BLYTHE: How a small group in Niagara is taking a big step in dealing with climate change fallout

Jessica Blythe, Assistant Professor in Brock University’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC), had a piece recently published in The Toronto Star about a partnership between the ESRC and local municipalities to craft climate change adaptation plans.

She writes:

“Canadians watch in disbelief as communities on both ends of the country are shattered by weather disasters.

In every province and territory, people wonder if their region will be next.

Given the accelerating pace of such climate catastrophes, surely 2022 will be the year when even holdouts stop denying climate change and join the discussion about how to survive it.

In this new normal, as ecosystems collapse and Earth becomes more unlivable, governments have an unprecedented responsibility to implement tough sustainability measures; voters not only tolerate carbon taxes, they demand them; and phrases like “climate change adaptation” are now part of our vocabulary. Even the education system is evolving, as more universities make environmental sustainability a key element of their academic and community missions.

In response to these massive challenges, one group of Ontario towns and cities battered by extreme weather is partnering with the local university to develop climate adaptation strategies. The communities — Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Grimsby, Welland, Lincoln and Pelham — are home to 350,000 residents as well as nationally-vital highway corridors and shipping routes, prime farmland, economically important tourism destinations and the heart of Ontario’s $4-billion grape and wine industry.”

Continue reading the full article on The Toronto Star website.

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