To the Editor,
I write this after two and a half months of working at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and 25 years of hearing about taking action on climate change.
We now know the stark difference when people listen to scientists and when they don’t. In B.C. we have lost lives but we listened to the calm advice of medical health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and flattened our curve. We continue because we must. We have seen very different and extreme outcomes elsewhere.
With climate change, we passed the ‘first wave‘, let’s call it Kyoto, and we have done very poorly. We are feeling the drastic impacts: forest fires, salmon runs dying off, the Arctic melting, rivers drying up, entire species at risk. If we do not start to listen to experts now, the second wave could lead to unimaginable and extreme consequences.
Could you have imagined being in this pandemic situation at Christmas? Probably not. But scientists and experts in the field did. That is why they knew what to do. COVID has shown we can do drastic but good things when we must. It has brought us together.
We must do the same to zero our carbon emissions. Scientists say we have a chance but only if we take drastic action now, not to shut down our economy, but to immediately change it. If we choose to listen to scientists on COVID-19 but not climate change then we are still choosing our fate.
“They always tell me it takes time. How much more time do you want…for your progress?” — James Baldwin