LETTER: Climate change is no picnic

Re: Don’t tax what is normal. Bob Broughton wants 100 per cent certainty before we choose to act on climate change. In his letter, he suggests that carbon emission fees (he calls them taxes) are pointless unless they come with the same precision in methods and results as an engineer designing a bridge.

READ ALSO: Youth activism pushes Central Saanich to declare ‘climate emergency’

Broughton’s concern for more certainty is understandable and important. However, if we demand complete certainty before we act, then no one would ever invest in the stock market, buy a house or plan a picnic. There comes a time when we stand to lose more by not acting than by going ahead, even if we can’t be entirely sure how it will work out.

The reality of global warming is becoming more and more clear. Take for example the especially rapid rate of climate warming in the north of Canada – that is exactly what the climate scientists have been predicting.

READ ALSO: Climate change activists hosting ‘die-in’ in downtown Victoria

The costs of global warming are mounting rapidly: insurance rates are going up, city storm sewer systems need expensive upgrades and forests are stressed by drought and disease.

READ ALSO: Top 10 Climate Change myths debunked

The costs of global warming will only get bigger and it is already inevitable for decades to come. The oceans control the Earth’s climate and the oceans take many years to warm up, like a very big pot of water on a stove after the heat is turned up.

By dumping greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels into the atmosphere we have increased the amount of the sun’s heat that is absorbed by the oceans. And we are still turning up the heat by continuing to burn ever more fossil fuel.

Climate change will leave our lives impoverished in the long run. Uncertainty about the future is no longer a good reason to do nothing, that goes for acting on climate change as well as for planning a picnic.

It may rain on the picnic – but what would summer be without picnics?

Garth van der Kamp

Saanichton

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New development will pay homage to fallen World War One pilot

1015 Cook St. will become 28 market rental homes with mural

Fish habitat enhancement champions set to start next project in Saanich

The latest stage of restorations to Colquitz Creek runs Aug. 4 to 14

PHOTOS: Families, spectators wave goodbye to Navy Task Force from Victoria shorelines

HCMS Winnipeg and HCMS Regina sailing to Hawaiian training exercise, further deployments

Fate of newspaper boxes in Victoria to be decided in September

The motion to remove newspaper boxes will be heard at the Sept. 3 meeting

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada vows retaliatory measures as Trump restores tariff on Canadian aluminum

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Island youth starts virtual race against racism

Cailyn Collins says people can take part in the cause from anywhere

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Most Read