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Canadians Are Paying The Cost Of Climate Change. Will Big Oil?

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"Après nous, le déluge."

After us, the flood.

It's a French expression attributed to Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of 18th-century French monarch King Louis the XV, or, alternatively, to the king himself. Said to have been uttered after a particularly disastrous loss in battle, the expression's been taken to mean that the king didn't care about the fate of the country after his death because, well, he'd be gone.

It's not a noble sentiment, but it's a familiar one. For as today's world grapples with a choice between continuing to pump out fossil fuels or transitioning to clean energy, the words feel rather apropos.

In recent weeks, flood waters have submerged large swaths of Eastern Canada. Communities in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick have declared states of emergency and the armed forces have been deployed to assist.

About 10,000 people have been forced to leave their homes. Faced with the "new abnormal" of climate change, some families must even decide whether to return to their homes, and deal with the possibility of annual disaster-level flooding, or abandon their homes permanently.

These floods graphically illustrate some of the costs of climate change. It costs an average of $40,000 to repair a flooded basement, but there is also a human cost in the form of stress and lost work time.

All this is happening as the provincial government in Ontario seems to be doing all it can to make the problem worse. After gutting the province's greenhouse gas-reduction plan last fall, Premier Doug Ford's first budget........

© HuffPost