Monday, October 25, 2010

Why is Climate Change a Dead Letter in Canadian Politics? Cui Bono?

Last week the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, NCAR, released a study showing that drought will be the defining impact of global warming this century.  A few parts of the world are going to get wetter.   The most heavily populated parts are going to get dryer, much, much dryer.

The good news is that Canada is one of the lucky places that will receive more precipitation.   The bad news is that where most of you live is not the lucky part.  Click on the map above and see what your neck of the woods can expect by 2060.

Do you find this alarming?   Well you should, especially if you have young kids or grandchildren.  They're going to have to deal with this.   Bear this in mind.   The world depicted in this map isn't going to suddenly land on earth in 2060.   This has already begun.  We've just had our own study showing a significant decline in precipitation in the Great Lakes basin over the past 30-years.  That's not a fluke.  As the NCAR study shows, it's going to become steadily more significant.

Are there things we can do to forestall mega-drought or to reduce its impacts?  Of course.  Are there things we can do to adapt to some of these impacts.   Absolutely.  Are we doing any of those things?   Absolutely not.   The fate of our country and our children hangs in the balance.  It is imperative we start dealing with this - now.  So, whether you're Conservative, Liberal or NDP, ask yourself this - just what are the people leading my party doing about this?   Better yet, ask them.

Ask your leaders if they believe this NCAR study to be true?  If not, have them explain why not?  But, if they don't dispute it convincingly, ask them just what in hell they intend to do about it.   Tell them you want specifics, you want timelines.   Here's something to keep in mind - if they start talking about "intensity-based" reductions or "cap and trade" that's simply code for doing nothing worthwhile.

Instead of endless dicking about on this percentage reduction or that, country versus country, region versus region, bloc versus bloc, the leaders of the world need to look at that map and say, okay, how do we prevent as much of this as we possibly can?   There's no reason that Canada can't launch that sort of effort.  Except we won't.   Which gives rise to the question, cui bono?

If something this fundamentally important to the future of the country and our people gets buried, you have to assume that someone pretty powerful is benefiting from all that nothing.   In some situations, dormancy can be extremely valuable.   It certainly works for those dimwitted bastards who still speak of dreams of Canada as a fossil fuel superpower.  Maybe ten years ago that wasn't all that unreasonable.   That was then, this is now.  It certainly works for the ultimate beneficiaries of their apathy - Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Gas.

Like any dysfunctional behaviour, you have to remember that people only do that because they get something out of it.   It is extremely dysfunctional that the Petro-Pols of Parliament Hill who alone have the only effective power to defend our interests, to protect our welfare, are working for somebody else.

No comments: