Discussion 2: How do we prepare for the health impacts of climate change?



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”.

Our health is impacted by climate change – increased wildfires can affect our respiratory health, more droughts and floods put pressure on our food and water systems, and rising summer temperatures can lead to dehydration and other heat-related illness, particularly for the very young and elderly. Being able to effectively respond to these challenges is important to maintain our health and well-being in a changing climate.

Question 2: What impacts do events such as heat waves or periods of poor air quality have on your health? How will you take care of yourself and your loved ones as these events increase? What actions do you think different levels of government can take to better prepare your community for these impacts?

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46 responses to “Discussion 2: How do we prepare for the health impacts of climate change?

    User avatar
    [-] Sze

    The wildfires of the past couple of years were hard on our kids. This year we rearranged our summer plans to camp at the beginning of the season. We also came up with back up arrangements for summer camp – as we had challenges in 2018 having kids pulled from outdoor activities and being put in cramped, hot rooms everyday. We are lucky to have been safe from the wildfires – and have heard from friends how traumatic it was.
    We are trying to think ahead and installed a heat pump with the grants. Ive commented to the rec centre and library that better air filtration is needed. You could still smell the wildfire smoke and people were complaining about headaches last year.

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    [-] Lynne

    I live in a forested community. One of the biggest fears of the citizens of my community is a wildfire that impacts houses. Even a simple house fire could be catastrophic in the right conditions, potentially resulting in the loss of dozens of homes. We can try to Fire Smart our properties, but cutting down the trees is not an option I would consider. Poor air quality when there are wildfires burning in the area is also a serious concern for the elderly, the young, and people with existing health issues.

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    [-] Lee

    Though you may have already done this, i would encourage you to consider what other avenues you can take to protect your property in a FireSmart sense without cutting down trees if that isn’t something you’re willing to do. While a full FireSmart response may require you to remove trees, a lot of smaller changes can be made that will still increase your homes’ survivability. Removing bark mulch and brush or flammable plants from directly around your home, for example, can make a significant difference. Trees are just one part of it.

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    [-] Gordon

    We are seeing a lot more lean-looking bears in this small city, foraging for food over the mid- to late-summer. The bush is dry; the berry crops were very poor this year, so they have been a nuisance. I believe the Conservation officers have had to destroy more than 40 of them.
    Invasive insects are on the rise: several new species of wood-borers, spiders, and in the past 3 years, we have been plagued with newly-arrived blackflies.
    Red tide events, as well as low-stream flows have arrived earlier and lasted longer than in past years. This is affected shellfisheries, recreational fishing, and salmon runs.
    Last Winter was abnormally dry (from mid-January through to April) which resulted in top die-off of many trees (residential and in for the forest). I lost two well-established fruit-trees, due to the drought; by the time I thought to water them it was too late. And I’m on the coast!. Our local Arbutus trees all suffered quite-severe damage (leaf drop, and completely dead areas in the canopy). As well, the cedars are still looking very thin (in November).

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    [-] Ochre

    Please use the upcoming retrofit code to make heat pumps mandatory at heating system replacement time. I’m a renter and believe there is no way my landlord will try something other than a gas furnace, despite the rebates. Needs regulation. I have asthma and Last smoky summer I stayed at my parents place since they have a heat pump and could keep windows closed and air filtered.

    I’m not sure what the province can do about future food crop failures elsewhere in the world causing costs to increase and availability to decrease. I’m trying to support island organic farmers regularly.

    Currently trees are typically cut down to make room for bike lanes, but it will be much nicer to bike under a tree canopy during hotter summers. Can bikeBC funding support tree retention or planting? Or hilariously some cover with solar panels on top? This approach means sacrificing some space for cars. Could we get better ebike rebates, fund improved public transit services and free fares, and make distance based insurance to discourage single occupancy vehicle trips?

    I’m worried about power outages from increased storm intensity. To support electrification in BC we’ll need a resilient grid that can provide space heating. What is the province’s plan for that? Heat pumps plus wood stove incentives?

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    [-] Carlin

    YESS EBIKE REBATES i’m on board with that.
    I repair ebikes for dirt cheap prices
    prices that a person on disability could pay for on their own time but dang i went into debt doing it

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    [-] Ochre

    I forgot to add – the retrofit and new building code should require projected rather than historic climate data be used. Already the condo I used to live in overheated in the summer. I worry about older people and those with health problems suffering in heat waves in buildings that make the situation worse.

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    [-] Derek

    The large scale burning of logging debris every fall across BC is a huge contributor of pollution, yet rarely mentioned. There are alternatives – chipping and spreading debris, that are rarely used due to the (minor) cost. Forest fire smoke is often mentioned, yet the amount from burning landing piles is most likely larger. The Provincial Government can encourage licencees to promote alternative methods of slash disposal, yet as witnessed from my 30 years working for FLNRO, has no appetite to pursue this.

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    [-] Rob

    Torrefaction (pyrolysis) of wood waste converts cellulose to biochar and VOCs into wood vinegar, creosote and py-gas.
    Biochar has dozens of vital uses, from replacing coal in metallurgy to amending soil to reduce need for fertilizer, prevent flooding and sequester carbon permanently.
    VOC products can be converted to drop-in replacements for gasoline and diesel, more cheaply than bitumen extraction.
    Eutectic salt pyrolysis is vapor-free, and non-polluting.

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    [-] Charna

    I think my local government should first acknowledge that climate change exists. They voted no on a motion to acknowledge there is a climate crisis.

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    [-] Roland

    The poor air quality on the coast due to the record fires of 2017 and 2018 did affect our breathing a little and made for poor visibility. The only way to really take care of ourselves during future summers like this is to leave the area. If you do not have the means then you will suffer in the future. There is nothing our local community can do to mitigate such large, all encompassing regional impacts, especially as they originate from Interior forest fires hundreds of kilometres away. All we can do is jointly join the Inter-national efforts to eventually eliminate the use of fossil fuels altogether, in the hope of mitigating climate change impacts such as this in the future. However, at least a 1.5C global temperature rise is already “baked into” the climate system already, and the oil industry is still bent on expanding oil and gas production from the tar sands, the Arctic and north-eastern BC. With such a backdrop I am very much afraid my grandson will live to see a world totally unlike what we see today, because far too little is being done far too late.

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    [-] Angela

    Heat waves cause drought and a lack of water is causing a strain on being able to grow food at home and locally causing higher prices at the store for imported produce – as well there is a need to use more electricity to keep the home at a reasonable comfortable temperature causing a strain on electricity requirements and higher electrical bills – solution is to put in rain collection barrels and creating a better gardening system using less water, creating more air flow through in the house to regulate heat better – governments could make water collections systems available at cost to home owners … Air quality affects breathing and the time able to be spent outside – government can help with recycling initiatives and better transit to reduce emissions – not sure what to do about forest fires – closing campground and public access to the outdoors will have a negative impact on mental health wellness

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    [-] Mary

    Upgrade building codes to create green buildings that are sustainable now. Provide monetary help for upgrading residential homes to green buildings. Provide all the money needed to cut down trees around buildings if that is what you want to keep cities safer, especially considering the massively unhealthy LNG projects you are subjecting us too. Much more methane causing global warming (up to 80 times worse) will cause many more wildfires. Add the GHG’s from wildfires into the total of our GHG emissions each year instead of not including them and hiding our real GHG totals.
    You could best prepare our communities by not allowing lethal methane emissions from unhealthy LNG projects to go ahead and affect our health (and the world’s) in countless negative ways.
    Controlled burning might help. Initiate a yearly report card so we can see what the B.C. government has actually done to lower our emissions considering we are increasing our emissions yearly and that is a fact without even including the largest project in all of Canada: LNGC.

