You are sound asleep when suddenly the air around you gets difficult to breath; you’re dripping with sweat and there’s a huge commotion outside. The moment you open the door you are engulfed with a huge blast of heat and all you can see is thick black smoke surrounded by flames. You have a matter of minutes to grab anything you can and drive far away only to return to a pile of ashes.  

That is what the people of Lytton, B.C experienced this past summer of 2021. Global warming hit BC hard

The 2021 summer in BC was extremely deadly, so deadly, in fact, that the heat dome btween June 18 and August 12 killed 595 people.

with a record-breaking heatwave. With thousands needing to evacuate and many losing their homes, the BC wildfires caused a lot of damage this year. Global warming has caused lots of debris, shrubbery in our forests to dry up, creating the fuel that a spark from a train or a lightning bolt or careless cigarette toss will turn into the infernos that occurred. A 2018 CBC article by Perter Zimonjic has said many people still don’t believe that global warming exists, yet the fires get worse every summer because it just keeps getting hotter and dryer. 

As reported in CBC article by Rhianna Schmuck, the 2021 summer in BC was extremely deadly, so deadly, in fact, that the heat dome from June 18 and August 12 killed 595 people. On June 29, 231 people were killed in a single day, roughly 10 deaths every hour.

In an August 2021 Globe and Mail piece, writer Carrie Tait said, “Climate change has been a key factor in increasing the risk and extent of wildfires. Climate change enhances the drying of organic matter in forests (the material that  burns and spreads wildfire).” Climate change is the enemy here. But since we created climate change; we are the enemy. Almost each summer here in BC, the heat just gets deadlier, this means that the fires will not stop. What if you were forced to evacuate with the thousands that already have?

From April 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2021, 1,610 wildfires burned 868,203 hectares in B.C. BC has suffered greatly this past summer with the rest of the citizens. We know why and we can prevent it to help us in the future so nothing like this will ever happen again, but that requires everyone working together to help prevent climate change. 

Many have been sounding the alarm for decades, such as the David Suzuki Foundation.Many people consider global warming or climate change to be the most pressing challenge facing human civilization, but it continues to command limited media attention and has yet to elicit a concerted policy response in North America or elsewhere.” Scientists all around the world are warning countries of the effects of climate change, yet some people still don’t believe it exists. 

And now the world is at yet another climate conference, number 26 in fact. One would think that by now, the solutions are clear. Canada participated in this year’s conference in Glasgow, Scotland (COP26). The COP is an annual meeting of the 197 parties that are part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). COP26 is focusing on four central goals, mitigation and driving down emissions to net-zero by 2050, enhancing climate adaptation and resilience by protecting people and nature, mobilizing international climate finance, and increasing global cooperation. After the devastating fires of the summer of 2021, hopefully Canada can keep the promises made at COP26!