2013-03-08

The Pine Beetle and the Carbon Tariff: Two Calls to Climate Action

Recently I had the pleasure of traveling from community to community in the Okanagan as a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party. Like everyone who visits the Okanagan, the endless swaths of dead trees left me with a sense of deep urgency to act on climate change.

Before I got into politics I worked in the reforestation industry for 35 years and I saw much of British Columbia's vibrant forests. During that time it was unimaginable that BC's forests could include 20 million hectares of dead standing pine.

The super-population of the Mountain Pine Beetle which killed the pine is the result of nearly two decades of warm winters, an early warning sign of catastrophic climate change. The Greenhouse Gases from their decay is a "positive feedback effect" that will only make things worse. But it's not just BC -- we are all seeing extreme weather consequences from only a 0.7 degree Celsius warming.