Discussion 1: How has climate change affected your community?



The Province is doing critical work through CleanBC to reduce our emissions and take action on climate change. But greenhouse gas emissions already in the atmosphere will continue to cause changes over the coming decades. Preparing for climate change is about understanding these changes and developing appropriate measures to respond and be prepared. It’s what we call being “climate-ready”.

From hotter, drier summers and more frequent storms to extended growing seasons and berries ripening earlier, B.C’s climate is already changing. The Province is developing a climate preparedness and adaptation strategy for B.C. that will help to ensure we’re ready for climate change now and into the future.

 

Question 1: Think about a place that is important to you and your family. What changes have you seen in your favorite places and your community in the last few years? How has this impacted your activities?

Share photos of the changes you are seeing on social media and tag #ClimateReadyBC and #MyClimateStoryBC

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74 responses to “Discussion 1: How has climate change affected your community?

    User avatar
    [-] Trevor

    The cedar hedge trees in my back yard have started dying. I’m wondering if this is due to hot dry summers and if it’s worth watering the remaining ones to prevent them from dying as well, or if it makes more sense to bite the bullet and replace them with a species that is more suitable the the climate we have now and will in the future, and won’t require watering.

    User avatar
    [-] Trevor

    Thanks for this – great resource. My Dad is a forester and didn’t see any signs of root rot or foliar blights. It’s specifically the trees in my yard that are furthest from the garden so aren’t getting access to water from watering the garden. And it started after a record breaking dry summer – that’s what got me wondering if the cause is seasonal water shortage. I did remove the affected trees just in case it was one of these diseases that could spread to the others. I’m definitely planning to put in something more drought resistant where the ones I took out were, and I’m still stuck wondering whether to water the remaining ones in case it was drought.

    User avatar
    [-] trevor

    exact same thing/question ! (even have same name!)

    User avatar
    [-] Sarah

    I have noticed big leaf maple trees browning and dying well before fall began to set in. As well as chestnuts. Cedars are also starting to die off. A large number of dying trees in the parks as well.

    User avatar
    [-] jim

    That’s simply because Fall has come early this year. Nothing to do with “climate change”.

    User avatar
    [-] Trevor

    True that specifically may have nothing to do with climate change but the whole point of this discussion is to talk about things we’re all noticing that are changing. That’s the first step to understanding how climate change might affect the things we care about – getting a handle on what’s happening with them.

    User avatar
    [-] jim

    It’s a hoax. Plain and simple. There IS no “man-made climate change” occurring. 30,000 climate scientists signed a petition to the UN stating exactly that. This whole “Gov. Questionnaire” is an exercise in deceptive propaganda. And a dangerous one at that, as it’s spreads disinfo. Our taxes should NOT be going towards this fake narrative. It’s a great source of tax revenue, and it’s certainly an effective way of disenfranchising and impoverishing Canadians, however. But nothing more.

    User avatar
    [-] Janice

    Jim, this discussion is about the effects of climate change. It is not about whether you believe or not.
    Your information is from a group that is hoping to obstruct these issues. The issue is real. Your information is false.

    User avatar
    [-] Julie

    Jim, there is no petition signed by 30,000 climate scientists stating exactly anything. However, all the member nations of the UN have vetted all the reports put together by hundreds of climate scientists based on the work and research and peer-reviewed, published papers of thousands of climate scientists from around the world.

    User avatar
    [-] Ted

    Wow! Keep your head buried then.

    User avatar
    [-] Rob

    Increasingly, even on Vancouver Island, we’ve seen and been affected by smoke from extreme wildfires from the mainland, increasing episodes of aridity, polar vortex (notable in years when the Arctic sea ice is very low, like 2012 and this year) weather, atypical snowfall, changes in insects, changes in blooming of flowers, atypical frost events. While any one of these events might be natural, their clustering and frequencies is almost enough a person could notice it without checking written records, and not be wrong. We’ve had several seasons of water shortage over the last few years, too.

    User avatar
    [-] Ken

    Confidence in the community is falling. It is tough to build a strong community in the north if we continue to bank on boom and bust industries that allow workers to take all of the money back south. We need more green investment in our communities, as the uncertainty of oil and gas looms. We should invest in carbon capture, solar farms, and eventually convert our LNG to hydrogen for a cleaner greener future in the peace region. natural gas is in abundance here – it can be part of the solution.

