British Columbia has experienced devastating climate-related emergencies in recent years that reflect what is happening around the world. Flooding, heat domes and wildfires resulting in hazardous air quality and significant loss of life and property will be discussed at an upcoming climate change symposium hosted by Awareness of Climate Change Through Education and Research, a VIU student initiative.
Keynote speaker Elizaveta Malinina, research scientist with the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, will open the symposium with an update on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report. Malinina, who will also discuss the human influence on the 2021 B.C. flooding, was a contributing author on the climate effects of volcanic eruptions and served as a chapter scientist for the section on human influence on the climate system.
Sierra Bready, coordinator of the VIU climate awareness group, said the students decided to focus on the local impacts of climate change to help people better relate to the issue.
“These are local phenomena which everyone has experienced but it’s not just happening here, it is happening around the world,” Bready said.
Erik Krogh, director of Vancouver Island University’s applied environmental research laboratories and one of the symposium’s presenters, will discuss the coincidental benefits of climate action on human and environmental health, including benefits of decarbonizing energy and transportation sectors on air quality.
“In the past we used to talk about having decades to deal with climate change and now we are really talking about years,” Krogh said. “The time for action is now. It’s hard to overstate the need for reducing our carbon emissions and de-carbonizing our economy, but there is good news here. These actions will improve air quality, human health and save money in the long run.”
People can attend the symposium for free either virtually or in-person Saturday, April 23, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the VIU Nanaimo campus, Building 355, Room 203. In-person attendance includes lunch and refreshments. Those planning to attend are asked to pre-register on Eventbrite. To learn more visit http://rb.gy/avoe6m.