The chickens have come home to roost. What are the chickens? It is the lack of action on the part of government to problems that seem possible, but not immediate.
It is endemic everywhere in business and government here in the United States and in Canada. Modern nations have ignored what might happen in favor of doing nothing about it.
This is the story of the British Columbia provincial floods of November 2021. This link will take you to a Canadian broadcast news item on the flooding event, and elements of the story and issues that led up to that flood.
Some of the key points I picked up:
- Climate change is changing the rules. What once was will not be in the future. Disasters will be more frequent and bigger.
- Managing water requires regional action and even international cooperation — that has not happened.
- The BC government, as one interviewee stated, “downloaded the responsibility for maintaining flood control measures to local communities.” That will never work!
- The event demonstrates in pure devastation why regional coordinated action is needed.
- Everything that happened in the flood was predictable based on the studies that were done. Studies do nothing to change the situation, it is actions taken based on studies than can make a difference.
- I’m reminded of football at the professional level. Everyone there is strong and fast. You have to be able to bring your “A game” to compete. Doing what you did in the past won’t work. The climate change standards will require more of everyone.
- Alert and warning: It was a mess!
- Lastly, living in what was once a lake bed that has been reclaimed from nature can be difficult. I fear that the losses experienced in 2021 will be repeated again and again and again in the future.
Here in the United States the BC experience reminds me of the possibility of an AR storm in California. Again, all very predicable. At some point we’ll be talking about it — remember, the climate is changing!