    User avatar
    [-] William

    Hi Ken:
    Its refreshing to see folks in the patch shoulder thinking about change. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m in the south and just want to say, I’ll be happy to see provincial tax dollars flowing to give northern BC communities a new start.

    User avatar
    [-] Heather

    A big part of managing my PTSD is walking daily with my dog in an urban forested park. I need natural spaces to calm my overtaxed nervous system. This is not a joke. Without this I become ill.

    Every single park in my region is experiencing sudden tree death on top of expected death of mature trees. There are no plans in place to replace dead trees or to manage the tree diseases that are spreading quickly. Invasive ivies and hollies are flourishing in place of trees. City staff are currently removing dead trees. The city tree canopy has drastically diminished and for the first time we had an air quality problem in the summer. My husband is asthmatic.

    Our sub urban neighbourhood bald eagle pair failed to reproduce this year from stresses caused by competition for suitable nest trees (not enough tall, strong trees.)

    Seasonal flooding is also affecting the green spaces locally.

    User avatar
    [-] William

    Hi Heather: I thought you might like to hear that at a sustainability conference recently, I learned of a syndrome akin to PTSD that is striking sustainability professionals. I guess we’re getting a little overwhelmed by bad news on global progress and, though dedication, overworking and spending too little time in the natural environments that recharge and connect us.

    User avatar
    [-] Kat

    The bears have no where to live and are in all of our backyards. They have less natural food sources available which prevents us from planting things like fruit trees and composting as to not attract them. Every person I have met on the trails has seen a bear this year walking around where they never used to go in search of food.

    User avatar
    [-] jalix

    Likely not climate change. More probable it is our urban and suburban encroachment on previously wild lands.

    User avatar
    [-] Trevor

    The question is not “what things have you noticed that can definitely be attributed to climate change”. First of all, that’s basically impossible on a local level – the statistics required to attribute events to climate change require analysis on the scale of the entire Fraser Basin or so, not anyone’s back yard. But again, that’s not what this question is.

    The purpose of the question is to help get a handle on what matters to people, what folks are noticing is going on in their communities right now. We need to know this first before we can then (in later discussion questions) think about how these things will be affected by projected future climate impacts.

    User avatar
    [-] Vin

    More wind storms. Every year people die or get injured. Activities are cancelled. Properties are damaged.

    User avatar
    [-] Kimberly

    Concerned about plastics, rising sea levels, oil spills, chemical spills, pesticide exposure, water shortages

    User avatar
    [-] shirley

    The cutting down of trees and massive blasting to make space for housing. Destroying natural habitat as swamps, animal habitats, which is causing animals to move into the city area or leave. It is increasing the noise level and changing the patterns of the weather. The housing being built, there are no green spaces, no trees or plants can be grown to protect the area or add as food for animals. building is occurring in flood plains and in tsunami areas. Tearing down the trees is causing it to be warmer / hotter and drier and dusty.

    User avatar
    [-] Amy

    Mackay Creek & Mosquito Creek catchments, North Vancouver. I have observed increased erosion of streambanks as well as increased tree fall over the past few years. These watersheds are important to my family for outdoor recreation and also for salmon and urban wildlife habitat. Some restoration activities – including invasive species removal and wetland enhancement – in the lower reaches have restored ecosystem function, however, the erosion is occurring upstream and is likely a result of increased stormwater runoff entering the creek during high rainfall events.
    Urban green stormwater infrastructure – such as porous parking surfaces, raingardens, swales, and disconnected downspouts – could be used/encouraged by municipalities to reduce the peak flows into streams.

    User avatar
    [-] William

    I wonder how much of our tree loss in Vancouver, particularly in Stanley Park, is due to climate change. It feels like their toppling over all the time.

    I missed 2 opportunities to visit Elfin Lakes to reserved camp sites when the smoke inundation from forest fires made the hike ridiculous.

    User avatar
    [-] harshan

    The Nicobarese are Austroasiatic-speaking people that settled in Andaman and Nicobar islands. I understand that tribes from Africa might have wandered in to populate these mystery-shrouded islands thousands of years ago. Genetic studies have shown that Nicobarese evolved from anatomically modern humans who ventured out of Africa around 50,000 to 70,000 years ago. Nicobar’s highest elevation is 642 meters above sea-level. As a fellow human, I am as concerned about them as I am about Bangladesh, the coral atolls in Oceania, or Delta BC. We can minimize the suffering by fire proofing, flood mitigation and developing land use policies for sustainable development. To answer your question, I haven’t seen very many extreme weather events in the lower mainland where I live, but I have made changes to my activities such as understanding what to routes to work have roads subjected to flooding. Although I check the weather forecast and choose to stay indoors sometimes, my leisure activities like hiking have remained intact for the most part.

