A helicopter carrying a water bucket flies past a pyrocumulus cloud, also known as a fire cloud, produced by the Lytton Creek wildfire burning in the mountains above Lytton, B.C., on Sunday, August 15, 2021. A new report examining the health impacts of climate change says more Canadians than ever are facing serious health risks from heat waves and wildfires, prompting warnings from doctors that we need to do more to adapt to the reality of a warmer planet.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Letter: We owe future generations a duty to act

To the editor,

Let there be no mistake: increasing extreme weather events are caused by changing climate, and humans are causing this change. Disruption, suffering and even death from wildfires, the heat dome, atmospheric rivers and flooding is escalating as we degrade the planet.

We must act to address these problems, or future generations will pay a huge price. Surveys from every continent show youth are deeply fearful about their future. Some children and young adults now contemplate suicide as their only option.

We owe future generations a duty to act. We must give them real hope, through working hard to slow down global warming, overconsumption of natural resources, rampant pollution and loss of biodiversity.

Here are eight suggestions, culled from various sources:

• Buy local goods, especially food – goods and food not just sold here, but produced here.

• Eat “low on the food chain” – meaning mostly (but not exclusively) food from plant sources.

• Travel less. Visit digitally (Zoom, Slack, WebEx, etc). Save face-to-face visits for special occasions.

• Buy fewer, durable goods. In the long run, it usually costs less to buy something that will last – for a bit more – than to buy something cheaper that soon fails or falls apart. And you produce less waste.

• Drive less. Combine your commitments so you make one trip instead of several. Use public or human-powered transport when able.

• Avoid plastic. Use items made out of glass, metal, wood and other non-petroleum materials.

• If possible, incorporate low-carbon renewable energy into your life – solar panels, geothermal systems, heat pumps, etc.

• Put pressure on public officials and business leaders to make it a lot easier to do all of the above – and more. Join an advocacy group that’s working this way.

Think seven generations ahead.

Read more: Christmas & climate change: Shuswap environmentalist recommends planet-friendly season

Read more: Column: Climate change and the summer of our discontent

Warren Bell

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Climate change