Many people don’t realize this but it’s true. In Manitoba when it comes to extreme weather, more people die from heat than cold! To me that is unbelievable. And with rising global warming things are bad now but will soon get worse.
As Mia Rabson reported in the Winnipeg Free Press,
“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.”
There is little doubt that this problem is created by human activity and not natural conditions. This was made clear by a report in Lancet Countdown led by Marina Romanello, a biochemist at London’s Institute for Global Health. As Rabson reported,
“In Canada, the authors note, the heat dome that descended on British Columbia and parts of the Prairies in June and July “would have been almost impossible without human-caused climate change.”
Romanello also said, “This year we saw people suffering intense heat waves, deadly floods and wildfires. These are grim warnings that for every day that we delay our response to climate change, the situation gets more critical.” That heat wave in B.C. last several weeks and recorded a temperature of 49.6 C, the highest temperature ever seen in Canada. And that is was in B.C. where we only expect mild temperatures.
In other words, the apocalypse is here. Don’t wait for it because it will only get worse. If we are smart, we will halt it here and now, but we can’t make things better. A lot of climate change is already locked in.
According to the Lancet article that heat wave of which we had a milder version in Manitoba caused the death of 570 people in Canada. Think about that 570 deaths in Canada, a northern country! According to that report,
“Across Canada, the risk of death from extreme heat for Canada’s seniors rose more than 50 per cent in the last four years, compared with the years 2000 to 2004. Exposures to wildfires grew almost 20 per cent in that time, but not uniformly, with Indigenous Peoples at much higher risk.”
Inevitably, First Nations people get the short end of the stick. Rabson reported that “First Nations people living on a reserve are 33 times more likely to be forced to evacuate due to a forest fire than people living off reserve, the Lancet report said.”
That is not just because so many indigenous people live in forests. Many of them live in cities.
The report also said that around the world 20% of the world’s land surface suffered extreme drought in 2020 when the annual drought’s never exceeded that once between 1950 and 1999.
Who still thinks I am alarmist when I say the environmental apocalypse is here and now? As Dr. Courtney Howard an emergency physician in Yellowknife and past president of, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment said this year the focus was more heavily on the need for adapting to the fact that “climate change isn’t just real, it’s already hurting us”.
The authors of that report made another very interesting observation:
“The authors are also highly critical of the federal government for allowing itself to be heavily influenced by lobbying from the oil and gas industry. They said in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, fossil fuel industries and associations met with federal officials 1,224 times, an average of 4.5 meetings every day.
Comparatively, they say environment groups met with federal officials 303 times.
“Energy transition policy must be developed without such excessive industry pressure,” the report said.”
This is another example of what I have called predatory capitalism. That is something I intend to say more about in future blog posts. When creatures are weak and suffering the predators circle.