians will join the millions struggling across Africa seeking a better life in Europe. Some might try to immigrate to Canada. The changing climate is exacerbating immigration pressure.

However, we have the solutions. A first step would be divesting from fossil fuels and investing in clean energy, then ensuring a rising price on carbon pollution. Along with Sweden, the U.K., Tokyo, the European Union and the northeastern United States we are benefiting from carbon pricing both economically and in terms of health. We conquered acid rain this way.

We have time to turn it around with innovation and clean jobs, but we must act now. Let’s not be fooled, this glorious summer, into thinking climate change is not happening. Let’s check carefully as we decide which way to vote in October because we need decision makers who will lead us in the right direction.

Marylee Banyard


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