Spent a wonderful long weekend in Jasper AB. It had only been ten months since our last time there. I was blown away by the exponential jump in devastation of the Pine Beetle on the trees. Almost half the pines round the townsite were dead. Needles rusty red in death. The valley was similarly coloured in large swatches. We were told this year as we were last year a fire ban was in effect. The weather was cool. Missed the warmth of a fire but the place would go up like a tinderbox if a spark escaped and caught. We realized this would be the way it would be for the foreseeable future. Fire bans and rusty red.
The Parks people told us the Pine Beetle will have completed it's devastation in about 3 years. Approximately 15 years after that we'd see pines again in the National Park. I did the math. In 18+ years I would be more or less mid 80's. Have every desire to travel to Jasper at that age from this time and place in my life. And I will never see the giant pines again. My grandkids will but not me. That really sat me on my backside.
I as with many of us have been intellectually aware of climate change. The warning signs of warming weather dutifully reported. Graphic pictures abound. Heck I have been going to Jasper for 60 years. Have watched these past few the beetle do it's work. This significant increase in dead trees this past week really brought it home. How our planet is changing. What we are losing. Our grandkids had all sorts of questions about what they saw. Where do you begin?
I came home with a renewed energy to look at my lifestyle and choices. Where are the places where I can ask less of Mother Earth? My contributions, and actions are, pardon the expression, mice nuts in the scheme of things. Yet how could I see what I saw and not try.