Pay now or our grandchildren will pay later! That was the message in our Blog entitled “Global Warming Choice”. This blog was a response to Premier Rob Ford’s announcement that repeal of Ontario Legislation on climate change ” would make life more affordable in Ontario”.
The important question is: if no effective action is taken to limit climate change, how long will living in Ontario (or other provinces) continue to be affordable?
We observed that if unchecked, Global warming will increase the risk of severe weather conditions, leading to more frequent and more severe forest fires, drought, floods, windstorms, ice and hail storms, heat waves, sea level rise. etc.
A recent study confirmed that the wildfires that scorched vast tracts of southern British Columbia and led to forced evacuations in the summer of 2017 were stoked by climate change. Federal scientists warn that this study also confirms that these fires are likely to become more common as global temperatures edge up.
The costs are already immense: B.C. spent $668-million in 2017 to combat some 1,500 fires that “chewed through” the equivalent of 12,160 square kilometres of land, prompting an extended state of emergency and forcing the evacuation of more than 65,000 people.
A large component of these losses were covered by insurance. Ernst Rauch, Munich Re’s chief climatologist, said global warming was causing forest fires to enter a new dimension, with losses running into the tens of billions of dollars.
A further report noted that the ability of the global insurance industry to manage society’s risks is being threatened by climate change. In the near future costs of climate change – if unchecked – will be uninsurable. And if that is the result, how will individuals recover losses they sustained that were caused or contributed to by climate change?
In the meantime, the Ontario Government has promised to make living affordable. But for how long? And how do succeeding generations (our grandchildren) manage and finance a return to a climate that characterized the 20th Century to its benefit?