Warmer B.C. ravaged by beetles, haunted by dead birds

The flora and fauna of British Columbia, Canada, are having a rough go of global warming. B.C. forests are suffering through a massive insect infestation that’s ravaging an area three times the size of Maryland. The mountain pine beetle can’t survive severe cold, but milder winters (hmm, what the heck could be causing milder winters?) have contributed to its rapid propagation, and Canada’s successful fights against wildfires have allowed the growth of a beetle buffet of lodgepole pines. To date, 411 million cubic feet worth of trees have died, twice the amount annually logged in all of Canada. Some fear the infestation could spread all the way to the eastern seaboard. Meanwhile, thousands of seabirds are washing up dead on the B.C. coast; scientists blame warmer weather (hmm, what the …) for a trickle-down effect that may have reduced available food for birds. “People say climate change is something for our kids to worry about,” says scientist Allan Carroll. “No. It’s now.”