    User avatar
    [-] Katie

    Old growth logging in some of my favourite places have left the landscape forever changed and bare. This is happening all over Vancouver Island, from Port Alberni to Carmanah to Port Hardy. There are very, very few stands of old growth left. What was once my favourite part of the island has become nearly impossible to find, and what has been left behind, giant patches of slash and tiny strips of trees, will likely be decimated by fires and high winds in no time. We need to put an end to old growth logging and focus on sustainability moving forward. Once these ancient trees are gone, they are gone forever, and the CO2 they have held for hundreds of years is released back into the atmosphere.

    User avatar
    [-] Nathan

    I remember growing up maybe 10 years ago and walking to the nearest beach and being able to find dozens of purple and red starfish all over the rocks. Lately you will be lucky to see even one on your adventure. It’s sad.

    User avatar
    [-] Murray

    That was what I was thinking too. Same goes for Hornby Island and Port Renfrew, there are very few starfish there either.

    User avatar
    [-] Sheri

    Favourite places:
    A hike to a lovely waterfall with our hiking group: we turned back because the area was clearcut.

    A grandfamily outing to check the salmon run….too few salmon and a feeling of loss.

    I bought a new canoe to go crabbing in the French Creek area….but this year no crab pots out. I tried anyway, with poor results.

    User avatar
    [-] Judith

    A River Walk I have walked this river thousands of times for over 30 years. The erosion along the banks of the river has been more extreme over the last few years. Many many trees have fallen into and along the river. The human footprint and wheel prints along the river sides has increased significantly. The increasing use of use of motorized dirt bikes and atv’s has caused major erosion along the same trails increasing depth and exposing tree roots. The course of the river as it makes its way around huge fallen Douglas Firs has drastically changed. The height of the flow of the river in early spring has been unusually high and fast flowing. People buying pre existing and/or building new homes alongside the river seem to have a passion for cutting down all trees on said properties. Shoreline habitat is greatly reduced. The Chum Salmon run is coming to an end just now and the numbers are visibly way down. A few years ago a large swath of trees was cut down outside the fence line of a new hobby farm and next to the river by the new hobby farm owner without any authority or regard to eco impact. So many people are pursuing their dream to be near nature while at the same time removing all the trees on their new properties…???? People are building their giant “dream homes” on treeless lots in order to be proximal to nature. Seems like there are some noticeable serious logic “gaps.” Humans what a strange “just for me” lot we can become!

    User avatar
    [-] Marilyn

    I find it appalling how Wildfires are allowed to grow and get out of control. It is Not helping stop climes change but adding to it with all the smoke, carbon etc from wildfires. Wildfires need to be put out ASAP not left to grow bigger. Countries like Australia understand this but Canada doesn’t.

    User avatar
    [-] Catherine

    The arbutus trees are having a really rough time. Leaves blackening, limbs falling off

    User avatar
    [-] Christopher

    Strathcona Provincial Park.

    – Lower Seasonal Precipitation causing decreased water levels
    – Prolonged periods of drought conditions causing loss of vegetation, death of Western Red Cedar and Salal
    – Increased wildfires in the region causing impacts to recreation availability and fear of engaging in recreation due to risk
    – Increased wildfire smoke making any cardiovascular exercise unbearable and dangerous to our health.
    – Various impacts to wildlife and bird migration

    Overall, this generates a heightened anxiety as I care deeply about my effect on these ecosystems. The effects has an impact on my activities however, the loss of recreation does not equal the loss of personal security. (i.e. municipal water, food systems (fisheries), and municipal/provincial funding due to increased variable costs. )

    User avatar
    [-] Barb

    Lower Shuswap River: erratic seasonal water levels; more run off during the first freshet and less during the more important second freshet; abundance of invasive algae blooms; fewer Chinook and Sockeye salmon returns. Thirty years ago the Shuswap river was so full of (Chinook and sockeye salmon you could almost walk across it on the backs of the salmon.
    Interior Cedar Hemlock Rain Forest: far less snow fall during the winter (it is the snowfall the ensures the ICH gets enough precipitation to maintain the moisture for the lush interior rain forest; less rainfall and more wildfires during the summer (although this summer was the first time in 10 years there was a “normal” rainy summer) clear cut logging wiping out and forever changing the ecology of this amazing and rare forest; increase in grizzly bears at lower elevations as food and habitat are destroyed by clear cut logging resulting in more conflict between bears and people.

    User avatar
    [-] Judeth

    We now experience more power outages around the year, not just in winter. These are due to stronger, sudden winds. These winds blow over trees that take power lines down, block road access, and take out buildings. This increase in blow down is due to dryer soil conditions and trees that have adapted to wetter conditions, can’t hold on and become vulerable to strond winds.
    I have also noticed that many of the birch trees are dying.
    Summer air is now smoke filled and the month of August is usually too smokey to go outside.
    For the first time in 30 years, our creek, which is our water source, was dangerously low. With water levels this low, the water gets warmer and becomes a possible source of water borne bacteria, which is our drinking water.
    There has been a noticeable decrease in songbirds at our feeder. For example, we have not seen barn swallows for a least 10 years now.

    User avatar
    [-] William

    My building is contemplating air conditioning. We face the ocean and get great sea breezes, but with the smoke inundation of 2017 and 2018 combined with increasingly tropical summer nights, we’re starting to consider alternatives to living through indoor temperatures in excess of 30C and poor air quality.

    Our building was built in 1959 without mechanical ventilation. When the smoke comes and its hot weather, an open window is our only alternative. Window style AC is not an option. We will need to choose between aesthetic impacts – AC through our façade or significant cost — rooftop systems with or without filtered ventilation.

    Approximately 75% of our residents are in retirement, most of the other residents will retire before 2030. We are at significant health risk to these events.

    User avatar
    [-] Mike

    There has been no discernable environmental impact in our community that can be directly attributed to climate change. Climate change and the associated impacts may certainly occur in future however any of the more extreme conditions we’ve experienced recently are well within the range of normal conditions we’ve experienced in my lifetime. If there is any evidence to support the above question I look forward to seeing it published.
    I do however notice more of the lunatic-left migrating to fringe political parties. I guess you could attribute that negative impact due to climate change alarmism, helped along by websites such as this. I’m not sure how the rest of us will adapt to that impact but we’ll try our best to be responsible in our choices.

    User avatar
    [-] Trevor

    The question is not “what things have you noticed that can definitely be attributed to climate change”. First of all, that’s basically impossible on a local level – the statistics required to attribute events to climate change require analysis on the scale of the entire Fraser Basin or so, not anyone’s back yard. But again, that’s not what this question is.

    The purpose of the question is to help get a handle on what matters to people, what folks are noticing is going on in their communities right now. We need to know this first before we can then (in later discussion questions) think about how these things will be affected by projected future climate impacts.

    User avatar
    [-] Mike

    And yet the question for discussion was “how has climate change affected your community”. Pretty straight forward question. It was not “what matters to you”.
    If it’s basically impossible to discern climate impact on a local level then we are in perfect agreement and unfortunately many of the contributors, as well-intentioned as they are, are either not addressing the question that was asked or are mistaken in their understanding of the ability to recognise climate change impacts at a community level.
    If we could separate fact from emotion then perhaps we could get somewhere in this important discussion.

    User avatar
    [-] Trevor

    how has climate change affected your community is not the same as how has the portion of climate change that anthropogenic affected your community… there’s nothing in that question about separating natural variability from human influence

    User avatar
    [-] Don

    I notice more parents who are concerned about climate change anxiety being expressed by their children. In turn this is also causing anxiety among the adults who have very few resources or knowledge to engage.
    Real, science based action and supportive services are virtually non existent at any level.

    User avatar
    [-] Ed

    We think that the response to climate change needs to focused provincially and nationally on repairing ecosystems that have been impacted by development of publicly owned resources. Every management proposal must be examined for its effect on the growth of vegetative structure of ecosystems which have created the atmosphere of our planet. Plants utilize the energy of the sun to remove carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen that is the basis of all life in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Animals consume the plants and by their death return soluble nutrients to the soil and water where more plants can thrive and grow. This has been described as the circle of life. The response to climate change must be guided by the science and biology pertaining to growth and productivity of ecosystems. The studies have been done; it is time for action on the part of governments at all levels.

