The city of Thunder Bay and surrounding townships have declared a state of emergency this week because of flood conditions throughout the region after more than 100 millimetres of rain fell over the weekend. The problem of flooding was exacerbated when the city’s overworked sewage treatment broke down. Roads have been washed out, basements filled with up to five feet of filthy water, and schools have been closed.
Living in northwestern Ontario as our family does, Thunder Bay is one of our regional centers (the other one is Winnipeg, which is also prone to spring flooding, although not this year). I’m thinking about friends there, and hoping all is well despite the crisis. Although here in our corner of northern Ontario, we haven’t been hit with the massive flooding that Thunder Bay has, it can’t be emphasized enough how all of us are going to start paying a heavier and heavier price for global and local inaction on climate change. Extreme weather events, and the resulting flash floods, droughts, etc, are (and have already been) increasing exponentially. As Ontario’s Environment Commissioner said recently, “We have an infrastructure built for a climate we no longer have.”
Although we have changed the world’s climate significantly, we are not yet at the stage of catastrophic climate change. For the sake of our children, our global neighbours, and this beautiful planet, it’s time that Canadians speak up loudly and clearly that we are not willing to sacrifice our children’s future health and economic stability to keep the fossil fuel industry raking in their obscene profits. To find out how to create the political will for a sustainable climate, and become empowered to exercise your political and personal power, go to CitizensClimateLobby.org.
Here’s a video of the Thunder Bay situation: