Zoom in, and use the before and after slider to see the loss of ice over the last six years. The photo on the left was taken the 4th week of September, 2013. The photo on the right was taken the 4th week of September, 2018. All the glacier photos have been shot from the bird observation deck on the Dyke Road in Courtenay, BC, about 20 miles from the glacier. This represents six years of glacial melt.
Governments must make decisions that are progressive, and forward-thinking, which do not set the stage for future conflicts
For at least twenty years, short-sighted politicians and governments have been telling us we can’t switch to an Electric based economy overnight, using and abusing any excuse to keep oil and other hydrocarbons the dominant source of energy. The time for studying the problem was long ago. By now, we should have been well into the period of decisive investment, and action. Regrettably, governments and citizens may have accepted fatal delays in acting. Just imagine where we would be if all the taxpayer money and company money from those lost decades, wasted on subsidies, tax giveaways, and advertising — promoting oil sands and pipelines — had been invested in battery development, solar, wind, and tidal power, plus the infrastructure to put in place the Electric economy. Those infrastructure components exist now, and are ready to go, including right here at home.
Long-time residents of the Comox Valley can remember what snow and weather conditions were on Vancouver Island 45 or 50 years ago. There has been a huge change since that time. Back then kids learned how to ski on the now abandoned Forbidden Plateau Ski Resort and in those days it would not be uncommon for the chairlift and T-bar to be shut down because of too much snow. In April and May we would head over to Gold River for prawn fishing, and wouldn’t bother with ice for our coolers because it was guaranteed there would be 5 to 10 feet of snow on the side on the road going over the hump on Hwy 28. That means the snow pack filled not only the mountain tops but all the valleys. These days the Comox Glacier has a fraction of the permanent ice it once had. We are now down to five survivors from the twenty-five small and large permanent glaciers that populated the district stretching from the Comox Glacier to Mt. Albert Edward.Mt Albert Edward in March
All that water went somewhere, which might account for the increase in the aquifer which the Government officials say we have. So now that the well may have gone up a little bit, and the strong recent trend is for precipitation and the snow pack to decrease further in the years to come, common sense dictates we use that small bonus, if it even exists, with extreme caution. Nobody should be allowed to just take what some scientist calls fossil water, and sell it for a profit.
All over Vancouver Island, cedar trees are dying because the rain forest, which was their natural home, doesn’t exist anymore. Just up the road north of the FLNRORD office in Nanaimo, where they make environmental policy, there is a grove of dead cedars. Likewise, where are all the critters and bugs in the back-country that used to plague us on our camping and fishing trips? Like the Oceans we are losing our Land Plankton. The permanent ice pack of the Island, which reliably fed our rivers in summertime, will be gone in the near future. We are going to need our aquifers. So the BC government decision to accept groundwater extraction here in the Comox Valley — for bottling and profit — was wrong, short-sighted, and set us up for future conflicts. Like the whole planet, Vancouver Island needs a serious effort to head off climate change, including a comprehensive plan to conserve increasingly scarce water supplies, both above and below ground.
Mt. Arrowsmith over Comox Bay Farms in Spring.
The Whale in March from the Dairy Farms of Marsden Rd.