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    [-] Mary

    The B.C.Government has given permits to many LNG projects. Each day of the 40 years average length of these projects the pollution will be 20 to 80 times worse a GHG than CO2 going into the atmosphere for the first 20 years. Perhaps the government and the polluting companies involved in these projects could leave the camps that they are/will be installing for workers to complete these unhealthy projects. We will have millions of climate refugees in the coming years that will need a home, partly due to these projects.

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    [-] Dave

    The question asked is “What do I think various levels of government can take to better prepare our communities from these impacts?”. In my opinion, continuing to pin our future hopes on increasing fossil fuel development – the very thing that has a whole lot to do with our predicament – is completely insane.

    I take my hat off to the three provincial premiers who have recently taken steps to reduce their fossil fuel impact. With the announced Memorandum of Understanding with two next generation nuclear energy providers, the Premiers of Saskatchewan Ontario and New Brunswick are taking an important step to ensure Canada is on the leading edge of reducing this country’s negative fossil fuel climate impact by investing in energy from Small Nuclear Molten Salt Reactors.

    Small Nuclear Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) are far safer than conventional water-cooled reactors which require extremely careful safety monitoring and round the clock coverage. Moltex Energy, for one, is in discussions with New Brunswick which is looking to replace their aging CANDU water cooled reactors with Generation IV Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). The three stages in the company’s plan will be to immediately start with Uranium, eventually employing Thorium in the nuclear fuel cycle ten to fifteen years later. Spent nuclear waste from conventional water-cooled reactors can also be rendered less hazardous in these Generation IV SMRs. That’s the kind of initiative more Canadian provinces should encourage.

    A calculation of the full life-cycle greenhouse gas impact from LNG which includes methane leaks from sources upstream from the LNG facility including fracking, etc. the answer is a value that is actually worse than the best coal-fired power plants in Asia. I would feel more comfortable with our collective future health if the British Columbia government would just stop cheer-leading and financially supporting the LNG industry with incentives from taxpayers (which indicates the industry cannot survive on its own) when the world (China and India in particular) see the future is no longer with fossil fuels, but with MSR’s, nuclear energy and renewable energy sources.

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    [-] Dianne

    I have environmental allergies, so each day begins with checking air quality advisories. Due to the increased wildfire smoke during summers and wood-smoke in winters, we spent quite a bit of money to buy HEPA filtration units big enough to adequately clean the inside home air. Due to heatwaves, we spent again and switched all windows and skylights to energy star units, then bought portable air conditioners for bedrooms so we could sleep. Window coverings were upgraded as well, a new roofing and doubled the number of attic roof vents. All unexpected expenses on a 25 year old residence., but we are fortunate to have had these options.
    Our regional government refers to the events impacts as the ‘new normal’. Their website reports on water and air issues and residents can sign up for alerts which has been helpful to better prepare.

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    [-] Eric

    I really respect that you took the initiative to make your own improvements and modifications to mitigate impacts. You’re one of the few that hasn’t appealed for gov’t to send you more money or otherwise take control of your life. You are setting a great example of what people can do for themselves and be directly part of the larger solution.. Not certain where all the people looking for gov’t handouts think the money is going to come from. Sure they’ll be happier with free stuff but they’re just mortgaging their kids future for their personal gain now.

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    [-] Billy

    Kill the pipeline. Ban tobacco. Stop spraying pesticides. Stop producing plastic. Stop killing animals. No more war. Decommission nuclear power plants since they seem to like blowing up. Stop driving oil across the ocean…because the tankers like to leak.

    I mean it’s pretty easy to see what the problems are. You don’t have to be Greta Thunberg with Asperger’s to know what’s going on….

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    [-] Harold

    How do we prepare for the health impacts of climate change? Lets be prepared to remove CO2 emissions from all our cities. In BC legislate that cities make electric vehicles only zones for the downtown core. Then encourage trains, busing, bicycle traffic and pathways to our downtown. Free charging stations downtown to encourage shopping. Shared thermo-exchange heating and cooling systems.

    Creating a 0 emissions living. What amazing health concept?

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    [-] E.

