Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Forest fire season

Only when the fire is literally at the door do we react with some type of positive action

Forest fire season

In August of 2015 I wrote a little letter to the editor, Rock Creek fire as a metaphor, noting that since at least the 1980s, climate scientists have been warning that our attachment to burning fossil fuels will have a serious impact on global climate.

The residents of Rock Creek, in some cases, had 35 minutes to react to an effect of climate change.

While 35 minutes is clearly not enough time for a well-planned response, obviously 35 years was perhaps too much time. As people, including governments, we tend to be reactive in our policy development. Only when the fire is literally at the door do we react with some type of positive action.

It is now July 2017 and Ralph Goodale, the federal Minister of Safety and Emergency Preparedness stated: “The costs and consequences of climate change are evident in British Columbia as wildfires scorch the Interior.”

Unfortunately, it seems our politics and economic models make it difficult for the structural changes necessary to re-direct the course of climate change.

Clearly, governments need our help and permission to develop effective and measureable policies to remediate our worsening climate dilemma. It needs to be a collaborative effort, and yes, the way we do many things will need to change. To not take action is too high a price to pay.

Ron Robinson


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