Canadian Context

PREPARE FOR TOMORROW: “Policy changes required to mitigate climate change appear far less disruptive — economically, socially and culturally — than the measures being taken right now to tackle COVID-19,” say Eric Galbraith and Ross Otto of McGill University

“The alarms for both COVID-19 and climate change were sounded by experts, well in advance of visible crises,” stated Eric Galbraith. “As scientists who have studied climate change and the psychology of decision-making, we find ourselves asking: Why do the government responses to COVID-19 and climate change — which both require making difficult decisions to avert future disasters — differ so dramatically? We suggest four important reasons.”

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INTERWEAVE INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE & WESTERN SCIENCE: “Indigenous knowledge is an essential asset for communities to adapt to climate change, by knowing the land, using the local natural resources, sharing capital, and taking a community approach to local issues,” stated Dr. Mylène Ratelle, University of Waterloo

“Indigenous groups in northern Canada, with their traditional interpersonal networks and social initiatives, seem to have developed a unique structure to cope with climate change and environmental stressors without relying on federal or local policies and infrastructure. Based on this, it seems that one way to enhance peoples’ resilience to climate change is to improve the social capital — or social networks — of populations,” stated Mylène Ratelle.

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THREE WAYS CANADA’S CITIES CAN PREPARE FOR CLIMATE EMERGENCIES: “Resilience is rapidly becoming a buzzword that’s at risk of losing its meaning,” wrote Dr. Darby McGrath and her Brock University co-authors

“We define resilience thinking as an approach that recognizes the complex interactions between society and our ecosystems, embraces the idea of change and acknowledges uncertainty. Resilience thinking requires acknowledgement from municipal governments that climate-related changes may be unanticipated and sometimes catastrophic. With resilience thinking, however, we can move forward with solutions that allow municipalities to continue to flourish despite changes we anticipate and those that surprise us.’

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Population Growth & Urbanization: “Socioeconomic factors have in part contributed to increased incidence of natural catastrophes over past three decades,” states report by TD Economics on financial impact

“Regardless of the cause, it’s clear that natural catastrophes are a major issue for Canada. With no sign that things are going to be getting any better, it’s prudent for businesses and policy-makers to start thinking of the long term-implications,
and place a larger emphasis on catastrophes when making investment decisions,” wrote Craig Alexander, TD Economics.

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“It is imperative that we act on the underlying causes of excess stormwater events, namely climate change,” stated Gustavo Alanís-Ortega, JPAC Chair, North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation

North American communities that are on the front lines of managing excess stormwater flows need strong engagement from governments and civil society to develop and implement sustainable solutions to this widespread problem. “The steps we take now will help future generations. One of the first steps policy makers should take is to properly assess how vulnerable our communities are to the damaging effects of excess stormwater,” stated Gustavo Alanís-Ortega.

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Climate Change and Adaptation: The Engineering Reality

“And in the face of international scientific consensus on the reality and risks of climate change and global warming, Canada’s engineers have decided it’s time deal with the impacts, which are already being felt in many regions of the country,” wrote Richard L. Rogers

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