Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Zero by '50?
The Libs are about to make a major announcement on climate change. Canada will be carbon neutral by 2050 and they'll see to it.
Dare to dream but there's always the inescapable fact that this is a promise, a mighty promise, from the Trudeau Liberals and they have an extensive record of how they keep their promises. Hint: poorly.
Maybe a show of good faith to inspire a glimmer of confidence. Cancel the federal subsidies to the fossil energy giants. The government admits around 2.5 billion in annual handouts. The International Monetary Fund says it's upwards of 46 billion per annum. But how can that be? Easy.
The difference between 2.5 billion and 46 billion depends on what costs you report and what you bury. The ones you omit are called 'externalities.' That's a term for costs and damage you foist on the public. Out of sight/out of mind. It includes not just direct subsidies, the tip of the iceberg, but the whole damned iceberg - taxes not collected, royalty deferrals, failure to price natural capital consumed by the fossil producers and a big one, unallocated reclamation costs.
A leaked Alberta government report suggests cleaning up the province's orphan wells and the more troublesome Tar Sands tailing ponds could cost upwards of $260 billion. That there is serious money. And what are these governments, federal and provincial, doing to protect the public? Sweet Fanny Adams, that's what.
The gross negligence shown in their dealings with the Alberta oil patch is mirrored in the government's plans for an armada of lumbering supertankers plying the BC coast with hazmat bitumen.
There are many petro-states - Russia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, all pretty scuzzy regimes. One thing they have collectively established is, when they make grand environmental promises, they're lying. That's not the business they're in.
Does that mean Justin Trudeau is lying - again? Who knows? He may even believe it himself, for now. He might have believed in his promises when he spoke of electoral reform, First Nations reconciliation, and so many other failed commitments. It's not what he believes that counts. It's what he delivers and that's where he keeps coming up short. He even flouted the Supreme Court of Canada's per curiam decision on our Charter right to assisted dying, whittling it down and thereby condemning Canadians enduring 'intolerable suffering' from incurable conditions the right to die with dignity on their own terms. Even to the most morally vacuous Liberal that ought to be inexcusable.
Why do I think of Canada as Charlie Brown and Justin as Lucy holding that football?