EDITORIAL: Safe in our slice of paradise

As columnist Tom Fletcher points out, not all of B.C. is up in flames.

As columnist Tom Fletcher points out, not all of B.C. is up in flames. We are lucky in the Columbia Valley to have experienced an unusually wet summer. Any heat waves have quickly been followed by rain, and any fires sparked by lightning have been quickly extinguished by fire crews working in the area, aided by the on-and-off-again precipitation that really distinguishes this summer from ones in recent years. Many visitors to the valley this summer have remarked on how green the scenery is, and have expressed surprise that water restrictions are the furthest thing from anyone’s mind.

Sprinklers on timers watering a yard during a rainstorm are a fairly regular sight in these parts, but as of July 20th, the Lower Mainland has been in Stage 3 of the Water Shortage Response Plan. Under Stage 3, car washing is not permitted. Nor are private pools, kiddie pools, hot tubs and ponds able to be filled, refilled, or topped-up. Watering one’s lawn is also illegal.

On the other side of the Rockies, Calgary has had its own share of extreme weather: hail the size of golf balls, flash floods and tornadoes.

Though there have been some monster thunder and lightning storms complete with tropical-like downpours, the valley has had a welcome respite from damaging weather events (none of the flooding or landslides that happened in recent years), and local gardeners and farmers are loving the incredible growing conditions. Seems like paradise amid climate change catastrophe — worldwide, July was the hottest July on record since 1880, and there’s more warming yet to come.

Meanwhile, global stock markets are tumbling, the price of oil keeps dropping, and the direction Canada will take through these troubling times is about to be determined on October 19th. Make sure you cast your vote and have your say. There may never be an election as important as the one coming up.