Editorial: The cost of climate change

There’s money in climate action

When it comes to climate change, there is no debate, despite the efforts of some to muddy the waters.

About 97 per cent of the world’s scientists working in the field are in agreement, if the evidence we can all see wasn’t enough — increasing extreme weather incidents, forest fires, melting permafrost, species declining.

The other false flag that’s often raised is the change isn’t caused by human activity and pollution, that what we are seeing is just natural changes in the earth’s climate — just like the ice ages and warm periods we’ve seen in the past — is irrelevant.

One of the reasons it’s irrelevant, though, should strike deep for elected officials and others with the ability to create change.

Money.

If nothing else, allowing climate change to proceed at the predicted rate is going to be more costly than doing something about it. It already is.

B.C. got off easy this year when it came to forest fires, unlike the previous two years, where a lot of taxpayer money was spent trying to keep massive forest fires in check across the province.

That’s just one example. Rising sea levels, declining biodiversity, dwindling resources, these are all going to make life increasingly expensive as time goes on.

On the other hand, climate action creates jobs. Not only the direct clean-up work, but new industries taking the place of ones that are already running down, like coal mining.

That’s leaving out the possibility that we may manage to wipe ourselves off the face of the Earth in the next century or two — this is just the practical arguments.

After all, Mother Nature won’t miss us — our disappearance will just make room for the cockroaches to evolve into Earth’s next dominant species.

Spending now to reduce the amount that has to be spent later would seem to make sense unless you believe that change of any kind is bad. For those people, well, they’re going to have a rude awakening.

In the end, none of the arguments trying to disprove climate change matter. Even if climate change weren’t real, humans have still made a mess of the Earth, and cleaning up after ourselves just makes sense for a healthy future, for us and our planet.

After all, it’s the only one we’ve got.

–Black Press

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