Recent NEWS articles have referred to the drought conditions that we are experiencing in Parksville Qualicum Beach. May I use the phrase, ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’?
Our advanced technological society must have learned something from history; or did we? When we humans mess with our environment over a period of time, bad stuff can happen.
The barren areas around the Eastern Mediterranean including the countries of Turkey, Syria Jordan, Egypt and Libya were once fertile, flourishing, productive savannah, some named the ‘Garden of Eden’. Easter Island located many hundreds of kilometers from land was transformed from a lush, abundant tropical island that supported a large population; to a barren wind-swept almost desert island. This scenario occurred with many advanced civilizations, over millennia.
And it happened, before the exorbitant uses of fossil fuels, and the many other modern human influences over our land, water and atmosphere. The sad and shocking fact is that our advanced technological society is not very smart. We live in a bubble of expectation that keeps us in a state of denial.
Burning millions of year’s worth of stored energy, could not possibly produce enough heat to change the climate. Sucking water from wells hundreds of meters deep that has been in the ground for thousands of years couldn’t possibly alter hydrologic cycles. Cutting down millions of hectors of lush forest, levelling and paving it, would never reduce evapotranspiration, increase wind speeds and create desert conditions.
When we wake up to reality, smell the smoke from forest fires, find that a limited amount of fresh food is unbelievably expensive, and try to find some water in dry creeks; we may come to the improbable conclusion that, although we are much more fortunate than most people in the world, our society didn’t really see this coming. Perhaps we should be planning, for the future.
Trevor WicksQualicum Beach