Friday, September 20, 2019
It's the Day of Global Climate Strike.
Another day on the hustings. Maybe it'll be a 'small town' day for the Conservative and Liberal leaders. That way they may be able to avoid embarrassing confrontations with Global Climate Strike protesters in major cities.
Every morning before I reluctantly drag myself out of bed I use an Amazon Echo Dot (the little one) to cycle through a few news summaries - CBC, NPR News Now, BBC World News. I like getting a preview of what the day may bring.
BBC had a discouraging report on the spread of coal-fueled power generation in China, especially in India, and in smaller countries where China loans its excess reserves, often for construction of coal-power plants.
India and China in particular are moving into renewable energy but that's not the same as abandoning fossil fuels. Even China is still building coal-power plants. And, yes, that is a major setback in the effort to avert catastrophic climate change.
Sparks will fly at next week's UN climate summit when each nation will be expected to present concrete proposals for slashing greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris Climate Accord was non-binding, aspirational. Think of it as a global game of Liar's Dice.
The kids are watching.
The past year has seen a remarkable youth protest movement spread across the globe. The kids deserve a voice. It's their future we're destroying. Shout Out to the Trans Mountain pipeline. Our tax dollars invested in messing up our grandchildren's future.
So far the kids have been quite orderly. The measure of their civil disobedience has been restrained. How long will that last? They're watching but what are we showing them? What are they seeing?
I doubt they're seeing their future as a continuum of our own. There's really no reason they should. We are the engine of the climate catastrophe they're left to inherit.
Look at it this way. If our future over the next ten or twenty years was what their future will be in forty or fifty years, we would be treating climate change much differently. There would be no Jason Kenney or Scott Moe or Justin Trudeau or Andy Scheer holding court in our legislatures. We would, to use Theodore Roosevelt's phrase, have 'hunted them out of office.'
I think our indifference to their fate will radicalize those kids. They might just turn on us and what greater and lasting incentive can they have but their own survival, their right to some viable future?