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?"
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.