Politicians and news broadcasters, such as the CBC, declared disaster events are due to climate change — a buzzword and broadly used term — but experts disagree.
In 2021, BC citizens endured forest fires, heavy rains, flooding, mudslides, heat waves and currently a cold snap.
At the end of the year CBC British Columbia tweeted: “
From the heat dome, to wildfires, to widespread flooding, B.C. has seen a few climate change disasters this year. This means the province’s glaciers are taking a hit. @JWagstaffe set out on a high flying journey with scientists who are mapping the rapidly changing landscapes.”
According to the Government of British Colombia, human activity causes 40% of the forest fires and 60% are by lighting strikes.
The previous year’s forest fires are directly linked to the past fall’s natural disasters.
Flooding was a chain reaction not caused by climate change, an environmental scientist who asked that their identity not be revealed, told the Western Standard.
For extreme flooding to be connected to climate change it would have to be caused by extreme heat and ice melting, said the scientist, who added the flooding and mudslides were direct after-effects of extreme fires and extensive deforestation followed by the earth’s inability to hold soil in one place because of lack of vegetation.
Another human cause the scientist pointed out was the amount of development in flood plains, where it’s known the area will eventually flood.
Climate change is a hot topic that often headlines, but experts point out BC nature disasters are separate from climate change.
Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Wester Standard.