Climate Change – Is it on PEO Council’s radar?

I’ve been thinking about climate change a lot lately. Perhaps it was the lead up to COP26 in November, or the wildfires in the west last summer, or the dump of snow that treated southern Ontario to an instant winter earlier this week.

If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend the article in Engineering Dimensions on professional obligations and climate change risk (September/October 2021). As highlighted in the article, “Ultimately, practitioners are responsible for accounting for foreseeable climate change risks in their work even it these risks might not be covered in a specific written standard.”

In September, PEO’s West Toronto Chapter, along with York and East Toronto chapters, hosted a virtual seminar on climate change to discuss the role of professional engineers and Canada’s provincial and territorial engineering regulators in a world affected by climate change. We learned about new climate change tools in BC and Manitoba and were reminded about the 2018 guideline by Engineers Canada on Principles of Climate Adaptation and Mitigation for Engineers.

We as engineers and regulators need to have a climate crisis plan.”

Marisa Sterling, P.Eng., FEC, PEO Past President

The climate change working group, led by West Central Regional Councillor Jim Chisholm, is planning a series of webinars over the next several months. On January 27th PEO York Chapter is hosting a virtual webinar (Implementing Green Infrastructure to Support Climate Resilience) co-sponsored by East Toronto, Ottawa and West Toronto chapters. More chapters are getting on board with programming about climate change and climate action.

When I was walking my dog the other day I noticed a card that was face down in the grass. I wondered who was playing cards without a full deck. Then I discovered it was the King of Diamonds, often a power card in the deck. Maybe that’s what happens when we play with climate change. If we don’t know the rules (i.e. which cards are wild) how can we develop a strategy to win? Playing without a full deck puts us at risk, especially if we are waiting for a (missing) power card to show up.

Engineers have a role to play in talking about climate change and taking climate action. There is no time to waste. Let’s get climate change on PEO Council’s radar.

Playing without a full deck puts us at risk, especially if we are waiting for a (missing) power card to show up.

#climatechange #PEOVotes #leadership #climatecrisis

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