There are still a relative number of climate change deniers. My own reaction to that is screw you. I am here to tell you I am seeing it first-hand.
The image above is from my fourth-floor balcony, in St. Albert, Alberta. The Weather Network says that it is currently sunny in our neck of the woods. It probably is 20,000 feet up. What you are seeing, in the above image, is the result of 99 wildfires currently burning, in our province, with 25 of them out of control. The Air Quality Index (AQI) in our neck of the woods, right now is 10. A few miles South of us, in Edmonton proper, it is at 11. The thing is, the AQI scale goes from 1 to 10. So it is literally off the scale.
This is the hottest May I have experienced. That is not true I did spend a few weeks in Arizona, one May. So far, in mid-May, 240 structures have been destroyed. In the world’s hottest year, back in 2016, Alberta had 2,400 structures destroyed, by fire. Many of these structures were in Fort McMurray, a city in Northeast Alberta, where 80,000 people had to be evacuated.
When I first moved out here, in 1994, we would have a couple of hot days, in a row, during Summer and then back to moderate. These past few years, we have had week-long heat waves. Our glaciers in the mountains are retreating. Back in 1994 we would plant our gardens on Victoria Day weekend. Past few years, people have been doing it a week earlier. Our leaves, last Fall, did not start falling until a week or two later than usual.
I found out first-hand, yesterday, what a high AQI index does to a body. I went out for a walk to do errands and wore a mask. I had to turn back, after about 20 minutes, errands not done. Always wondered why they had high AQI index warnings, especially for those of us edging out of middle-age. Now I know.
It is predicted to be 29 C or 85 F today It probably won’t reach that high because of all the smoke blotting out the sun. The average high for today is about 18 C or 65 F. Many Albertans, in our neck of the woods, will be staying indoors with thre windows closed and the AC on, this Victoria Day weekend. Believe it or not, North of us in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, high temperature records are being shattered, and, as Donald Trump would say ‘by a lot’.
Climate change deniers, you sicken me. Stay safe.