What a fall! I have loved the prolonged autumn weather. My chickens have definitely appreciated being allowed to range free for almost a month more than usual. Our goats and rabbits are happy to have green grass to eat, rather than the dried stuff they would normally be subsisting on at this point. I’m pretty happy to not currently have to haul water for any of these critters. Or to have to shovel a path through the snow to go collect eggs. And I am lighting our wood stove almost more for pure enjoyment presently and to dispel the longer evenings of darkness, rather than needing it for warmth.
Does the comfortableness of this unseasonal weather make anyone else uneasy??
I recently heard the statistic that 200,000 Canadians were placed under evacuation orders this past summer. Floods were devastating and wildfires were the worst on record. This summer was the warmest recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. June through August marked the world’s hottest three-month period in recorded history (cfr.org). The latest emissions report from the UN Environment Programme (unep.org) states that while our temperatures have broken records across the world, our greenhouse gas emissions have kept pace and continue to break their own records. Truly not what most of us would want, as we begin to visibly witness and live through our climate’s changing.
And now, again, to the carbon tax. Is it the most beneficial way to achieve our emissions reductions targets on a broad scale? Is carbon pricing the most effective way to pause, halt, slow down the climate effects that rising global temperatures have on our local places of habitation? Possibly not, but it’s maybe our best hope at this point. If the biggest reason for climate change is the burning of fossil fuels, then we should be paying for the pollution that we are incurring, even if that pollution is how we heat or cool or power our homes. And, since we currently have a federal government that is convicted enough and convinced enough to risk not being re-elected by attempting to enforce changing our fossil-fuel-guzzling habits to give half a chance to our children at having some of the worry-free living we have enjoyed, I think we could do worse. We could do nothing.
According to an article in the Winnipeg Free Press this past weekend, in 2021, the average Manitoban paid $462 for the carbon pricing system, but received an average of $705 in climate action incentive payments. Estimates suggest that Canadians will lose more than $700 a year to climate-related damages by 2025 and those costs will continue to rise as climate crisis-related weather events increasingly occur.
While Manitoba seemed to benefit from a longer growing season in 2023 and although we did not experience profuse wildfires like we have in recent memory, our fellow Canadians were ravaged by fires and floods and widespread smoke and heat. Let’s remember that climate change affects all of us and let’s try to do our part to care for our children and our neighbours.