Can Vancouver Adapt to, and Manage Climate Change?

by Danita17 on November 10, 2017 - 9:44pm

The article, “Sea level Maps show Coastal Communities like Vancouver in Race Against Time”, retrieved from the Vancouver sun, highlights the effects of sea level rise in Metro Vancouver. The district is home to 250,000 people; however, it is considered to be the most vulnerable urban area in Canada. As a result of climate change, oceans are averaging to be 3.3 millilitres higher every year. The result of this makes urban regions that are surrounded by water bodies more vulnerable, and will likely sink underwater if global temperatures continue to rise. The purpose of this article is to inform the public, specifically residents living in Metro Vancouver, about the detrimental effects of climate change and how sea level rise can damage their home if it is not tackled soon. The main actors involved in the article are the United Nations, Professor John Clague from Simon Fraser University, and U.S based organization Climate Central. The author uses data retrieved from the United Nations and Climate Central to provide further evidence about the issue. Although the author argues the risks that stem from sea level rise, the article does not present any solutions to the problem.

            As studied throughout the course, adaptive management and resource management would be effective tools in minimizing the effects of climate change in Vancouver. Primary exposures such as an increase in temperatures are not felt by individuals unless it is through secondary exposures, in this case sea level rise. The Arctic is feeling the effects of increased temperatures through ice melt, which is ultimately increasing sea levels. For individuals living in Metro Vancouver, this means that they must adapt and manage the climate that they are living in. The goal of adaptive management is to develop more resilient policies in the face of uncertainties. Adapting to new technological factors would increase Vancouver’s coping range and adaptive capacity. Implementing more levees, elevating developments, and increasing dams are a few technological methods that vulnerable regions should adapt to. Vancouver should not only adapt to flood control, but also gas emissions. By implementing new alternative energy projects such as wind, solar, and hydro power, Vancouver could ultimately reduce the emissions that are currently produced by fossil fuels.  

             Additionally, implementing resource management to the case of Metro Vancouver would be most effective through regulatory and economic instruments. By further regulating the amount of greenhouse gas emissions a company produces, it will lower the proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which will slow down increasing temperatures. For regulation policies to be effective, government officials should make regulations tougher for companies to meet. This will ultimately decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and maximize pollution control. Furthermore, economic instruments would be helpful when managing climate change in Vancouver. Although British Columbia has already imposed a carbon tax in prior years, increasing the tax would help to further manage and lower emissions.

            Overall, adaptive management and resource management are effective tools in minimizing the effects of climate change. Metro Vancouver faces dangerous effects of climate change such as sea level rise in the near future. If adaptive and resource management policies continue to fall behind, the district has the potential to become engulfed by sea level rise.