    User avatar
    [-] Ruth

    Loss of species (fish, shellfish); loss of habitat for birds and animals (wind storms, fire and drought); loss of land from rising sea level; summer smoke from wildfires; erosion from loss of trees; invasive species;

    Impact on health and activities, reduction in time spent outdoors; Economic impact on forestry and other sectors (closed down longer due to heat);

    User avatar
    [-] Diane

    I live in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island where my husband and I live an active outdoor lifestyle. One of the most notable changes is the rapid decline in the health of local cedar trees. It is not an exaggeration to say that most local cedars are showing signs of stress and many are now dead.
    We maintain a large food garden and I keep harvest records for our fruit crops. This year, the blueberries were ripe a full month earlier than ever before. Also of note is the recent incursion of the spotted wing drosophila to the Island; an insect previously from warmer limes.
    I am also aware of the movement of Humbolt squid into our northern waters. This voracious predator should be actively fished as a food source as it is abundant, delicious and is a serious predator of salmon and cod.

    User avatar
    [-] Scott

    In New West we are overrun with through traffic during rush hour. The majority of these cars are people driving to an office to sit in a cubicle and spend all day emailing and phoning their colleagues who also drove to the same building. Wasteful commutes dictated by employers.

    We need a commuter’s rebate where you submit the Kms commuted at tax time and get reimbursed the carbon tax. This cost should then be shifted to the employer who dictated the commute.

    In the meantime “work from home Wednesday” and choose one week a year to work from home if possible.

    User avatar
    [-] ikiss

    Air quality deteriorates in large areas far from forest fires. It’s a problem when you can’t go outdoors or have to wear a respirator for 3 months.

    User avatar
    [-] Kaitlyn

    Extreme weather events like rain storms, wind storms and long fire season. In the North, to say climate change is a problem is to say that you don’t want your job to continue. The oil and gas industry is so predominant and affords the area a quality of life that isn’t easy to give up. These areas need to have access to clean energy jobs if they are to support a transition.

    User avatar
    [-] CM

    Fort St. James

    Wildfires have been so bad, especially last year. Air quality is terrible.

    We packed all our stuff and were ready to go and leave the family business behind before the fire got under control last minute. Too much stress to do this, and in the future we’ll have to do this over and over. You can’t risk your livelihood year after year. The worst feeling is knowing things are only going to get worse.

    User avatar
    [-] Mary

    40’s temperatures in the summer at times, no fish jumping in the Skeena River, river otters on the Skeena between Prince Rupert and Terrace seem to be gone, birds more dependent on bird feeders, plants are not blossoming or ripening at the same times so insects and birds may be a couple weeks too early or late causing food shortages. glaciers melting rapidly – or no glaciers left, rivers so low in the fall when salmon need to spawn, insects not around or insect types changing, oceans dying, tropical fish swimming up here, whales cannot find salmon to eat, disease outbreaks in the oceans, bears starving? people all worried – but the B.C. Government keeps increasing our GHG emissions even though methane from LNG projects is a very lethal GHG – worse than CO2. Kitimat looks horrible – like the community isn’t even wanted there – LNG is taking over the community. How do you sleep at night forcing LNG on the planet like this???? Absolutely shameful. I can’t wait to vote in the next provincial election. I’ll certainly remember how our emissions are increasing and the B.C. Government keeps lying about how our emissions are decreasing.

    User avatar
    [-] Dave

    Our communities in the Skeena and Kitimat Valleys continue to be gifted with very strong and heavy inflow and outflow winds particularly in fall and winter, which is not new, and yet I see no attempt to harness this copious natural energy provided to us with windfarms. At the same time, Kitimat is courting the promise of a ‘windfall’ of wealth from LNG production, which in my opinion should not proceed, given the dwindling proven reserves of the natural gas needed to supply these behemoths. When fugitive methane leaks are included in the calculations, the full life-cycle of LNG from horizontal fracked wells to final use overseas make LNG one of the most intensive greenhouse gas generators, at a time when we have about a decade to reduce our fossil fuel dependency. This makes no sense whatsoever…

    User avatar
    [-] Dave

    I remember winters in Kitimat in the 1970-1980 time period when one had to shovel snow off one’s roof UP to the tops of the surrounding snowbanks. Five or six feet of snow in twelve hours was not a rare event.
    These days, I had to use my snowblower about 3 times each in the past two or three winters, with snow arriving later each year and leaving sooner each spring. This is NOT periodic weather, it is climate, and it is changing. We had and continue to have something to do with it – IPCC.

