Dave Phillips, the chief climatologist for Environment Canada this country's homespun, homegrown weather guru. The Don Cherry of weather in terms of fame on the CBC anyway. For decades now he’s been the avuncluar go-to guy for journalists from coast-to-coast who want a folksy, informed dose of weather history, retrospective or prognostication. Why was it so hot in Calgary last August? Ask Dave. What’s with all the rain in Halifax. Ask Dave.
But these days Dave Phillips, now 72, is answering a different, deeper question. Why has the weather been so aggressive, so persistent and, well, just plain weird lately?
I caught up with Dave as he was about halfway through a Canada wide tour answering those questions in a talk he calls: Weather and Climate: Not What Our Grandparents Knew”
The exhausting tour is Environment Canada’s way of celebrating Dave’s 50 years as this country's most famous civil servant. And, as you’ll hear, its also a chance for an older, wiser Dave Phillips to share his concerns and hopes for a country and world facing what he considered to be the most important issue of the day - extreme weather and climate change.
We talked about that with a special emphasis on the role natural habitats, and especially wetlands, play as buffers against the increasing hard blows of amplified weather. As Dave says, it used to be that we worried about what falls from the sky. Now we need to worry about the surfaces it falls on. What happens with urban landscape replace and ignore the natural? Find out as I chat with Dave Phillips.