Firefighters drag a hose to battle a fire near Bendalong, Australia, Jan. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

What will finally be enough to wake up the world to climate change?

How many photos and videos of disasters will it take before we stop wasting time?

Maybe the photos and videos of desperately thirsty and burned koalas in Australia will finally prompt wealthy countries like Canada and Australia to start taking climate change seriously.

Oh, our governments in Canada mostly talk a good game (though there remain some who cling desperately to denial in the face of all evidence to the contrary, whether for their own selfish political bid for credulous followers, or true disbeliever fervor). But what are they really doing besides continuing to dig up the tar sands and frack every possible inch of ground and ocean floor to try to suck up more fossil fuels for us to burn?

It’s astonishing that in the face of evidence we’ve all seen and heard and even touched, we are still too in denial about the crisis nature of climate change to act to try to save ourselves and our world, even if we aren’t in denial intellectually. But continue on as if we don’t have to change what we do.

That’s after Fort McMurray burned in Alberta. After thousands were evacuated in the B.C. Interior as fires destroyed everything in their path. After the skies above Vancouver Island rained ash and the sun turned an ominous red from our own fires and those on the mainland. After hurricanes of unusual strength at unusual times have devastated entire countries, and fire has turned huge swaths of the Amazon rainforest to charcoal (but not here, so I guess we can forget about it quickly).

How many photos and videos of disasters will it take before we stop stalling and wasting time with the wearying debate over if we need to do something, and move on to real plans about how quickly we can make changes that have a fighting chance of saving those thousands of koalas and kangaroos and birds that are paying for our hubris? How many disasters do we have to go through ourselves?

In Australia the prime minister is under pressure from horrified and angry residents. We can only hope it galvanizes the government there into action. We can only hope this latest tragedy is the one that galvanizes the world.

– Cowichan Valley Citizen

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Homeless crisis can be resolved, but not by wasting taxpayer money

Dangerous neighbourhoods being created and requests for safety and security ignored

Sentence in dog abuse case ridiculous

He should be made to pay restitution for medical bills

Martindale honoured for her many years of service with Meals on Wheels

Retiring chair part of a remarkable history for volunteer organization in Chemainus

Historical Moment

Drop in copper price sealed the fate of Crofton Smelter

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Cooler days help crews fighting fire on mountainside southwest of Nanaimo

Firefighters making progress, but it’s ‘slow-going,’ says B.C. Wildfire Service

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Most Read