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LETTER: Amid COVID, let's not forget climate change threat

'The loss of these lakes will turn our arctic circle into a wasteland and devastate the inhabiting wildlife,' reader says
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BarrieToday received the following letter to the editor from reader Christopher Mansour, who expresses his concerns about climate change. Send your letters to [email protected]

Understandably, Canadians are rather preoccupied by the COVID obsession that has taken over our lives so completely. But the threats posed by climate change continue and there remains the likelihood of the loss of lives unless sterner pro-environmental measures are undertaken as the California wildfires disaster of 2019 so adequately proves.

Last fall, multiple wildfires ravaged California and led to a U.S federal court ruling finding Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. grossly negligent for failing to properly maintain its electrical infrastructure found to have sparked several deadly conflagrations. The firm had to pay nearly $25 billion in damages to communities and victims. 

Climate changes that are the direct result of greenhouse gas emissions caused by humanity will have a devastating impact not just because of rising ocean levels and worsening storm systems but because they will devastate the land itself.

A University of Waterloo researcher, Prof. Claude DuGuay, reported in The Globe and Mail that between 2017-2018, nearly 200 Alaskan lakes lost nearly one quarter surface area because of melting permafrost. These frost beds prevent water from draining both underneath and along the shoreline.

Once thawed, bio matter contained inside the frost beds in the form of un-decomposed plants will release CO2 and methane gas into the atmosphere. This gas will increase emissions by millions of tonnes.

The landscape of our tundra region is a duplicate of Alaska’s: shallow, glacial lakes contained within a massive rock bed. The loss of these lakes will turn our arctic circle into a wasteland and devastate the inhabiting wildlife. 

Christopher Mansour