The ECOreport looks at the drought and wildfires, now stretching from California to Alaska, and asks: the fires – Is this Climate Change?
By Roy L Hales
Across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Victoria, a brownish haze clings to the Olympic Peninsula’s shore. There are reports of ash raining from the sky in Vancouver, Salt Spring Island and Nanaimo. The sun was a reddish-brown color in Qualicum Beach. There are severe wildfires along the West Coast, from Alaska to California. There may be more than drought behind the fires: Is this Climate Change?
British Columbia could be emissions free. The province’s forest cover is vast enough to absorb more carbon than we actually need to use. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Forests has not been doing a good job since the Liberal Government took power. Instead of storing carbon, BC’s forests now emit carbon. So many trees have been clear cut, infested by Mountain Pine Beetles or burned in forest fires, that BC’s forests produced 256 million tonnes of CO2 in the decade following 2003.