    User avatar
    [-] Lynne

    My husband and I are backpackers and we love spending time on the North Island. Logging of old growth forests has changed the habitat for animals and impacted the movement of water in the landscape. What used to be a healthy stream became a slow algae infested sludge. This forced wildlife to seek water in places they don’t normally travel. I had a close call with a cougar on the beach in a place where we have never even seen signs of cougars. There were also more wolves and bears. My sense is these animals are being pushed out of their habitats. A second growth plantation will never replace an old growth forest, and I believe that if we want to mitigate climate change, we need to protect as many of these ancient forests and their complex ecosystems as possible.

    User avatar
    [-] Alexandra

    Drought on Haida Gwaii- streams dry, low ground water.
    Erosion along the shore.
    Salal leaves drying out and dying due to drought
    Red and yellow cedar dying
    Warmer temperatures in November.
    Warmer ocean
    Heavier rains
    Erosion and landslides in clear cut areas. Increased silt run off into fish bearing streams

    User avatar
    [-] Trevor

    When I think about my favourite places near my community I haven’t seen any significant changes.

    User avatar
    [-] Trevor

    After some consideration I was able to think of a few things that have changed in area because of climate change. The biggest is the carbon tax. It is an added expense to everything I buy, be it a good or a service. I see tax dollars going to things that are no benefit to anyone I know. I see my children being saddled with future tax debt. Please stop spending money on reducing person-made CO2.

    User avatar
    [-] Ochre

    Wildfire smoke harming my asthma and commitment to active transportation, worsened allergies due to changing pollen counts, dying cedars and arbutus, small salmon runs, local streams suffer from oil tanks leaking and road runoff and bigger storm water pulses due to loss of permeable surfaces, orcas dying due to a myriad stressors, indigenous burial sites near ocean being opened due to increased erosion, farmers planting different species meant for more southern climates, worries about drinking water quality and availability (e.g. forest fire in the watershed? More algae blooms? Increased demand from farmers in the summer when it will be dryer?), Syrian refugees in Victoria (conflict partly due to food shortages influenced by weather – I welcome them but am sad they lost safety at home), dying sea stars, local shellfish aquaculture moving away due to adverse conditions, wondering if land slumping (e.g. failing retaining walls) has something to do with changing precipitation patterns, worries about costs for moving roads and underground services and potential effects on homeowners from sea level rise, worries about insurance costs, claims, and availability in the future, worries about food production and costs given droughts and fires in California, mental health impacts from being mad at inaction and fearing more changes to come. Reducing my own GHGs and advocating for systemic change.

    User avatar
    [-] Janice

    Our rivers and streams are carrying much less water, due to warm winters and dry summers. We no longer receive enough water snow pack to keep river levels high enough for stable fish habitat. Our ocean is being used as a tanker highway, causing pollution and habitat loss for marine life. Our whale population is in severe distress, our native salmon are full of sea lice from fish farms, warming oceans are displacing food sources for marine life, and illegal commercial fishing is decimating stocks.

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    [-] Steve

    I think my garden is getting drier. I feel like I have to water more, and it seems my water consumption is increasing. Makes me think about changing the shrubbery. But a lot of it is mature and newer, more drought tolerant shrubs and trees will take a long time to grow back. And its expensive. Sigh.
    Which points to another observation: I think people feel increasingly powerless to take meaningful actions that they can see will have an effect. There is lots of interest in reducing carbon footprint, but limited potential for individual action, and limited feedback on outcomes. I can see this contributing to concern and frustration. Maybe this is a health effect….

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    [-] Ronda

    We have noticed that the conifers ( Coastal Douglas fir, Western Coastal Hemlock Grand fir, Sitka spruce and Western Red Cedar) in all the little fragmented forests around Parksville and Qualicum Beach did not produce a cone crop this year. This years cones should be green and normally you see the native Vancouver Island Red Squirrels dropping them on the ground before caching them away. All we left on the trees or on the ground are last years brown cones.

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    [-] Charna

    The biggest changes in my community is population growth and deforestation. Along with population growth has been an increase in cars and emissions and consumption of resources. Deforestation has affected our watersheds and wildlife habitat. Fishing and forest industries are depleting these natural resources. When combined with climate change, these industries become increasing difficult to remain viable.

