Dear Editor, (Published June 20 Times Colonist “We need a Bonnie Henry for climate change”)
As I watch the calm, compassionate and intensely rational and authoritative handling of the COVID19 pandemic by Dr. Bonnie Henry, I can’t help but think we need this for BC’s environment and ecosystems.
Dr. Henry’s primary goal is to work with the Ministry of Health and others to safeguard the health and well being of the people of British Columbia. A similar position working with the Minister of Environment and a Climate Change Strategy, and others, would ensure the same science based, non-partisan, and authoritative voice for the health of the natural world every British Columbian lives in and relies on.
Now imagine those public and environmental health officers working together on climate change. Finally we might be able to tackle the greatest pandemic-like crisis we’ve ever known. It is an emergency that has demanded the same kind of strong, practical action but that we have failed to take. We must flatten our CO2 curve to avoid unimaginable loss of human and non-human life. A Provincial Environmental Health Officer could help us do it.
P.S. I have been think about this for awhile, but this recent report about the amount of Old Growth left in the province really made me think about it again. Also the collapse of salmon runs. watershed destruction, and so many other problems are occuring. These Officers aren’t just there to deal with emergencies. They are supposed to put in systems to prevent emergencies in the first place and ensure the ongoing and sustainable health of everything and everyone in their care. We have needed that for the environment for a long, long time.