The top photo is the Comox Glacier in September of 2013. The bottom photo is the same glacier in September of 2018. Photos by Fred Fern

LETTER – The disappearing Comox Glacier tells the climate change story

Governments have been delaying conversion to electric economy for decades

Dear editor,

Governments must make decisions that are progressive, and forward-thinking, which do not set the stage for future conflicts.

For at least 20 years, short-sighted politicians and governments have been telling us we can’t switch to an electric-based economy overnight, using and abusing any excuse to keep oil and other hydrocarbons the dominant source of energy.

The time for studying the problem was long ago.

By now, we should have been well into the period of decisive investment, and action. Regrettably, governments and citizens may have accepted fatal delays in acting.

Just imagine where we would be if all the taxpayer money and company money from those lost decades, wasted on subsidies, tax giveaways, and advertising – promoting oil sands and pipelines – had been invested in battery development, solar, wind and tidal power, plus the infrastructure to put in place the electric economy. Those infrastructure components exist now, and are ready to go, including right here at home.

Like the whole planet, Vancouver Island needs a serious effort to head off climate change, including a comprehensive plan to conserve increasingly scarce water supplies, both above and below ground.

All over the Island, cedar trees are dying because the rainforest, which was their natural home, doesn’t exist anymore. Just up the road north of the FLNRORD (Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development) office in Nanaimo, where they make environmental policy, there is a grove of dead cedars.

Likewise, where are all the critters and bugs in the back-country that used to plague us on our camping and fishing trips? Far fewer of them now.

The permanent ice pack of the Island, which reliably fed our rivers in the summertime, will be gone in the near future. We are going to need our aquifers. So the decision by FLNRORD Minister Doug Donaldson to accept groundwater extraction for bottling and profit was wrong, short-sighted, and set us up for future conflicts.

Photography can tell the dire story. On top, the Comox Glacier, September, 2013. Below, the Comox Glacier, September, 2018.

Fred Fern,


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