Monday, June 17, 2019
Einstein versus Trudeau
The worst part of listening to politicians discuss climate change is the 'listening to politicians' part. No matter how you slice and dice it, you're usually left with a political solution to a scientific problem, even when it's the greatest threat that has ever befallen mankind.
Albert Einstein said that we cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it. And yet we try, oh don't we try.
The problem in this case is the worst existential threat ever in the entire history of mankind - climate change. That's a matter of science, not politics. Politics played an integral role in creating the problem, especially during the neoliberal era implemented by Reagan, Thatcher and Mulroney, but that same thinking will offer no solutions to an existential problem very much of neoliberalism's own making.
The government of the day, now seeking our votes once again this October, is offering a political solution to climate change - a carbon tax. A carbon tax at such low rates that it will fail to produce any meaningful, effective answer to this mortal threat. A gestural response tailored to the perpetuation of the neoliberal order that has played such a role in creating this environmental nightmare. We're supposed to solve this massive problem with the same thinking that created it.
Trudeau hasn't even acknowledged the imperative of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030. Why would he acknowledge what he has no intention of even attempting? Why acknowledge 50 by 2030 when, under his government, Canada is falling behind Harper's lacklustre target of 30 per cent by 2030?
Science is practically screaming for rapid and massive emissions cuts. Politics asks, "What about a carbon tax instead. Won't that do?"