Dear Editor:

I grew up 50 kilometres northwest of Toronto, and I watched forests, farms, and greenspaces become subdivisions, strip malls and parking lots. As a kid, I always craved more nature. It was the mountains and wilderness that drew me to Invermere 15 years ago. Our three children were all born in Invermere, and they are growing up surrounded by – well, you know. Just look around. It’s extraordinary. I want future generations to experience nature as we know it here.

Climate change is a hot topic these days. Very hot apparently. I have to admit, I find it all pretty overwhelming. Dangerous weather events, melting glaciers, animal extinction. Here’s where I turn on Netflix, choose a romantic comedy and forget all the world’s troubles. If this is you, no judgement. The only problem is, the movie ends, and the climate change issue is still there. Darn it. Climate change is definitely overwhelming. The good news is that change is possible, and it often starts with a few individuals who are regular people taking small actions. Sometimes a catalyst for change is something as simple as a letter (maybe even a Letter to the Editor!). Then more voices speak up, and with enough voices and letters and conversations, a movement begins. Then, (slowly) change happens; change in how we do things, policy change, change in our business practices, change across entire industries and change in our local government. Speaking of which…

 Every year, our Council makes a list of priorities. This list will be updated on June 14. It would be great to see a Climate Action Plan on this list of priorities for 2021. A Climate Action Plan would be us declaring as a community that we acknowledge the Climate Crisis, and we are prepared to take action to protect the nature we love. According to the Province of B.C., “They [Local Governments] are best positioned to adapt their land use planning, capital asset management and service models to become resilient to changing climate conditions, as well as mitigating global warming. Climate action efforts also enhance livability and support public health, well-being, and environmental and fiscal sustainability of communities.”

Many towns and cities in B.C., have Climate Action Plans, including Sidney (they created theirs in 2010), Kelowna, Oliver and Kimberley. Please join me in sending a letter to our Mayor and Council ([email protected]), asking them to add a Climate Action Plan to their list of priorities for the coming year. 

 “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” -Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Thank you,

Stephanie Van de Kemp, Invermere