Scientists Predict More Wildfires, Extreme Weather: Where is Ottawa’s Plan?

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada calls on the Leaders of all parties to acknowledge the scientific consensus that the wildfires and extreme weather we are witnessing today are an indicator of what is to come as global warming intensifies. Forest fires are nothing new and occasionally we have a bad year. “But the extent of wildfires burning across western Canada today is unprecedented: the total area burned by July 5th is the same amount that burned by August 5th last year and the 2014 fire season was the 5th worst of all time in BC”

Claire Martin, meteorologist and Green Party Climate Change Critic observes, “The wildfires burning this early in the season across the west are an indicator of a dangerously parched environment right now, and consistent with many scientists’ predictions. Conditions like we have now are expected to increase in frequency with climate change.”

Acting decisively on scientific knowledge about the factors behind extreme weather is critical to ensuring the security of Canadians. Lynne Quarmby, Green Party Science Critic points out that, “without taking decisive action to cut fossil fuel emissions, we can expect climate instability to increase, which will lead to more extreme weather and increased probability of floods, droughts, severe storms and wildfires.”

Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich Gulf Islands and Leader of Canada’s Green Party, says, “Governments and political leaders have been hearing this message for over two decades. Oil sands expansion is inconsistent with efforts to avoid catastrophic levels of climate change and new pipeline projects to bring diluted bitumen to tidewater are part and parcel with oil sands expansion.

“We call on the Liberals, the Conservatives and the NDP to prove they are serious about climate change by calling for a serious plan to end Canada’s dependence on fossil fuels. The Harper Conservatives have also ignored the need for a climate adaptation plan to reduce the threat to life and property due to extreme events.”

May adds, “Real leaders do more than just fight fires. They try to prevent them.”