Cli­mate and catas­tro­phe

Winnipeg Free Press - - YOUR SAY -

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

@wfp-227876: If nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ments have all but dis­ap­peared, then zoos are sus­tain­ing en­dan­gered an­i­mals to sus­tain zoos.

— Barry S.

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