    I understand that 95% of BC’s electricty is produced from renewable sources. I appreciate that heat pumps (“..to cool your home…”) might be a nice thing to have but it isn’t clear to me that this is going to significantly reduce carbon emissisions in BC. As for “filtering out air pollution…” it would seem that reducing air pollution is a better strategy than to promote rather than filtering the air in your home.
    Personally I shall strive to improve my personal fitness and lead a healthy lifestyle with a view to sustaining a high standard of personal health and thereby being less susceptible to occasional environmental events. This is something positive I can directly control and influence and does not require government intervention or subsidy.
    I think government can advocate for people to take more personal responsibility for their health and fitness so they are more physically resilient. Exercise, healthy eating, refraining from excess and indulgence will have a much greater impact on health outcomes in a stressful event. Such a lifestyle is established early in life and should be encouraged in early childhood eduation.

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    [-] Lee

    I agree with your comments. I personally don’t feel very impacted by climate events health-wise because I experience good health, which I take a significant role in maintaining through diet and exercise choices.

    However… some people don’t have that option. Many do for sure, but some folks have genetic conditions, work related conditions (e.g. inhaled substances such as dust at work for years which have led to respiratory problems) and so on that mean they are impacted by things such as smoke and air pollution.

    I think the point in this is that there are multiple solutions and approaches required. Those of us that can make change and mitigate ourselves from harm should. Those that can’t should take whatever actions they can. Overall, governments, businesses and society as a whole should continue (start?) to address the root causes and ensure that access to supports exist for everyone that needs them.

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    [-] Lee

    I am of excellent health so I don’t feel that these specific climate events have any significant impact on me personally, though I do believe that they impact people who have compromised health or other conditions that can be exacerbated by air quality or temperature effects. I do think there is a mental health toll though of the increased exposure to climate related emergencies (floods, fires, etc.).

    Community adaptation has been and continues to be overlooked in a real way. I realize this question is about health but I’m going to use a non-health related example here (though it did cause many residents in the area a significant amount of stress). A major rural bridge on my commute was destroyed by flooding in 2017. It took them almost a year to replace it and they built back the exact same bridge. No changes at all to prevent future recurrence. I realize that addressing critical infrastructure that exists is a huge financial commitment, but missing these small opportunities that a disaster actually provides us to further prepare ourselves for change are what we should be capitalizing on at the very least. Build back better.

    Same goes for housing post-wildfire. Changes to zoning, codes, etc. on the rebuilds to mitigate future climate impacts is a no brainer. However, we built even further into the interface on the grounds of the 2003 wildfire in Kelowna and refuse to learn those lessons. Google wildfire reconstruction in Santa Rosa, California if you want to see the lunacy of it. Some folks have lost their home more than once and just keep rebuilding. We have to accept the reality we face.

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    [-] Charlotte

    If the government is taking climate change seriously, they would stop investing in fossil fuel projects. Instead, they’ve invested in accelerating the fracking/LNG industry, further spewing methane and C02 into the atmosphere. We’re not going to be able to mitigate impacts from climate change while we’re also accelerating it by pumping fossil fuels into the atmosphere.

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    [-] edna

    Government at all levels is missing a golden opportunity highlighted by recent transit strikes in the lower mainland. Public transit should be playing a much greater role in CleanBC’s strategies. Putting much greater effort and dollars into acquisition of electric buses and cutting rider fees to encourage greater public transit ridership would make bus drivers the heroes of our climate-ready strategy.

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    [-] louise

    it would be nice to have several cool zones in urban areas. these can be shaded by structures with cross breeze (coulees) , treed areas that provide areas of reprieve throughout the hotter times of the day.

    local/provincial governments could create building codes for design and materials used to keep heat and cold out. such as: windows, window overhangs, green roofs, solar panels. thus: less demand on electricity and its production, less risk of health issues

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    [-] Peter

    We installed geothermal heat from a deep well but received absolutely no assistance with the very considerable cost to install this fosssil free fuel.

