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Après le déluge

November 17, 2021

We got off lightly here on the island, truth be told. 

Elsewhere in British Columbia people have died in the landslides that took out all the highways into and out of Vancouverand the rail link. An entire small town has been evacuated after its drinking water and sewage treatment plants failed. Many others face the prospect of fleeing their homes. Farms – and the animals who live on them – have been abandoned. 

The images are appalling.

It truly is biblical. Makes me feel more than a bit guilty that on Monday (before I knew quite how devastating the flood damage was) I joked that it was a good thing the cost of lumber’s gone down in time to start building arks.

The price of recovering and rebuilding is incalculable. 

Of course we’re not the first (or the worst). Flash flooding has been going on all over the globe with increasing regularity in the past decade.

Meanwhile, here on the island, as emergency crews scrambled elsewhere to airlift people trapped in their homes or in their cars, my biggest problem yesterday was finding somewhere Joe and I could take Georgie for a walk in the sun.

Early on in the first trail we tried we were confronted by a new pond. We were willing to creep through the surrounding salal and give it a go. As we were attempting this, a woman and her dog approached from the opposite direction. She was wearing wellies, which we weren’t, and advised us to give up. We did. 

Packed a puzzled Georgie (“call that a walk?”) back into the car and drove to another favourite trail.

Yes, there was a bit of bushwhacking involved at one point to get around another new pond and there were new streams and babbling brooks everywhere.

But there was also sunlight streaming through the trees.

It was actually a beautiful autumn day here. No sense of the chaos and tragedy in other parts of the province.

Watching the local news yesterday I was in awe of the communities opening their homes to complete strangers who’d been forced out of their own. I was horrified by the devastation. And I wanted to punch someone in the face.

It was no surprise to hear that Justin Trudeau got some well deserved grief at COP26 for trying to be seen talking the talk after buying a frigging pipeline. Buying that pipeline in and of itself didn’t directly cause the flooding this week (or the forest fires raging throughout the summer), but abandoning the project now (no matter how many billions of taxpayer dollars have been pumped into it so far) would at least send a signal that this Prime Minister does take the devastation of climate change seriously. If he doesn’t, he might as well get the punch in the face.

From → Blog

One Comment
  1. John Galpin permalink

    Channel 4 news just had a 5-minute report on the weather-related incidents in BC. It’s quite extraordinary. Stay safe and buy Georgie a lifejacket.

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