The latest stop in our continuing tour of Canadian cities declaring a so-called Climate Emergency is Vancouver BC, where the councils of both North and West Vancouver unanimously rang the alarm. And what does the emergency consist of? Radically different weather than in decades past? Only if rhetoric counts as rainfall.
As Ross McKitrick notes in his Vancouver Sun column, there's nothing amiss about this decade's weather compared to previous decades. Some months experienced a slow warming trend over the past 100 years, though not if the sample starts in the 1930s. Using data from Weatherstats.ca he then goes through the list of all the things that, um, haven't changed. There are no more heatwaves than there used to be, in fact the 1940s was the worst on that score. Precipitation bounces around but generally was higher in the 80s and 90s than today. Average windspeed has held steady, with maximum gusts recorded in the early 1960s. In short, no sign of a climate emergency.
We could also add that over these decades, Vancouver has grown and prospered like almost no other place on Earth. The city councillors tell us there's a climate emergency and yet judging by Vancouver housing prices, a lot of Canadians (and non-Canadians) are eager to pay top dollar to live in its path. And I highly doubt that any of those councillors are on the phone with their realtors wanting to dump their properties before the coming apocalypse washes them into English Bay.
Despite the obvious foolishness of the exercise the city councillors voted unanimously to declare an emergency. Not even one single solitary person voted against. And these declarations of a crisis are inevitably laying the groundwork for ever more onerous and costly policy responses. An absence of facts, absence of debate, absence of common sense and insistence on radical and costly policies. It's starting to sound like an emergency.