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    [-] Daena

    Honestly, I’m personally disturbed by the way this survey is marketed at “adaptation strategies” and asks “how likely do you FEEL this and that will affect your community”. I personally think this is misleading, and not only does it skip over the idea of prevention – it talks about adaptation like a walk in the park. More than that, how are my “feelings” about the likelyhood of a disaster in my area relevant? Likelyhood is determined by scientific modeling and study and making predictions based on evidence. If you ask the general public if they are worried about sea level rise in their community and they say ‘no’, does that tell us there is no threat? Or does it tell us we have an uninformed public that is not yet aware of the connections between climate change events beyond the scope of our small communities…
    We need the Government to be clear, honest and forthcoming about the current, best available science and right now that science is telling us we need strong action now to prevent and mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Period. You don’t get to brush past this step. We have wasted 30 years debating and denying climate change, we have a small window now to take action and we MUST. The “easier” thing for goverments to do would be to calmly act as though climate change is inevitable and we are “engaging the public to build an adaptation strategy”. These are warm and fuzzy words that entail zero action being taken. Act now to reduce fossil fuel emissions and transition to green renewable energy quickly. Sorry, but these surveys are a distraction and a waste of time and money.

    create a false sense of public security with warm fuzzy words like “adaptation”. With Love and Rage xo

    https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/consultation/climate-ready-preparing-together/?utm_source=Public+Consultation+%26+Planning&utm_campaign=Public+Consultation+%E2%94%82+December&utm_medium=email

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    [-] Daena

    Honestly, I’m personally disturbed by the way this survey is marketed at “adaptation strategies” and asks “how likely do you FEEL this and that will affect your community”. I personally think this is misleading, and not only does it skip over the idea of prevention – it talks about adaptation like a walk in the park. More than that, how are my “feelings” about the likelyhood of a disaster in my area relevant? Likelyhood is determined by scientific modeling and study and making predictions based on evidence. If you ask the general public if they are worried about sea level rise in their community and they say ‘no’, does that tell us there is no threat? Or does it tell us we have an uninformed public that is not yet aware of the connections between climate change events beyond the scope of our small communities…
    We need the Government to be clear, honest and forthcoming about the current, best available science and right now that science is telling us we need strong action now to prevent and mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Period. You don’t get to brush past this step. We have wasted 30 years debating and denying climate change, we have a small window now to take action and we MUST. The “easier” thing for goverments to do would be to calmly act as though climate change is inevitable and we are “engaging the public to build an adaptation strategy”. These are warm and fuzzy words that entail zero action being taken. Act now to reduce fossil fuel emissions and transition to green renewable energy quickly. Sorry, but these surveys are a distraction and a waste of time and money.

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    [-] Loris

    I recently was hired for a job in NorthEast BC. I moved there, but was forced to quit my job and move back south because the air quality there was so poor. The energy industry in the Peace Region is severely affecting the air quality.

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    [-] Elisabeth

    I had headaches for weeks two summers ago when the smoke hit ver badly. I remember coming outside from a meeting one night and the smoke was as thick as fog. My first breath in felt like taking a drag off a cigarette. It was so shocking. I had to cover my mouth with my sleeve. Fortunately I was driving home. I wouldn’t have survived a bike ride through that air. I think we need to be significantly more proactive about our forest management to increase carbon sequestration and biodiversity while managing fuel loads would help reduce risks of fires in the first place. Monoculture tree farming is doing us no favours for fires and droughts.

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    [-] J

    Air quality includes noise pollution as well!
    The sooner we stop putting more ICE on the roads the faster we get better health all levels,mental,physical, emotional!

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    [-] Kim

    The poor air quality particularly when enduring smoke is having an impact on my health. Loss of greenspace, birds and other creatures is also having an impact of distress on my health. I can’t bear heat and I am very upset that our community is not preparing for heat waves by allowing trees to be cut and destroyed all over the community. Also that when water scarcity occurs, watering of lawns is allowed, but I think all homeowners need to be encouraged to water their trees and hedges. Leave the grass altogether! It is getting hotter temperature wise and without the trees and shade it is getting hotter.

