First Steps to Mitigate Global Warming in the Okanagan Okanogan Today

PROBLEM: Climate change accelerates atmospheric heating.

Red-Tailed Hawks in Tkem’lips

STRATEGY: Don’t panic! The heating is caused by the mountains and by air pressure.

Thompson Grasslands

SOLUTION: Plant a tree. A good sized tree can pump 500 litres of water a day out of the soil into the air, where it can be turned into cooling, nourishing evening rain.

Cottonwood in Vernon

FOLLOW-UP: Introduce a beaver. An eager beaver can turn one week of trickling water at the top of a dry gulch into a 12-month, four-season stream, lined with trees and leaping with fish, sheltering deer and you, and drawing rain into the high country, which will find its way down to you. Trout that will die in warm water will survive in a beaver-dammed stream.

The Conconully Beaver Protects His Kits

PROBLEM: Climate change adds excess water to the system.

Shuttleworth Creek, 2018

SOLUTION: Give your head a shake.

Shuttleworth Creek, 2013

There is no excess water, only inappropriate understandings and the inappropriate infrastructure built from that.


Solution: Build for the water. Can’t do that because of private property rights? Private property rights, and their entanglement with water, were set down in the Fraser War of 1858, as a way of preventing an American political takeover of Hudson’s Bay Company territory by taking violence into the Canadian court system and basing common law land rights on American private exceptionalism.

Follow-up: Change land rights systems. The Supreme Court has told us we have to face this anyway. We are not the measure of this place.

Nk’mip Salmon Back from Siberia

In no way am I suggesting that CO2- and Methane-induced global climate change is not an issue, but I am pointing out that we can do more here, right here, right now, this week and this year, to ease the climate change pressure while we deal with it. And here’s the good news: it is not hard. It will disrupt cultures of privilege, but it is not hard. You could, for instance, start by planting a quince.

Then you can figure out what to do with all that beauty. The rest will follow.


2 replies »

  1. Agree: “global” doesn’t mean, that individuals cannot be part of a solution. I think, someone who cares for a tree, also pays attention to more aspects of human footprints in nature.


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