Was the storm the shape of things to come or a once on a lifetime outlier? Is climate change making itself felt in BC and in particular on Salt Spring Island or can we claim that any changes in the weather are due entirely to cyclical climate variability?
BC Hydro certainly feel that change is happening, this was the worst storm they have ever had to deal with but more importantly they are seeing a year on year increase in power outages. This is from one of their recent reports: “… storms and extreme weather events in B.C. are becoming more frequent and severe. In the past five years, the number of individual storm events BC Hydro has responded to has tripled. The December windstorm is another indicator that this trend is not slowing down, and the frequency and severity of the storms are now increasing. For example, this storm generated more than twice the number of storm-related outages than BC Hydro experienced in all of 2013.”
Is it time for us to move from trying to combat climate change to accepting that it is here already and we have to plan for, and adapt to, the changes, and they include sea level rise, reduced summer rainfall, warmer summers with increased fire risk, and the possibility of further storms of equal severity to our experiences on December 20th?