WATCH: According to a federal government study, we are warming up faster than any other country on earth. The report, commissioned by the Environment and Climate Change Department, found that Canada is experiencing warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. As Mary Griffin reports, efforts to combat climate change start at home.
Even when eating lunch, Calgary native Evan Smethurst is never far from the ocean.
“I spend a lot of time out on the ocean, and beaches and stuff,” Smethurst said.
For the next few weeks, this avid surfer’s home is his van. And he’s trying to leave as small a footprint as possible.
“This is like my home, I’m travelling around Canada and stuff. I’m minimizing the amount of stuff I use,” Smethurst said.
A new report about climate change in Canada, commissioned by the Environment and Climate Change Department, includes details about rising sea levels, and warmer, much warmer temperatures. Thomas James, a research scientist with Natural Resources Canada, said the impact of climate change will be felt on the west coast.
“Here in British Columbia, we expect to sea level to continue to rise. We expect drier summers, drier and warmer summers in the interior of BC and with that brings the increased risk of wildfires,” James said.
Fire season started early with a fire northwest of Squamish Monday, weeks ahead of the what is traditionally forest fire season. On Vancouver Island, a warming climate also means flooding in the form of storm surges. But it may not be too late yet, said James.
“What the report does is map out two very different futures for Canada. A kind of high emission scenario where the effects of climate change will be more pronounced,” James said. “And the impacts of climate changes will be stronger. And a low emission scenario where many of these effects and impacts are minimized.”
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps had advice for residents who want to reduce their carbon footprint.
“So what can Victorians do? Take the bus, ride your bike. Walk,” Helps said.
The city is focusing on alternative forms of transportation to cut carbon pollution by 18%. Otherwise, the costs will add up 100 years from now.
“But when sea level has risen, if we don’t do what we can to mitigate it, the cost to Victoria, just the downtown is about $450,000 per day,” Helps said.
According to the report, the climate is changing, but just how much may still be determined.