Like the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change has the potential to put immense pressure on nearly every aspect of our society. But unlike the pandemic, which caught us all off-guard, we have advanced warning of the effects of climate change.
Frequent and severe weather can put pressure on storm sewers, increasing flood risk and threatening our drinking water sources. Rising temperatures can lead to more extreme heat days and heat-related illnesses. Shifting weather patterns can magnify agricultural challenges like drought, crop pests and soil erosion. Ecosystem stress can increase the spread of pests and diseases that impact plants, animals and people, such as Lyme disease. Fortunately, we already have the solution to address many of the impacts of climate change: nature!
Natural areas like forests and wetlands provide a number of services like rainwater management and carbon capture. This can offset both the cause and effects of climate change.
Natural areas offer additional social and economic benefits, like supporting plant and wildlife biodiversity, improving human mental health and well-being and providing recreational opportunities. All we have to do is plant it and protect it. Check out our recent video on nature-based solutions:
By Calantha Elsby, Specialist, Environmental Outreach