There’s been a lot of conversation over the last week about whether or not people should talk about climate change while forest fires are burning around Fort McMurray. Our take: our first priority has to be caring for people affected by this tragedy. Thank you to everyone to who donated last week to support people affected by this fire.
Next, we have to prepare for what’s coming. Leading scientists agree climate change is one of the factors fueling intense forest fires, and other extreme weather events, that are putting communities across Canada at unprecedented risk this summer. 1
We need to start increasing firefighting budgets and preparing disaster relief now – and ultimately, we need to stop the worst damage by rising to the challenge of tackling the climate crisis head on.
Canada has a chance to do what needs to be done – both to protect our communities now and safeguard them for generations. The new government just launched a consultation on the National Climate Strategy, and all MPs are encouraged to host a climate town hall in their ridings so you can have a direct say in the plan. 2 The problem is that most MPs have yet to commit to host a town hall, meaning millions of people across the country won’t have a direct say in this climate plan.
We’ll only get strong climate action if all MPs hear from people like you that climate action is a priority for our communities.
Can you take a moment to send a quick message to your MP to ask that they host a climate town hall? Your MP is most likely to listen to you, their constituent, which makes it important that they hear from you directly.
No single disaster can be completely blamed on climate change – after all, we know forest fires have happened yearly for millennia. However, this fire is part of a growing trend we are seeing across Western Canada – and the world. 3
Rising temperatures are changing weather patterns across the world. This is leading to longer forest fire seasons in Western Canada, higher risk of drought in Central America, stronger and more frequent typhoons in the South Pacific and much more. 4 5
The fact is that climate change is not a problem of future generations. Climate change is hurting communities today. If we want safe communities, we need to prepare together for what’s coming, and we need to cut global warming pollution today now, not in 20 years.
Your MP needs to hear this, and we need to make sure everyone’s voices across the country are heard. Send a message to your MP calling on them to host a climate town hall in your riding today.
- Did climate change contribute to the Fort McMurray fire? http://www.macleans.ca/society/science/did-climate-change-contribute-to-the-fort-mcmurray-fire/ ↩
- Have your say on climate change https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/climate-action.html ↩
- How climate change may be fueling Canada’s fire season https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/05/06/how-climate-change-may-be-fueling-canadas-fire-season/ ↩
- El Niño is putting millions at risk across Latin America and around the globe http://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/stories/el-ni%C3%B1o-is-putting-millions-at-risk-across-latin-america-and-around-the-globe/ ↩
- Climate change aggravating cyclone damage, scientists say http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/16/climate-change-aggravating-cyclone-damage-scientists-say ↩