The summer and holiday season should be a carefree part of the year, with relaxation and leisure time spent with family, friends, or even alone, to recharge for the darker and cooler times ahead. Instead, all of Canada, especially the provinces of Quebec in the East and Alberta and British Columbia in the West, is grappling with unprecedented wildfires that have not only caused immense damage to nature, but unfortunately have also claimed lives. It will take years, if not decades, to repair the material damages; the human losses and emotional scars that many have suffered will unfortunately remain.
Once again - and this time particularly dramatically - we have been reminded that climate change is not a distant, exotic phenomenon, but something that directly affects us all. Therefore, we all need to ask ourselves what we - each and every one of us - can do to combat the rapidly accelerating climate change or how to adapt to it. Often, the response I encounter is that one person alone cannot make a difference, that it's pointless to switch to a bicycle instead of driving a car, to eat less meat, or to be more conservative with water, our most precious resource. To all of those who share this sentiment, I would like to recommend a small but very impressive book that was illustrated by the Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, and some of you might already be familiar with it: “The Flight of the Hummingbird.” It's a short story that encourages us to take the courage to do something, even when it seems hopeless. Because if all of us do something, we can change things, even if they seemed too big of a challenge at first.
The question arises as to what truly matters and what is genuinely important to us. I cannot imagine finding joy in looking at a burned forest with the fear in my heart that my house might burn down next year, or having to wonder whether we will have enough water for ourselves, our animals, and plants in the future. This is not about ideological bans or doomsday scenarios. It is about stretching our minds and developing ideas on how to face the undeniable changes around us and what we can do to counter them. This “can-do spirit,” which I encounter so often in my daily work, the conviction that we can handle even the most difficult problems, ultimately gives me hope that we can move things in the right direction—because it depends on each and every one of us and because every single one of us can do something!
Have a wonderful summer and stay healthy!