On August 20th, 2018 – Metro Vancouver experienced a 10+ air quality index warning. The province remained under a state of emergency due to over 600 active wildfires in the region.
Physicians and health experts hosted a blockade at the Westridge Marine Tanker Terminal in Burnaby, British Columbia, temporarily stopping traffic from entering the facility.
Hi, I´m Tim Takaro (MD, MSc., BSc.), I am a professor of health sciences at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and my research area is in occupational environmental medicine and I study the health impacts of climate change.
Today the most apparent risk is the smoke. This is forest fire smoke. We are at an air quality index that is harmful, it´s 10+ it´s off the scale. We know that climate change will produce more events like this.
There are a myriad of health effects of climate change. Ranging from asthma because of smoke events, to death from heat, to poor water, or drought conditions with no water, to food system disruption and mass migration.
The most important thing is that we connect the dots between projects that extend our addiction to fossil fuels, produce greenhouse gasses that cause climate change and today`s events.
These forest fires are going to happen more and more frequently as the planet warms.
We have to turn off the spigot. We have to stop burning fossil fuels in order to rehabilitate the planet and get off our addiction.
That´s the most important thing, connecting the dots.