T’was pretty hot up here for the last three weeks but, for the most part, we were kept comfortable by a cool breeze. There was a five day ‘heat wave’ that drove off the breeze but we managed. It was OK. The hard part – for me – was that for three days in the middle of the smokiest (wildfires), hottest time, I was obliged to be in Vancouver doing ‘friend’ stuff. And much of that required driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic in an un-airconditioned vehicle. I found that somewhat taxing.
Poor me. I was uncomfortably hot for a few days. Woe and alas. In Pakistan, over 1000 people died from 40+ temperatures. It can get worse and it has gotten worse at different times in different places. We are seeing 45+ degree weather in a lot of places. The world is going to Hell in a handbasket is a common refrain that seems to actually apply more somehow these days.
Of course, a season does not a changed climate make. But this is more than just a season – this is just the hottest and driest year in a decade long string of record-breaking weather anomalies. If we aren’t being baked or shaked, we are being drowned and flooded while, in the background, many many species are dying off rapidly. Seems 70% of the world’s sea-bird population have gone missing compared to the 1950’s. Even I notice that.
And the science guys have finally linked the massive honey-bee die-off to climate change, too. It’s not getting any better out there on Gaia, it seems. We’re in for it.
But – again – that is not news. Most people know this. End of Days is nigh! We’re toast (literally). Whachagonnado, bad boys, bad boys?
So, I looked at the city-scape more critically while in town this time – not easy to get objective as I tend to be critical most of the time about the city now. What options do they have? How will they all cope? I saw no answers. I just saw trapped and vulnerable masses herded like sheep. I didn’t even see any actual awareness of anything. To 99.999% of the people, it was just another hot day and tourist business was booming. Outdoor cafe’s were full. What’s not to like?
They may be right. I may be a Henny Penny. But, if the sky was not falling, it was definitely smoke-filled and the particulate level was the highest it has ever been – and comparable to Beijing. That says something.
Vancouver/Raincity is on water rationing. You can only water your garden and lawn one day a week and that day depends on your address (even or odd). People ignored that rule initially and used water anyway. Now the by-law people are all over them. “Oh, goody! Enforce those rules on my neighbour!” The system is working, they think.
But consider this: the Mt. Polley mining disaster which massively polluted the Quesnel lake and the Cariboo Creek less than a year ago has been granted provincial approval for re-opening.
Wildfires are burning out of control, water is on rationing and ordinary people are being fined for watering their flowers and one of the largest polluters in BC’s history can re-open it’s water-using and abusing facilities within a year of screwing up the near environment royally. Bad optics at the very least.
Bad priorities, too. How in hell did Mt Polley get back-in-business so fast?** There are mom and pop restaurants that get closed for longer than that for minor health infractions. How is it that Bill Bennet is leading the way for the Mt. Polley mine to re-open? He seems to be their champion when, in fact, he is the minister overseeing the operation and the one who failed so miserably at it. Bear in mind that DFO and the Ministry of the Environment had to investigate and sign off, too.
Amazing how fast the government can move when they want to, eh?
Mind you, they are quick to fine you for watering your flowers so maybe they are just being darn efficient all ’round…hard to say. But, in another example: Nestle pays $2.25 for a million liters of fresh water that gets bottled and sold to the public for considerably more. They pay up to $1400 for a million liters elsewhere in Canada for other plants. So, on that minor score, our government has dropped the ball yet again.
BC is the cheapest water in the world. For corporations. Mt Polley can ruin it. Nestle can re-sell it. But you can’t do much of anything. You can’t even water your plants but for once a week. Do you really think the system is working?
Some things change. Some things remain the same. And some things are just plain hotter and dirtier – like politics and the climate. Sadly, neither of them are working very well these days.
Thankfully, I got out of that large urban Fool’s Paradise as fast as I could.
But, really………? Where ya gonna go?
** Wikipedia: The controlling shareholder of Imperial Metals is billionaire N. Murray Edwards. He donated half a million dollars in campaign contributions to the B.C. Liberal party since 2005 and helped organize a $1-million fundraiser for B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s re-election.