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Uncommon Sense: Preparing for climate change the prudent thing to do
According to a leaked report from the International Panel of Climate Change, global warming has slowed since 1998 despite the largest output of greenhouse gasses in human history in the same time period.
This slowing has resulted in revised projections from the IPCC.
The report has given rise to renewed debate between those who believe mankind is creating an irreversible path to destruction and those simpletons like me, who look at climate change on a geological record and laugh at a 60-year weather trend.
Because, let’s face it, we as humans tend to measure calamities within the purview of our “fart-in-the-wind” existences.
But during the Medieval Warm Period from 950 to 1100 AD, which predates the industrial age by at least 600 years, we were one degree warmer than we are today.
Meanwhile, 15,000 years ago, long before we had invented the wheel, we were all sitting under three to four kilometre sheets of glacial ice.
Look, I’ll admit it. I am one of those people who cause scientists to groan in frustration when the subject of global warming comes up.
I am what many people might classify a “climate skeptic,” or the more snappy pejorative, a “climate denier.”
Whatever I happen to be, I’m also a realist. Although I’m not certain one way or another whether mankind is doomed by an apocalyptic prophecy of rising sea levels or if it’s just a really long hot spell, I do think it’s prudent to prepare for the worst.
I don’t mean implementing carbon taxes to punish motorists or creating some easily manipulated carbon market for industry either. That kind of nonsense sounds good to stuffed suits but does nothing for any of us.
Delta recently joined two other agricultural regions in B.C.–Cowichan Valley and Peace River–to produce climate adaption plans. Whether manmade or otherwise, it does nobody any good if Delta doesn’t change to meet variable climate conditions that affect agriculture.
Risk assessments and studies that are based on water management and drainage will ensure the preservation of nutrient-rich soils, and enable farmers to handle some of the averse effects of climate change.
Groundwater salinity, drought, increased risk of flooding, and improvement to our dikes are all likely to require municipal infrastructure costs.
Residents of Delta should be prepared to support these adaption strategies if we wish to preserve our agricultural sector and our way of life.
There’s no need to proclaim the end of the world just yet, but to quote Bob Dylan, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”