“It never used to happen like this”

“It never used to happen like this.” The words of an elder I was speaking to today during a conversation about the storms across BC on Tuesday night (Jan 14).

Really strong winds brought warmer temperatures which melted much of the snow that fell earlier in the winter. It also brought down power lines and trees – more here.

Somehow I managed to avoid almost all of the chaos. I got blown across an icy parking lot and the lights flickered a bit. That was my lucky lot.

Meanwhile colleagues on the other side of the province got cut off completely – no phone, internet or electricity.

But several of the elders I spoke to said that the weather has changed. They don’t know why, but some question if the reservoirs created by the WAC Bennett and Peace Canyon dams in the Peace Valley have resulted in some very local weather changes.

They also are concerned that further weather changes could be an unintended result of BC Hydro’s Site C dam, if built. A quick look around the internet didn’t find much useful to refer you to, although this report on the Peace Valley’s role in mitigating climate change is interesting nonetheless.

Hearings about Site C are ongoing but I can’t help wondering if this weather-change risk simply isn’t worth taking – no matter what you think of any other impacts, be they positive or negative.

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