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    [-] Roland

    Several cedar trees on my lot have gone brown and died. I see dead trees like this throughout southern Vancouver Island. While this tree loss has not directly affected my lifestyle it is an indication of much drier conditions which will inevitably lead to dangerous wildfires, formerly extremely rare on Southern Vancouver Island. We are now actively planing our escape routes and making lists of what we will take from our dwelling when we are forced to evacuate.
    The Interior wildfires of 2017, and 2018 lead to huge palls of smoke hanging over Southern Vancouver Island for days. While this gave rise to amazing sunsets and sunrises the surreal lighting and bright orange sun conveyed a surreal, other worldly aspect that boded badly for our health and well-being in the future. I will try and post photos I took of these smoke filled skies on social media.

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    [-] Angela

    Drought is an annual occurrence that is getting worse every year. I am a textile artist that works fabric, dyes, and resists. The techniques I use are done best in the hot sunny summer weather using lots of water to wash out the dye remnant from processed fabrics to make the dye safe to dispose of and to water plants and water for cooking the bees wax used as a resist out of the fabric so that the wax can be recycled and reused. For the last three years I have been unable to work at my art due to lack of available water and severe water use restrictions. I am trying to figure out ways of taking dye out of the water so that it can be recycled resulting in a lower requirement for water in my art practice.

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    [-] Tatiana

    Living in Revelstoke, a place so intimate with nature, I have noticed a lot of changes in the environment and eco systems surrounding that area.
    I find that more bears are coming into town than before. Yes, we as people do draw them in, but it is also because of the mass logging that is being done in the surrounding area. It is destroying their habitat and forcing them to find food elsewhere, our town. It is ruining the natural beauty of our hiking trails, climbing walls, and biking paths that not only local people enjoy, but the tourists that fund a lot of Revelstoke’s economy. It is a shame that we continue to harm and scar our environment for profits. It is a shame that people are living in the mindset of consumerism.

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    [-] David

    The climate is always changing and the hysteria associated with the apocalyptic narrative has increased our costs of living. Local governments, like Central Saanich, have spent untold dollars on useless wasteful spending projects like solar and electric cars. A massive solar plant was placed on the roof of the Fire Department. I asked how much electricity will it really produce especially in our cloudy environment of B.C.? No clear answer was given.

    The fact is that solar and battery electric power are dirty. Basic research and case studies prove this. It does not work. Solar panels only work so long and need replacement. The same is true for batteries. What then? They have to be recycled or put in landfills which is a huge e waste issue. moreover the practice of mining minerals for batteries and solar has created massive opens pit mining and pollution unspeakable for areas in China where cheap labour is used for the dirty processes of manufacturing the components for battery and solar. Yet no one talks about this? Because we do not see it? The questions have to be asked…. how much pollution does making a solar panel or car battery cause? Then add to it the disposal of them? The answers may shock some consumers.

    I drive a New Honda hybrid under a lease. I will not be buying it nor will I lease another hybrid. On cold days, it simply does not work! We may save 50 to 80 dollars per month on fuel. But this does not pay the extra for hybrid cost nor a contingency fund for eventual battery replacement which could be well over $15,000.

    The answer is a fundamental understanding that the planet goes though natural changes and is rather balanced perfectly for life. CO2 is evidence that life is thriving on a planet, and is also necessary for plant life to survive. So CO2 is not to be considered a pollutant.

    The next solution is energy efficiency with the untrained clean gas burning engine. This until a new technology arrives.

    Of course we should be good stewards of the Earth God has given to us to inhabit, work and use. Being efficient has fiscal advantages. We have always practiced energy efficiency with our choice of car, house insulation/thermal windows designed. For cold or hot weather.

    User avatar
    [-] Dianne

    Here on Vancouver Island, our acreage’s long established trees have died or are dying, Native Cedar trees, Emerald column Cedar, Norway Spruce, Japanese Maple, fruit shrubs, some Fir and so on. A certified arborist examined those that remain and mentioned it is happening all over the island. Years of drought and possibly the sun’s UV rays have weakened the plants, then they are invaded by insects, woodpeckers or plant diseases. Severe summer water restrictions does not allow for watering. Regional water rationing began in June after a dry spring. It is called the New Normal. In a decade, our acreage will be dry and barren.

