Dear Editor:

Yet again, the media is warning us about the “climate crisis,” this time after the UN issued a report earlier this month on the state of global warming. The report claimed that greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are “choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk,” according to Antonio Guterres, United Nations General Secretary. But, if you ask me, the impacts of climate change are overinflated. The media subsits on the populace’s fear, hence why we only hear about the negative impacts of climate change and never the silver linings. Sure, climate change may have its downsides, but it ultimately comes down to how we, as individuals, choose to look at things. 

Scientists warn that climate change will result in more “extreme” temperatures and weather events. While these changes may sound frightening on the surface, I try to see them in a positive light. According to data from the Columbia Basin Trust, Invermere’s average annual temperature by 2050 will be 2.7 to 3.6 degrees warmer compared to the recent past (1951 to 1980). Now, on the one hand, this means the duration of our fire season will likely increase by a month or two. By 2050, scientists are also claiming we can expect somewhere between 4 and 8 heat waves per year on average in the Valley, and they say the value is contingent on the amount of carbon that’s released into the atmosphere over the next few years. While the term “heat wave” carries with it a negative connotation, I say bring on the warmer weather! I want to feel like I’m vacationing in Mexico year-round. Thankfully, I think my wish will come true. Governments, even the most progressive ones, are falling far short of their climate plans. For example, did you know that BC is projected to achieve only 56 to 72 per cent of its 2030 greenhouse gas emission targets? Given that most of the world is doing the same or worse at meeting their targets, I can look forward to enjoying warm weather for years and years to come. 

While I understand that climate change is happening, we need to end this one-sided, negative thinking about its impacts. All of this negative rhetoric is based on the premise that warming is harmful, after all. Ultimately, climate change is only negative if we choose to view it that way. 

Kate Watt, Fairmont Hot Springs