At this very moment, I write this to the endless sound of water bombers soaring overhead, one after another, off to fight a war started by our own forestry industry against the forests of British Columbia. I remain inside, unable to walk my dogs due to the toxic, smoke-filled air; tired from a restless night, terrified the mountain that I live on will ignite again (as it has done every summer), and I might sleep through an evacuation warning and miss the chance to gather as many of my family’s belongings as I can and flee.
I grace the pages of this blog again, after a lengthy absence. Doing a PhD while raising a family, during a global epidemic, and climate catastrophe, is more time consuming than one might think.
To put the lives of those who inhabit my home province into perspective, I look at the basic necessities for life on this planet.
A vast portion of the human and nonhuman residents of British Columbia, Canada cannot answer YES to these three life-requirement questions:
- Do you have clean air to breathe?
- Do you have a place to rest that will not likely burn to the ground due to forest fire while you sleep?
- Do you have clean water to drink?
Sadly, many of the beings (human and nonhuman) in the province of BC, and I venture to say, the world, do not have these life necessities this summer.
To the politicians who ask what we need from them prior to the upcoming election, the answer is simple: LIFE. CLIMATE ACTION.
Quite simply: an end to old growth deforestation and unsustainable, destructive logging practices that cause draught via logging old growth rainforests–robbing the planet of their massive canopies—thick aerial carpets–—that that release more coastal rain water than they take, sending it back into the atmosphere and inland, to rain throughout the province. Instead, BC’s old growth forests are clearcut and replanted with matchstick, single-tree-specie (all deciduous, water-filled trees are poisoned by spraying glyphosate), forest plantations throughout the province, forests that readily ignite and turn into raging firestorms.
If you’re interested in knowing the science behind what’s happening in our province, I encourage you to look to the science journalism found in The Narwhal, and The Guardian, to name a few—particularily, interviews with tree specialist, Dr. Diana Beresford-Kroeger. Also, if anyone is interested in how trees affect climate, I recommend the book: The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben .