Climate and catastrophe
Recently I received a notice from my house insurer, stating: “In light of changes in our climate and the impact on our environment, we have seen an elevated number of claims. With the increased incidences of severe weather we cannot guarantee coverage for certain situations.” From the direct evidence of the changing climate, they’re concerned about their “bottom line.”
I consulted my policy: damage from torrential rains, flooding and rising water table is exempt. Homebuyers in B.C. this summer were unable to get insurance because of the state of emergency from the worst fire season in the province’s history.
So why are governments and citizens not equally motivated? Isn’t it all of our “bottom line”?
We need huge change, and fast. Most know it’s a problem, but don’t recognize the urgency. The next few years will determine what kind of life we leave our children. Our lack of action will bring about increasingly severe weather disasters. With engagement, we can create a much better future. The possibility of building a strong economy powered by clean energy, effective carbon pricing, and a reduction in carbon emissions, is still within reach. DONA GRACE-CAMPBELL
Kaslo , B . C.. critical intersections.
There is another option: a roundabout. These traffic-calming circles are becoming more popular on North American roads due to their cost-effectiveness and safety factors. And yes, they do work on major arteries — just look to the prevalence of these structures on European roads. Land is usually not an issue here in Manitoba, so highway structures can be as large as necessary to facilitate the easy movement of even the double-length highway semi-trailers that are more common today.
Major accidents are far less likely on a roundabout. No more nasty and often fatal T-bone accidents. An added benefit is traffic in all directions can enter the circle with little or no delay, saving fuel and reducing the driver frustration level. I think of the many times we have been at a red light on Highway 9 and Highway 4, north of Selkirk, with no other vehicle in sight. Wasteful and ineffective.
It is time for our government to move on rectifying dangerous intersections with the installation of roundabouts. DAVID TUSTIN
Gimli if we’re not talking about protecting habitat as the most effective strategy against endangerment. Without large-scale habitat conservation initiatives (and in more dire instances, habitat restoration) to support wild populations, breeding programs are useful only to maintain endangered species in zoos or to restock wild populations that lack the habitat and genetic diversity to sustain themselves.
I’m as charmed as anyone by red panda twins, but what’s being done to maintain wild spaces and species in our own backyard? In Manitoba, we are lucky to have large areas of healthy boreal forest, but without a continued concerted effort to protect these spaces, our own “umbrella species” like woodland caribou and polar bears will suffer the same fate as the red panda (in many cases, they already are).
What’s more, the habitats that are critical for the survival of healthy wild-animal populations are also critical to humans as economic, cultural and spiritual resources, as well as being sources of clean water, food, flood protection and carbon storage. Let’s not stop the conversation at animal magnetism. Let’s hear some solid conservation strategy. REBECCA FROESE
Excellent article, Jen. Perhaps more zoo detractors need to be educated about how many breeding programs are helping to sustain endangered animals and what a major role that zoos play in this.
@wfp-227876: If natural environments have all but disappeared, then zoos are sustaining endangered animals to sustain zoos.
— Barry S.