Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Reminder of Just Who We're Really Screwing

The debate over pipelines, supertankers and bitumen is undercut by how we take it in the context of ourselves, our nation. That spares us from thinking of bitumen trafficking in the greater, global context. We go to some lengths not to see it in terms of those who will really pay the price for our profit.

A UN expert has warned of a possible "climate apartheid", where the rich pay to escape from hunger, "while the rest of the world is left to suffer"
Even if current targets are met, "millions will be impoverished", said Philip Alston, the UN's special rapporteur on extreme poverty. 
He also criticised steps taken by UN bodies as "patently inadequate". 
"Ticking boxes will not save humanity or the planet from impending disaster," Mr Alston warned.
...the world's poor are likely to be hardest hit by rising temperatures - and the potential food shortages and conflict that could accompany such a change. 
Developing nations are expected to suffer at least 75% of the costs of climate change – despite the fact that the poorer half of the world's population generate just 10% of emissions
...Mr Alston cites examples of how the wealthy in Western nations already cope with extreme weather events. 
When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, most citizens were left without power, yet "the Goldman Sachs headquarters was protected by tens of thousands of its own sandbags and power from its generator." Similarly, "private white-glove firefighters have been dispatched to save the mansions" of the wealthy. 
This "over-reliance" on the private sector would likely lead to what he termed "climate apartheid" – where the rich "escape overheating, hunger, and conflict".
Just to add a bit of perspective. Canada is one of the ten biggest greenhouse gas emitters and we're in the top five per capita emitters. We are big players in this game no matter how hard our government tries to hide our carbon footprint. And, if the Justin Trudeau Memorial Pipeline ever comes into operation we will become the fourth largest exporter of coal, gas, oil and bitumen. Fourth largest. Up there with the real carbon big boys.

Isn't it time we began thinking about our energy policies by the harm they're causing. It took a while but we finally were shamed into shutting down our asbestos mines. Maybe, just maybe, we've still got a collective conscience. Maybe not.

1 comment:

Toby said...

Yes, the rich will attempt to save themselves. What they have forgotten is the lesson of 1789 when the hungry poor marched on Versailles and the rich, including the king and queen, went to the guillotine. Of course, those of the rich who do know their history think it will be different this time. It won't.