Climate change is our problem too

Posted on November 01, 2022 | By John Risley | 0 Comments

I remember a lovely story about a young reporter from The New York Times on holiday in Nova Scotia. This was back in the 1970s and he was asked to tea by an employee of ours in Clark’s Harbour, right on the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia. The town is on Cape Sable Island, itself reasonably remote almost by definition. Our man’s mother asked the reporter where he lived. He described the New York-Philadelphia-Washington area, it’s huge population and economic importance. Her query was, “Why would all those people want to live so far away from everything?” Lovely, innocent, but incredibly naïve.

To some extent this remains very much part of our regional culture. The rest of the world has huge problems, but they don’t really impact us. We saw the rationale for this attitude resident during and in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of ‘08 and ‘09. Thanks to the economic base of institutions like our navy, our universities and most significantly the role government plays in our economy, we were barely scathed. Perhaps the arrival of Covid has begun to erode that confidence. Maybe the impact of the Ukraine war and its impact on global energy prices is further compelling evidence that our past confidence is increasingly misplaced. And I suspect the first signs of climate change are beginning to be understood as indicators we are truly a part of a global community. There may still be the odd skeptic left but they must be far fewer in number in the aftermath of Fiona and Ian.

There is a saying that all news is local. Or maybe it’s something like the most interesting news is local. In any case, it’s time we started paying more attention to what is happening globally, how those trends might affect us and what we can do about it.

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