Researchers call for “daring” action Amid climate catastrophe
When the wildfire hit, John Haugen had to leave behind parts of his past Canada Elections : Researchers call for “daring” action Amid climate catastrophe
They were encased in a collection of baskets that belonged to him and his mother, Nlaka’pamux people and Lytton First Nation members who live at the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson rivers in British Columbia.
Haugen didn’t have enough time to get them before his house caught fire in late June.
“You’ll never see those again because the straw artists that produced them are all gone,” said Haugen, vice chief of Lytton First Nation. “It’s like a family heirloom that other people might place in a museum, but these were part of a powerful family collection and knowledge.”
Canada Elections : Researchers call for “daring” action Amid climate catastrophe. This summer, the hilly area near Lytton, located less than 300 km from Vancouver in Canada’s westernmost province of BC, became a symbol of the climate catastrophe, breaking national heat records.
On June 29, temperatures in Lytton reached 49.6 degrees Celsius as a deadly heat dome — a meteorological phenomenon that traps and compresses warm air, causing temperatures to soar – spread throughout the western US and Canada.
Wildfires consumed homes and businesses, and the community of Lytton, which had a population of 250 people, was completely destroyed.
“That was extremely sobering,” said David Miller, a former mayor of Toronto who is now the executive director of international diplomacy at C40 Cities, a climate leadership organization with 97 cities worldwide.
“It’s terrible and horrible to see that town go, and what comes out straight after Lytton? According to the most recent assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “we must act in the next few years to halve emissions by 2030, or we will not be able to halt this.”
That message appears to have reached Canada’s political leaders, who are currently engaged in a federal election campaign in which climate change policy is a key issue.
All of the main political parties have published proposals for how Canada will achieve its responsibilities under the Paris Climate Accord, which seeks to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius this century.
According to a recent Angus Reid Institute study, roughly a quarter of Canadians indicated climate change was the most significant issue that will determine their vote on September 20.
“There’s no doubt that dealing with climate change is far more essential for Canadians now than it was during the last election,” Miller told Al Jazeera. “There is a tremendous sense of urgency, and people demand action.”
Action that is a little more daring.
Some of the answers, according to Miller, already exist in Canadian cities that are making the necessary commitments to reduce emissions by half by 2030. He cited Vancouver, where a world-leading building code mandates net zero emissions by 2040, and the United States, where the government fleet is transitioning to elections.
Canada Elections :Researchers call for “daring” action Amid climate catastrophe .He said that the Liberal platform is “the finest thing any [government] party in Canada has ever stated on climate,” but that “we’re not going to reach where we need to go without being bolder.”
Esmé Decker, a 19-year-old climate activist and student at the University of British Columbia, is likewise seeking for strong action.
She is trying to increase youth voter turnout in this election, believing that young people have the power to change environmental policy. She’s witnessed it firsthand in climate change storytelling workshops she facilitates at high schools around Vancouver, where kids discuss their experiences growing up in the face of climate change.
Canada Elections :Researchers call for “daring” action Amid climate catastrophe .“My advice to those leaders is to do everything humanly necessary to address the climate crisis,” Decker added. “We have the money and the resources to put these answers in place; all we have to do now is agree on what we’re going to do and make sure it happens.”