Editorial: Three ghosts of climate change

Editorial: Three ghosts of climate change

Shadows of things that may be

As the bell rang out the first hour, Scrooge became aware of a presence in his bedchamber. “Not again,” he mumbled, burying his head under his pillow.

This time, it was the Ghost of Climate Change past, her face bright and happy with memories of endless forests, clean rivers, landscapes and seas filled with a multitude of plants and animals. Taking Scrooge by the hand, they flew over the rainforest, breathing deeply of the oxygenated air, sun glinting off the snow capped distant mountains. But in the blink of an eye, it was all gone and Scrooge found himself trudging through a clear-cut, stepping over fallen trees that weren’t big enough for the loggers to want, the Ghost of Climate Change Present by his side. No cheery ghost this time, but a face lined with concern and worry.

“It just keeps spreading and nobody listens,” the ghost muttered to himself, stooping to peer into an empty badger burrow. “It’s just changing too fast.”

Now, a dark spirit rose before Scrooge as the world darkened. Peering under the cowl of the Ghost of Climate Change Future, Scrooge could only see a wasteland of dying forests, mighty rivers shrunken to rivulets, and cities flooded by rising seas.

“Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of things that may be?” begged Scrooge. “Is there no hope?”

We’re being overly dramatic here, but a report on the health impacts of climate change, published recently in The Lancet, said greenhouse-gas-emitting activities are contributing to the deaths of an estimated 7,142 Canadians a year, and 2.1 million people worldwide.

The report concludes that successfully tackling climate change would be the single biggest thing governments can do to improve human health this century.

Just Posted

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Black smoke can be seen rising from the mountain

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

Letter writer says COVID has created lots of newbie cyclists who don't know rules of cycling. (File photo)
LETTER: Newbie cyclists in Penticton need lessons on rules of the road

Penticton cycling group just received city funding, should give back by offering how-to lessons

No dental coverage for low income Canadians. (File photo)
OPINION: Penticton MP’s proposal for universal dental coverage rejected

One in 3 Canadians have no dental coverage, with COVID making it even worse

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read