BC Closes Out the Year With Another Climate Blow


It's been a tough year for British Columbians. Extremes of heat and cold, drought and floods. Heat so intense it killed off billions of sea creatures, the sort that anchor marine food chains. Heat so fierce it claimed hundreds of lives, killed off crops.

Stuff that, in normal times we might call "once a century" catastrophes, even as we now understand them as our "new normal". 

The series of climate disasters has already affected the province's farm output in myriad ways — from fruit crops "cooking" on the branch during the heat wave to wildfire smoke tainting wine vintages. Now, the latest cold snap is adding even more uncertainty for farmers in the province, according to Stan Vander Waal, president of the B.C. Agriculture Council.

"More and more ... the challenges we see as farmers today is dealing with the unknowns," he said. "How do you compensate for these extreme conditions?"

How do you "compensate for these extreme conditions?" You don't. Not for long. Not once what had been thought of as extreme becomes routine.

Guardian columnist, Simon Tisdall, uses a broader brush to paint a picture of global dimensions that will hammer humanity in the coming year. He warns of "another year of living dangerously."

On the brink of a new year, the world faces a daunting array of challenges: the resurgent Covid-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, the struggle between democracy and authoritarianism, humanitarian crises, mass migration, and trans-national terrorism. There is the risk of new inter-state conflicts, exacerbated by the breakdown of the rules-based international order, and the spread of lethal autonomous weapons. All in all, for most people on Earth – and a handful in space – 2022 will be another year of living dangerously.

The hotspots will be familiar only hotter. China, India, Eastern Europe. A plague of rightwing populists playing with matches with familiar names such as Bolsonaro, Modi, Orban and, yes, Trump. On almost every continent, sharp elbows abound.  Even Canada doesn't escape Tisdall's notice.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to push new policy initiatives on affordable childcare and housing after winning re-election in September. But in 2021’s snap election his Liberals attracted the smallest share of the popular vote of any winning party in history, suggesting the Trudeau magic is wearing thin. Disputes swirl over alleged corruption, pandemic management, trade with the US and carbon reduction policy.

Africa looms large on every metric whether it's spreading terrorism, mass migration, famine, disease or pestilence.  Europe and North America can expect more of what they endured in 2021.

It’s unrealistic to expect any swift improvement in the global climate heating outlook in the coming year. Extreme weather events of the type seen across the world in 2021 – fires, droughts, floods, storms and record temperatures – are almost certain to be repeated.

Then there are the poles, north and south.

Both polar regions will see increased human activity in 2022 – not necessarily a happy prospect. In Antarctica, for example, mass tourism is taking off with the advent of ice runways accommodating wide-bodied jets. More problematic still is the growing interest of China, with other countries, in tapping into Antarctic’s resources and establishing military facilities there.

Likewise the melting ice of the Arctic has opened up commercial and naval sea-lanes across the top of the world, currently being developed by Russia in heated competition with several other countries. Long neglected Greenland is a new El Dorado for mineral and mining companies, and also of growing interest to defence planners – but local people’s resistance to issuing licences is growing.

Fire and Ice. Not quite what George R.R. Martin had in mind, but still...


  1. "How do you "compensate for these extreme conditions?" "

    Well, I've found a trove of info on twitter about how to keep hummingbird feeders unfrozen and my dear wife has implemented them to save a our fierce flying friends here in frozen Vancouver. ;-)

    1. Well done, you. I'm not being facetious. Individual acts, seemingly inconsequential, do matter.

  2. @ Northern PoV.
    Just how do you keep the Humming bird feeders free of ice?
    I our household and for the sake of sanity the issue is a wonderful diversion from the the perversions of daily news and life.
    FWIW, we could not find a Hummingbird feeder heater anywhere today, apparently they are back ordered!


    1. Hey TB - the CBC has this

      tons on social media

      in the end, after several experiments, we fill a small pot with hot water,
      the feeder sits on top and we change the water when it starts to freeze

    2. One bird is having breakfast as I write this - we (collective hummingbird enthusiasts here) have saved some birds!


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