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    [-] Minette

    Poor respiratory health for us all. We’ve purchased masks to keep on hand in case the smoke becomes too intense and have an air purifier. The government must put climate change at the very top of its priority list. Plant trees and actively think of ways to reduce our emissions by more than 50% over the next 10 years. Declare a climate emergency and make it mandatory for everyone to reduce their emissions. Tax the big carbon giants. People need to wake up!

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    [-] sue

    Partner has COPD and air quality results in less activity, more medication and resultant mental health effects. We use air filters inside when necessary. Municipalities need to set up cooling stations and transportation networks. They also need to increase access to free potable water in public places. Increased use of energy for air conditioning is not a long term solution – we have to decrease energy consumption.

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    [-] Concerned

    Where I live we have had weeks at a time where there has been poor air quality due to wildfires burning. The forest industry continues to burn piles of debris from industrial logging and they set fire on these piles at various times of the year. I know they try to be discrete, but often smoke lingers in the valley where I live. Government needs to declare a climate emergency and do whatever in it’s power to alleviate additional C02 in the atmosphere. That means a quick transition to renewable energy such as wind and solar and major investment in railway and mass transportation to get people moving. There needs to be a stop to the pipelines and that includes LNG. LNG is not carbon neutral by any means and the public needs to be given incentives to make personal changes in their daily life. Government should not fund climate deniers and they should not continue with what the NARWHAL exposed about “clean BC”. https://thenarwhal.ca/clean-b-c-is-quietly-using-coal-and-gas-power-from-out-of-province-heres-why/

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    [-] Stephen

    I am concerned about both the increased smoke from wildfires in the summer as well as increased mold from wetter and warmer winters. Both of these factors can trigger my asthma. I find that many public and community operated buildings are increasingly moldy in winter months – perhaps thru a desire to reduce heating costs.

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    [-] Bruce

    Heat waves on the east coast of Vanc Island have been and are likely to be of a very moderate nature. Local development involves on-going tree and forest removal which reduces shade islands. Periods of summer heat heighten the awareness of the beneficial effects of any degree of tree and forest cover to humans and to wildlife. Our older home has no heat recovery ventilator so no prospect of centrally controlled air filtration. We have 2 portable hepa rated air filters that helped protect our indoor air quality during the last period of major smoke due to wildfires. Local governments could incentivise new home construction to include (on a mandatory basis) high quality, high efficiency HRV systems and educate the public as to the energy efficiency, air quality, and emergency air quality mitigation benefits of HRVs. Pandering to the lowest common denominator as represented by everyday spec builders is a recipe for disaster on multiple fronts of which this is only one example.
    Local governments could A) recognize anthropogenic climate change; B) develop policies that address the impending reality and impacts of climate change; C) develop policies, implement, and require ‘climate responsive’ approaches to climate change mitigation. D) reassess all land use decisions and all ‘business as usual’ operational protocols with an eye to climate change mitigation.

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    [-] Dawn

    poor air quality directly impacts my health because I live with a complex chronic illness. I have to run HEPA filters in the house and pay for replacement filters twice a year. If I need to go outside during bad Air Quality days, I need a filtration mask. -a paper ‘hospital mask’ does nothing. I have to buy a good quality, custom fitted mask, and the filter parts. I exist on PWD, these are huge expenses in my small budget.
    The biggest, most important thing the government can do is make Polluters Pay. Industry and Oil megacorps are responsible for the majority of the GHGs. Hold them accountable. set huge restrictions on their ability to off-gas. charge them millions of dollars for every leak. use the money to offset harm to the communities.

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    [-] Brittney

    I work outside everyday, hiking & training dogs. In the past years, the wildfire smoke has made it dangerous for me to hike, with out a mask. I will continue to wear a mask, when it’s not safe, or cancel walks.
    The government needs to take action by drastically reducing emissions and supporting us every day people, in making greener choices. Banning single use plastics right now & offering grants to people to support them in purchasing green products.

