Feeling the effects of climate change

African famine is something we have been exposed to by the media for most of our lives and so we say: “isn’t that too bad” and go on with our lives.

African famine is something we have been exposed to by the media for most of our lives and so we say: “isn’t that too bad” and go on with our lives.

This time, however, we are looking at a disaster of unprecedented proportions when we look at what is happening in East Africa.

According to estimates by the UN’s World Food Program, as many as 38 million Africans are living under the threat of starvation, and many will succumb if emergency relief does not reach them in time.

To put that in perspective look at that as being more than the entire population of Canada and you will get a grasp of the horror of what is happening to the human race in that part of the world.

We really do not have to look that far afield to see the upswing in flooding, fires, droughts, tornados and other natural disasters happening on the North American continent.

Perhaps we could look at it as the usual situation in our comfortable lives, unless we stop and look at the realities of global warming. The United States and Canada rank No. 2 and No. 7 in carbon dioxide emissions globally.  So looking at those stats perhaps we can make a link to our glut of energy consumption and the climatic disasters happening world-wide.

Most scientists accept that CO2 is the problem while less than one per cent question that link.

There are some steps we can take here. First of all, send whatever donations you are able to make for African relief to whatever agencies are involved in alleviating the impact of African famine.

Secondly, take steps to reduce your own energy usage, and third, lobby your MP and your federal government to recognize the disaster that world wide global warming is quickly becoming and to start from the top down to put policies in place to reduce the impact of carbon fuels.

This is not just a disaster that is happening in a far off place. We on Vancouver Island have been extremely fortunate so far, but how far down the road will it be when it will come to us in higher fuel prices, food shortages and natural disasters? We all need to do our part, no matter how small.

Shirley Stirrett



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