Monday, December 03, 2018
Brace Yourself for Two Weeks of the Most Sincere, Heartfelt Bullshit You've Ever Heard.
Give 'em credit, they got off to a rip-roaring start. They even used that awesome line about how "this is the last generation that can stop climate change." As if.
I'd much prefer to hear them say "our generation shall stop climate change" preferably before we trigger a mass extinction of life on Earth. "We're gonna do whatever has to be done. No excuses." Only that's not what we're going to do.
We, the community of nations, are going to negotiate. We're going to negotiate to do about as little as each can get away with. That's certainly true for Canada. When this year's climate summit is over, we'll still be committed to flooding world markets with our coal and our conventional oil and, especially, our environment-exterminating bitumen - just as much dilbit as we can pump to "tidewater." Oh yeah, but we've got carbon taxes even if they are minuscule.
Remember this dandy graphic?
What it shows, and we'd rather not see, is that, if the rest of the world was as determined to thwart climate change as much as Russia and China and Canada (yeah, that's us), the world by 2100 would be 5 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial Revolution temperatures. How does that piddly little carbon tax sound now?
The key to keeping global warming within survivable limits is no secret. It's not even complex. Back at the Paris climate summit in 2015 when Trudeau and McKenna strolled onto the floor after having trounced climate villain, Stephen Harper, to announce "Canada's Back!!", the then director of the Potsdam Institute, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, said they could meet their 1.5 C target but it would require the "induced implosion" of the global fossil energy industry. This is what Johnny Schellnhuber had in mind by 'induced implosion':
And that is precisely what our prime minister and most premiers do not have in mind. There'll be no induced implosion of carbon energy for them, anything but. They will, however, negotiate. And by negotiate that includes negotiating away your grandkids' future.
Carbon taxes? That's like handing you an umbrella instead of a parachute before you're kicked out of the aircraft door. That's a dandy brolly. Good luck!
That's not to say carbon taxes aren't good or necessary. They are. They are just one measure we must take. The Herculean chore isn't carbon tax. It is in engineering a new, carbon free economy. That means investing massively in low-carbon energy options and speeding up the transition from fossil fuels to alternative, clean energy. That might mean making perpetual exponential economic growth a secondary priority. No sign of that on Canada's horizon.
The sorry fact is that we're not going to get out of this mess, not going to avert a possible mass extinction event, without clear-headed determination and a willingness to sacrifice - a lot. Industrial and trade strategy now has to be geared around ecological and environmental restoration.
Earth needs a break. If we don't give it the break it needs, it will break us.