In the last weeks we have listened to the news of people being displaced in Slave Lake due to wild fire and people killed and displaced by massive tornadoes in the American mid-west.
At the recent Cranbrook forum on Conserving Working Landscapes Dr. Walt Klenner spoke on the topic of Climate Change Scenarios for Forest and Grassland Management. His main message for those who care for the land is that we can only expect the unexpected. The gradual increase in temperatures will not be a steady event. Erratic weather patterns with unusual highs, lows, extremes and extreme events will be the norm so we should not be surprised at all the unusual weather that has occurred in the last few years. The prediction is that it will continue and become more extreme. His advice was to be prepared.
Dr. Klenner went on to talk of the change in plant and animal life and the difficulty that plant and animal species have with the speed of change. This includes people and their dependency on the land. Facing such predictions is not easy but by learning all we can about how to be better caretakers of the land we hope to cope with the changes that are inevitable.
Several news stations reported these figures in the last few days. This is from CBS News:
OSLO, Norway - About 42 million people were forced to flee their homes because of natural disasters around the world in 2010, more than double the number during the previous year, experts said Monday.
One reason for the increase in the figure could be climate change, and the international community should be doing more to contain it, the experts said.
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre said the increase from 17 million displaced people in 2009 was mainly due to the impact of "mega-disasters" such as the massive floods in China and Pakistan and the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.
It said more than 90 percent of the disaster displacements were caused by weather-related hazards such as floods and storms that were probably impacted by global warming, but it couldn't say to what extent.
"The intensity and frequency of extreme weather events is increasing, and this trend is only set to continue. With all probability, the number of those affected and displaced will rise as human-induced climate change comes into full force," said Elisabeth Rasmusson, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council.
"There is increasing evidence to suggest that natural disasters are growing in frequency and intensity and that this is linked to the longer-term process of climate change," Guterres said.
For the full article:
Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.