Is it climate adapation or mitigation
Addressing climate change, we have two options. Adaptation and Mitigation. What is the difference? Let’s discuss that, as it is the facts that matter.
In Canada, we have the carbon tax, a forced government mitigation measure to supposedly work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to steadily raise fuel consumption costs to nudge consumers to other options — for example, electric cars and public transit— over time.
There is no question that mitigation can have a direct impact. One only has to follow the debate about the carbon tax and the economic implications on every facet of our lives in Canada. The premise is that there are, or will be, alternatives. There may be in cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa, but what do we do in the rest of the country where the temperature can dip below minus 40 degrees C., and there is no public transportation?
What does one do if one cannot afford an expensive EV or ride a bike?
The facts matter, and the government does not consider that one size does not fit all. Canada is a vast country, which presents complexities for adding policies and regulations that are fair and equal. No one may like the carbon tax, and no one more than the folks who do not have any alternatives.
We are already facing extremes in weather – some may argue that it is not the result of climate change – but does the cause matter? Extremes of weather are here, and rather than arguing about the cause, we need to look at adaptation strategies to reduce the impacts.
Take a home located near a forest environment. Recently, whole towns have gone up in smoke, and it did not have to be that way. The problem: the communities were not fireproofed – they had not adapted to be protected against the impacts of the extremes in weather.
At Facts that Matter, we work with several northern communities exposed to forest fire threats and see the challenges every day. Yellowknife has been evacuated –think of the cost of moving 20 thousand people to safety – and several smaller communities are also evacuated.
This goes on the heels of the devastation in 2016 in Fort McMurray and Lytton, BC, in July 2021.
What has the federal government done? Asked communities to submit fireproofing plans – but no funding for at least two years to be able to take any adaptation action.
We all have a responsibility – hint, don’t install a cedar shake roof on a house surrounded by forest. And how many forest environment homes have fire breaks around them? Many people scramble when the risk is most significant – too late.
In the lower mainland of British Columbia, there was extreme flooding a couple of years ago, and people are still trying to recover.
There are many examples where people and communities have not taken adequate adaptation measures, all to their peril. We all know that extreme weather is here, no matter the cause. Why argue about whether it is climate change, global warming, or something else? That does no one any good; we will be better off acting on adaptation – and maybe, just maybe, we can convince the government to get rid of that damn carbon tax.
Best wishes from all of us at.....
Facts that Matter is part of a boutique firm in Vancouver, Canada, working to do the world a world of good by promoting truth in government and by assisting businesses and First Nations to address their social, environmental, and economic interests through the lens of a Circular Economy.