According to a recent report by the Government of Canada, Climate change is already affecting the frequency, duration, and intensity of extreme weather- and climate-related events in Canada.
This comes as no surprise. 2023 has been the worst season for wildfires in Canada in modern history, with over 19.5 million acres burned by wildfires so far this year.
CARP Nova Scotia is one of a number of CARP chapters whose advocacy work focuses on the environment. Nova Scotia has had devastating forest fires this spring.
James Boyer, CARP NS Environment Committee Chair is passionate about CARP’s role in the environment. “Climate change has so many impacts, including on the health of older Canadians. Each year, air pollution contributes to as many as 10 million deaths around the world. The current air quality from Canadian fires that we are facing is 10 times worse than ordinary pollution. There’s a health cost of forest fires. And this is just one aspect of climate change.”
The Environment Committee was initially established in 2010 as a made-in-Nova Scotia response to CARP’s national priority on encouraging healthy lifestyles amongst seniors, in part through promotion of walking and hiking in outdoor settings. This priority interest soon expanded to identifying trails and parks where outdoor activities could be accessed and enjoyed, and in turn to a growing understanding and appreciation of the role of Nova Scotia’s parks, nature reserves and wilderness areas in protecting our natural environment.
James comments, “The committee is aware that the environment has emerged as a predominant issue and concern, not only globally as seen and heard almost every day in the media but also provincially and locally based on direct observation and experience within our communities and daily lives. As seniors (or as members approaching senior years), our thoughts increasingly turn to the environmental legacy that our generation will leave to our grandchildren and those that follow.”
Among the upcoming advocacy work slated for the committee is a July meeting with Provincial Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Tim Halman.
James Boyer expresses an interest in connecting with other CARP members or chapters across the country on their environmental work. “We need to stick together and get our message out. We really want to make some changes this year in Nova Scotia and beyond.”