Penticton Winter

December 31, 2021

Penticton (and most of British Columbia) has had a much colder winter than usual. Heck, over the last six months, it’s had unbelievably bad weather, period.

First there were heat waves (referred to as “heat domes” by the media). No matter what they were called, they were bad. I will never forget seeing on June 28 a temperature of 46°C (115°F) on our deck. In the shade.

Then there were the fires. Almost all of the town of Lytton was consumed by them. Throughout British Columbia, the air quality was terrible and the heat unrelenting.

Then autumn brought intense rain accompanied by high winds. The rain saturated the soil, the wind pulled the fire-dead trees from the ground, and this lead to extreme flooding and landslides, especially in the lower mainland. Dozens of landslides swept vehicles from the roads and trapped people and communities in isolated pockets.

British Columbia’s Coquihalla Highway
Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Hayward/ The Canadian Press

The Coquihalla Highway, a main four-to-six lane artery that carries supplies and people through the mountains, was seriously damaged in 20 separate places. The community of Abbotsford, a major supplier of dairy and other agricultural products and situated in the lower mainland, suffered extreme flooding and enormous economic damage.

Now we’re being hit by record-breaking cold temperatures with freezing rain, snow and slush. The media are doing reports on how people can help to save the non-migratory hummingbirds from freezing to death. According to the scientists, this is the tip of the (melting) iceberg because these “weather events” are going to get worse.

Question is, what are we doing to mitigate this situation? And, what are we doing to get ready for what’s coming?

10 thoughts on “Penticton Winter”

  1. You know we are in trouble when the once in 50 year events come every 1o years and the once in 100 year events come every 15 years. Whatever we are doing, it is not enough. We have not even hardened off our power grid to handle major solar radiation events. After each major disaster, man seems to be very forgetful in a hurry. Stay well and stay warm Lynette. Allan

    1. Yes, I agree, Allan. We are so slow and lumbering and not making any progress, it seems. I just saw a news report that Germany shut down three of its last remaining six nuclear reactors. They expect to be off all coal and nuclear generated power by the end of this year with 80% of all power coming from electrical sources by 2050. Do we have a plan? Nothing much that I’m aware of. Non-renewable plastic use was supposed to be gone at the end of 2021, but I see the goal posts have been moved again …

  2. The nations are doing little because they have other priorities, such as the economy. For there to be change right now, which is what is needed, we all have to make drastic changes to our lives. But human beings are so suck with their comforts that they are not willing to give up anything. It’s heartbreaking to watch what humans have done to the planet.

    1. Agreed, and the pandemic, too. Unfortunately, we have a climate pandemic headed our way and given the way many governments have dropped the ball around covid, it’s going to be ugly when they start trying to belatedly deal with this. Ugh.

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