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    [-] Carlin

    Heya i moved here from sask (fresh air) took a train here , the moment i got off the train my lungs began to deteriorate, i was hospitalized twice before i found out the extra co2 i was breathing was irritating and filling my lungs with fluid, do you know the feeling of drowning? try feeling it for days on end.
    I quit my job and i limit my exposure, i can breath now
    I could care less about climate change because how can i help if i cannot breath in the first place?
    the sacrifices i’ve made to be “green” turned me into a hermit monster full of unbridled rage toward the average person. ps i do wear a respirator to go in public lol.

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    [-] Carlin

    if i get trapped in a smokey area i will drown in my own lung fluid.

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    [-] Jackie

    Despite local studies in the valley where I live which show an above average rate of asthma in children, local governments refuse to tackle the issue of fireplace and insert burning. Sensors from the purpleair.com worldwide monitoring system located in our neighbourhood indicate a winter particulate rate similar to that which appeared during the yellow-skied provincial wildfire episodes from a couple of years back. Those rates correlate with negative health effects, especially for people with lung conditions. Some measures have been taken to mitigate outside burning, but there continues to be a refusal to accept that inside burning is having an effect. This is mind-boggling as smoke can be detected in the air in most local areas all winter. As the majority of homes have electric heat, many residents are turning to wood burning to reduce their astronomical heating costs, so that is a significant cause of the reluctance to impose restrictions. That being said, in the interests of everyone’s health and right to clean air, we need a plan that will immediately begin to reduce wood burning, such as insisting that fireplaces in new homes be gas or electric, and/or making it illegal to burn wood in a home after the home has been sold to a new owner. The options could be to remove the apparatus, or convert to gas. In my home we now have an air purifier, but are so disappointed that our outside air continues to be noticeably polluted for more than half the year. There appears to be no wood burning inserts that are pollution free, despite claims to the contrary. As a society we have tackled cigarette smoke, yet some think this type of pollution is okay. Some provincial direction to help move things along would be much appreciated.

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    [-] Linda

    These are good programs but they appeal to the well heeled. We need to help all residents lower their emissions quickly if we trust that the medical community can interpret science (which they can) .

    Medical professionals the world over are announcing they have assessed the climate reports and concur with the scientific findings. In their educated opinion we are facing a climate code blue.
    People have little reason to think these esteemed experts would lay their professional reputations on the line (to sound like chicken little doomers of all things) in support of questionable or quack science, but unfortunately the media doesn’t seem to be connecting their voices to the issue. Politicians who wish to act would be wise to focus more on our public health.

    I recently heard a physician tell his attentive mayor and council that as a Hospital Doctor he meets a lot of patients daily, and when he has to tell one they have developed diabetes he knows they don’t want to hear they have to change the way they have been doing things, life is just far too pleasant as it is.
    But he would lose his license if he told them to keep on enjoying things for the next three, four years before starting treatment. They have to start right away.
    Later when the meeting ended, the mayor announced they were going to start treating their diabetes right away, might not be easy but it was necessary.

    This analogy also rings true with me, and likely millions of others. When my doctor said I had cancer I didn’t reply I don’t believe you, I don’t trust your scientific reports, forget treating the condition I’m going on perpetual holidays instead.
    No, I said, cut it out. Treat it. Then I’ll get on with life.

    Public Health officials could effectively communicate the severity of the climate health warnings. We hire them to make science based decisions in our best interest. As trusted epidemiologists they frequently communicate warnings via the media.
    They are alarmed by the climate crisis, but aren’t known to be alarmist:

    Most critical problem we’re facing:’ Medical groups urge climate change action

    “The groups represent 300,000 health professionals across Canada, including medical officers of health responsible for more than half the country’s population.

    Climate change is already having a big impact on public health, the letter says.

    “We don’t use words like climate emergency lightly,” Buchman said. “We’re using stronger language because we actually do feel the evidence supports it.”

