Ottawa faced extreme heat warnings last week, proving climate change is here and its effects are impacting us. This coincided with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issuing their dire report on how the climate will fare under the current predictions.
Under the report, Canada is expected to experience a continuation of rising temperatures, while CBC reported that heatwaves are expected to become more frequent and more severe as temperature continue to climb year-round.
3 Ways to help reduce your impact on the climate
Keep in mind your carbon footprint—this is the representation of the amount of greenhouse gases that your actions generate (calculate yours here).
Shop local and reduce the kilometres your food has to travel.
We also touched base with Ottawa Public Health regarding the heat warnings. They explained that “heat warnings issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada mean extra precautions need to be taken by everyone… it [is] important to think ahead and plan for ways to stay cool while respecting Public Health COVID-19 prevention measures.”
Engage in outdoor activities during the coolest parts of the day (typically in the early morning and evening).
When going out in the sun, wear sunscreen and remember to reapply.
Consume plenty of fluids (water is best) throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty!
Wear light-coloured and loose clothing.
For more tips and tricks, check out Ottawa Public Health’s page on Beating the Heat!
Due to climate change, ticks are making a rise in Southwestern Ontario. Warming temperatures are shortening the cold season, increasing the number of warm days and resulting in a climate more accommodating for species like ticks.
Ticks to know
There are a few different types of ticks, but the two of importance in Ontario are dog ticks and deer/blacklegged ticks.
Are carriers of Lyme disease
Live in forested areas
Found in early spring/late fall
Do not carry Lyme disease
Live in tree cover/long grass
Found in spring/summer
Make sure to check yourself, your children, and you pets after having been outside.
Wear pants and long sleeves to reduce skin exposure.
Consider creating a woodchip/gravel border between your lawn and a naturalized/wooded area.
Think twice before using pesticides. Ontario prohibits their use for most cosmetic purposes, and pesticides increase health risks for both humans and native species.
If you find a tick
Remove the tick using a tick key or a pair of tweezers—grabbing it as close to the skin as possible and carefully pulling it straight out. Do not use other “techniques” such as using petroleum jelly or a lit match, and avoid crushing the tick as it can cause Lyme disease bacteria to pass into the bloodstream.
It’s finally happening, the world is waking up to the climate crisis. Oil companies are in court for lying, the truth is coming out about climate breakdown, and millions are standing up for truth and action. All this is thanks to you — everyday people who care about our future — and are doing everything we can. It is only with our eyes wide open, that we have the opportunity to rebuild our world.
Support groups and organizations working for climate action: Climate Action Network Canada | GoodWork. Join two or three that seem most important to you. Without you and me, they are nothing — our participation is crucial.
How to help: “If you’ve been affected by the tornadoes that struck our region, or if you want to help, CBC Ottawa has created a spot to connect. The “Ottawa-Gatineau Tornado Community Connector” Facebook group is a place for anyone to share their ideas to help people without power or looking for shelter and supplies”: Ottawa-Gatineau Tornado Connector page