Hope in Manitoba in face of climate change

Friday, February 08, 2019
Eric Reder- Wilderness Committee
Eric Reder- Wilderness Committee

Climate scientists say 2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record, but there may be some hope in Manitoba.


Eric Reder of the Wilderness Committee told 680 CJOB that the province is among the more environmentally-friendly areas in Canada.

“We often talk about the fear of how things really are going to change,” said Reder. “I’m a bit leery of doing that all the time.

“There’s a lot of hope in Manitoba, of the way that we can change things and really put our stamp as a leader around the world of acting on climate.”

Reder – whose organization is involved in the Peg City Climate Jam, a series of workshops taking place Saturday at the University of Winnipeg’s Richardson College for the Environment – said one of the greatest challenges is to move away from the fossil fuel industry.

“If we stopped using fossil fuels today, the climate emergency would disappear. It’s as simple as that, but the chances of us doing that are zero,” he said.

“The movement forward is to figure out how to get off fossil fuel as an energy source, and in Manitoba, we know where our energy comes from – hydroelectricity – so we have a phenomenal opportunity to be a leader.

“That’s one of the big pieces of hope that I try to offer to people from Manitoba.”

Reder said that without taking action, Manitobans could see side-effects of climate change that aren’t necessarily immediately apparent.

He said the movement of bugs and parasites could be the biggest negative effect, with infestations decimating some species of plants and animals in the province.

“The cycle, the balance, the web of nature and wilderness that exists is going to change, and it’s going to change in ways that we might not see coming.”

Saturday’s event will be an opportunity for Manitobans to learn about and discuss the potential impacts of climate change, as well as transformative work already underway in some of our communities.

“People want to come together,” said Reder. “This eco-anxiety, they’re worried about the future. One way to deal with that is to talk it through.”

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