    Insect-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease have already appeared in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario where they never were before.”

    https://election.ctvnews.ca/most-critical-problem-we-re-facing-medical-groups-urge-climate-change-action-1.4632848

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    “We are the generation in charge during the last time window for humanity to decrease its emissions enough to maintain a livable climate. The next 12 years are critical: Members of Parliament elected in the 2019 federal election will ultimately have the opportunity to ensure a healthy response to climate change or be responsible for devastating climate-related impacts that will be visited on our children and future generations. Just as when we do CPR during a code blue in the hospital, we need to push hard, push fast, and not stop in order to ensure a healthy outcome.”
    Dr. Courtney Howard, President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)

    https://www.cpha.ca/health-professionals-federal-political-parties-action-needed-prevent-catastrophic-climate-change

    /—
    Prioritizing Health in a Changing Climate | NEJM

    “The stark reality is that high levels of greenhouse gases caused by the combustion of fossil fuels — and the resulting rise in temperature and sea levels and intensification of extreme weather — are having profound consequences for human health and health systems.1
    The negative effects of climate change are frighteningly broad: they touch every human organ system, while challenging health organizations by interrupting supply chains and damaging public health infrastructure”

    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe1909957

    —-/

    Public Health Should Drive Climate Policy:

    “If the federal and provincial governments [and LOCAL] make health and well-being the motivation for responding to the climate emergency, we could reduce political polarization, gain benefits for our health and mitigate climate change. Such a focus has the potential to build social consensus for climate action.”

    https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/august-2019/protecting-public-health-should-drive-climate-policy/

    —-/

    “From a public health point of view, there is no more immediate challenge than climate change. If we are going to build resilience and resourcefulness among our cities, municipal and government partners, we need to exert meaningful effort in setting processes in motion now to respond to global warming.”

    Dr. Alex Summers, Urban Public Health Network

    https://www.cpha.ca/health-professionals-federal-political-parties-action-needed-prevent-catastrophic-climate-change

    —-/

    How the bystander effect can explain inaction towards global warming

    “When transplanting these suggestions to global warming, it could be that people are more likely to act when they understand the urgency of it, when the consequences of global warming are personally relevant to them, and when they know what they can actually do themselves (i.e. they have an action perspective).”

    https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/businessreview/2020/01/07/how-the-bystander-effect-can-explain-inaction-towards-global-warming/

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    [-] Giselle

    I have a health condition that is sensitive to heat. It can be really dangerous for me and I am actually quite terrified of how I might be affected in the future. I keep ice packs in the freezer and have a fan, and try to stay connected with loved ones. I need to buy some blinds to keep my home form turning into a solar oven as well! I’d also like to move out to where there are more trees, away from town and into the wild a little. I think our governments should be funding far more trees in urban areas, as they are the best cooling systems and also carbon sequestration organisms, it is so shockingly foolish how our governments are allowing the razing of old growth forests, it’s just so heartbreakingly foolish to think that this is okay. Our governments need to recognize the true value of things like trees, rather than mere dollar signs. it is all too often forgotten that money and currency is of symbolic value. Liveable environments, clean air and water, these are truely valuable, in fact they are priceless and necessary.

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    [-] Katie

    My two children have been exposed to smoke from forest fires for almost every summer of their young lives. They are 4 and 6 years old. I grew up on the west coast and never experienced this until recently. I worry about how this repeated exposure to wood smoke is affecting their health.

    We have started adjusting our activities as we anticipate smoke every summer now, we will go camping earlier in the summer and stay home when it’s smoky in later months. I wonder how this will affect campgrounds, resorts, tourism in general.

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    [-] Pamela

    In extreme heat: shortness of breath during the wildfires 2 years ago, discomfort at home in a small upper level apartment.
    Suffering for the animals — including birds and fish who have no water to drink and consequently limited food supply. They, too, suffer from challenges in breeding and caring for young.
    Not sure what we can do as these events increase.
    Suffering of people without homes increases in every regard.
    Increase in the number of people without homes when the places where they live become compromised through drought or fire.
    Government can stop cutting down old growth forest and otherwise proceeding with environmentally compromising projects. It is not all about humans.

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