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    [-] Jonny

    Almost six years ago (May of 2014) I moved to one of the Southern Gulf Islands. Having been a city dweller for the previous 20 years, I was surprised to hear an audible buzzing noise in the forest. This was in the spring/summer season. Bees! What a glorious sound.

    But the following year there was much less of that sound, and the following year even less. Now there are hardly any bees. And the same story goes for the western tree frogs. They still make a mild racket on a damp spring evening, but it’s nothing like it used to be … six years ago.

    The point I’m trying to make here is that these changes are happening FAST! There is no time for further studies, or committees to make recommendations. Actions, and extreme ones at that, need to be taken now. Today. Right here. We are facing an extreme emergency, and as such it requires extreme sacrifices on our parts. This isn’t going to be comfortable, so let’s stop pretending that we can maintain our (totally unsustainable) ‘quality’ of life, as we address these issues.

    Become a radical activists now, or be a corpse tomorrow. What choice will YOU make?

    User avatar
    [-] Angelique

    Western redcedar deaths in nearby parks. Fires blocking out the sun midsummer,, needing to stay inside on those days. Rhododendrons and other species blooming very late. Invasive pest species, supplanting native species in local park.

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    [-] A

    Clean up the air by planting trees wherever possible. All parks in all cities should have trees planted instead of lawns. Add solar arrays to the dam reservoirs so fossil fuel fired energy production is no longer required. Southern species mosquitoes and their diseases will move north, we need to consider this impact on heath care

    User avatar
    [-] Milt

    Smoke is a concern I have a heart condition

    User avatar
    [-] Milt

    Comox Glacier disappearing. Government not increasing reservoir. Water supply is threatened

    User avatar
    [-] Harold

    How has climate change affected your community? Climate Change affects our area’s weather intensities; 1) Stronger winds that blow down trees. 2a) Higher quantities of rain fall events cause rivers to swell. 2b) River erosion from major dumps of rain affect the fish spawning beds. 2c) Large dumps of rain wash the asphalt surfaces, causes oil produces to enter the streams. 3a) Less snow pack affects the spring run-off. 3b) Dryer spring conditions in forested areas lead to more and hotter fires. 3c) Poor air quality is expected with regional forest fires.
    Current infrastructure is not ready for these changes. We have seen the 200 year flood level twice in my life time. Recommend that cities and areas upgrade infrastructure for these climate changes.

    User avatar
    [-] Muriel

    Grand Forks is the town I live in and it has been severely impacted by a record flood in 2018. The government knows all about it and has stepped up to the plate to assist in our recovery. Thank you.

    But not only did we exceed the previous highest water level by 60 cm in 2018, we also had the 4th highest level in 2017! Then during the summer the water flow decreases dramatically. This results in warm water which the fish cannot survive. Some summers there are dead fish on the shores.

    People love to tube down the Kettle River but the river’s flow is so slow now in the summer that tubing season ends in early August, rather than in late August.

    There is a fishing ban for a month.

    While I know that excessive logging in the Kettle River watershed is not the only contributing factor to the boom and bust of the river’s cycle, it is a contributing factor. There needs to be trees on the slopes of the watershed to slow down the melting of the snow. And why have not trees been planted where there was the Rock Creek fire in 2015? If the answer is that it should be left to nature to re-forest, then think again. Climate change is NOT natural. We have screwed things up so we must come up with solutions. Planting trees is vital!

    User avatar
    [-] Mr.

    The problems stem from a lack of scientific-based action including putting people in the forestry industry to planting more trees and cities and other areas to plant more trees.

    User avatar
    [-] Jennifer

    I am a firefighter out of Williams Lake. I helped my boyfriend and his kids evacuate after working 18+ hour days in July of 2017, I’ve seen cattle that have been burnt over walking on the stumps of their legs, horses that got trapped that were half burnt when we found them, and many many families and friends lose their homes to wildfires over the past 4 years. I’ve watched animosity and blame tear apart relationships and marriages. I’ve seen firefighters with burns on their arms and face on the line the next day. I’ve watched 83 years old men put in 30+ hour shifts on a dozer trying to get a guard in. I’ve listened to my friends on the coast sit atop of their ivory tower and say that these people deserved it because they made their money off industry. Many people did not move back to the town after the evacuation order was lifted. The forest fires have got increasingly worse and uncontrollable over the past few years. Some of this can be attributed to the fuel loading from the beetle kill blow down and BC’s history of wildfire suppression, but the higher than seasonally average temperatures certainly don’t help.