As far as the Boundary is concerned, one of the most significant meetings of the year took place last Thursday night in Christina Lake when the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary sponsored a climate change resilience forum.
We’ve all heard of climate change – melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels. But neither of those phenomena will be observable from Rock Creek.
So what is global climate change going to look like here in the Boundary?
The keynote speaker at the forum was Greg Utzig. Utzig has been trying to answer just that question over the past number of years. Along with biologist Dr. Rachel Holt and registered professional foresters Heather Pinnell and Cindy Pearce, Utzig conducted a three-year climate change study in the Kootenays.
The data that was gleaned from local forest practitioners, scientists, other stakeholders and past events gives us a good opportunity to make an educated guess of what this part of the world might look like in 50 or 60 years.
By the 2080s, the lower elevations may no longer be suitable for forests; we will likely be shifting to conditions that support grasslands and sagebrush.
We need that kind of knowledge to be able to plant future forests with some level of confidence they will be around to harvest.
According to an online news source in the Kootenays local foresters and other stakeholders identified barriers to adaptation to the climate changes. They include: Lack of funding, lack of government leadership, and an unresponsive regulatory framework.
“Barriers need to be addressed, especially those that promote inaction today. Feedback from further research and monitoring must be incorporated into ongoing activities,” Utzig said.
Utzig presented some compelling arguments that the smartest thing everyone in the room could do that night was to leave their cars in the parking lot and walk home.
Thanks to Les Johnson you can go to YouTube to hear the forum for yourself – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lON7AjKkpsI
A series of detailed reports are available at www.kootenayresilience.org
Utzig better be careful though – the way the Harper government seems to target scientists who put out knowledge the PM doesn’t find palatable.
Back when Harper was first elected he tried to rebrand the federal government by calling it Canada’s New Government.
There was an outcry – Canada for Canadians and all that rot.
But maybe we should let him go ahead with that rebranding and call it the Harper Government and be done with it – at least that way the rest of us wouldn’t have to put up with being identified with it.
I’ve got a closet full of clothes – full almost to overflowing.
Now I don’t recall buying any of those clothes. I’ve never been much of a fashionista – in fact I wasn’t even aware that men wore ‘outfits’ until I got married.
But I have come to be affected by that modern day, North American challenge – weight gain.
I can’t recall buying any new shirts, yet my closet has never seemed so full.
My clothes must be magically going up a size every time I gained another few kilograms.
That is about the only way I can explain the lack of shelf space in the closet.
Alas it turns out that Special K has been busy shopping again. Another new shirt this week, two more next.
She seems to like the Hawaiian shorts too. Unfortunately I can’t seem to fit in them anymore.
This is another example of what the climate change forum was trying to accomplish. Give me a glimpse of what the future will be like if I don’t make some lifestyle changes.