Hope for the Future of our Climate
By Grant Brown, Founder, Happy Eco News
Finally, the rains came. Until yesterday, near my home in British Columbia, there was smoke in the air from forest fires hundreds of kilometers away. Huge in scale, some of these fires are bigger than entire US states. The smoke has been here in varying amounts all summer, but for now, it is raining, the air has cooled, and the thick acrid smoke is gone. My hope is that the men and women who have been tirelessly battling the fires get a reprieve.
Forest fire is part of nature and healthy for the forest that it consumes, but this year the haze that hangs over us is different. A wildfire season out of control has consumed homes, businesses, countless animals, and human lives. The smoke is a stark reminder of the damaging actions of the past and an ever-hotter future. But we are not alone. The people in Russia, Turkey, Greece, California, Oregon, and so many others suffer along with us.
Finally, in this year of pandemic and suffering, regular people are waking up and beginning to demand action. For the first time in the 5 or more years that I have observed these huge fires (and subsequent smoke), the people affected are beginning to really talk about climate change. Many of these people, the ones affected the most, are those that live in rural areas and often work in forestry, mining, oil & gas, or other extractive industries. Like many people reliant on these heavy industries for their livelihoods, many have been resistant to admit that these industries may actually be making things worse. Debilitating fire smoke all summer is NOT normal, losing entire towns is not normal. Finally, they see that while change is scary and uncertain, a future of more fires and more smoke is even scarier and can no longer be denied.
Finally, people are waking up and taking action on a scale larger than before. If not for them, for their children. Despite the smoke and destruction, and with the COP26 climate conference just around the corner in October, we have reason to hope that real climate action will proceed with the urgency that the crisis demands.
It is up to us all to take action. Do your part. Call or write your local officials and demand that they represent the people who elect them.