As our environment slides into meltdown, David Suzuki has a word of warning - don't count on your political leadership to do the right thing.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna have young children who will surely be greatly affected by climate change, but they've done little to raise the IPCC's alarm or educate the public about the severity of climate disruption. It's all because of politics. They don't want to jeopardize their chances in the next election so they avoid antagonizing some segments of society.
As the SNC-Lavalin scandal unfolds, we see politicians held hostage by corporate threats of job losses or head offices moving to other countries. As economist and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs recalls, ozone-depleting CFCs were not eliminated by raising taxes on them or encouraging the public to stop buying CFC-containing spray cans or refrigerators. They were legislated out.
We're in a battle for a liveable future and must make a declaration of war against catastrophic climate change. It's too late to remove the carbon we've already put into the atmosphere, so we'll have to live with the results for decades. But it makes no sense to continue to add to what is already at a devastating level higher than it's been for millions of years.
...Many of my colleagues argue it's too late, that we're like the coyote, already over the edge, about to fall. Is that an argument for doing nothing? I don't think so, because we still don't really know whether we're the coyote or the roadrunner. And even if we fall, we might be able to avoid being crushed by the falling rock or anvil. Let's stop all the name-calling and denial, listen to the experts, seize the challenge, and make the commitment to meet the IPCC target.That baseline target, cutting emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, is not even on our government's radar. They have no plan to meet that target even as they ramp up extraction, transmission and export of high-carbon, high-cost, low-value bitumen. If you want to know where they stand on looming climate catastrophe you need look no further.
The economic, social, and environmental consequences of whatever governments do or don't do now will be enormous, but we have to do all we can to keep from hitting bottom. As Abraham Lincoln said: "Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality."