How do you inform yourself about climate change? Do you ignore it to the extent possible, try not to think about it? Do you look at it as a scientific issue? Do you see it from an economic perspective? Or do you think of it as a political problem?
The climate crisis is multi-faceted. Despite the steadily growing mountain of research and analysis, the deniers and delayers continue to wage a rearguard action to sow doubt and outright lies. They're still using every trick in the book, stuff tried and tested in the tobacco wars.
The science types keep delivering dire projections or at least they seem dire at the time. Yet, before long, we learn that what we thought was dire, even alarmist, was actually understated. Several studies have found that the scientific community is often reluctant to give it to us straight lest that somehow blow back on them.
The economists are now fully engaged in the climate crisis. They're doing stress analyses and costing out impacts. They too have been understating the measure of climate change costs but, we're told, they're working to catch up. Their central theme is that it'll be costly to take the bold action the climate crisis demands now but several times costlier down the road if we don't act quickly.
Then there is the worst of them all, the political caste. What makes them the worst of the lot? It's their blatant conflict of interest that pits their own, short term partisan interest above the long term public interest and jeopardizes the future.
Environment minister, Cathy McKenna, has repeatedly said that action to thwart climate change must not harm the economy. Missing from that pithy line is the price future generations will have to pay for our government's self-interested betrayal.
Andrew Nikiforuk recently summed up our major parties' villainy:
Andrew Scheer, a conservative Catholic, offered a rehashed version of Stephen Harper’s oil evangelism, based on deregulating the fossil fuel industry, demonizing environmentalists and promoting a Matthew Effect social agenda: let those who have more already earn even more.
Canada’s petroleum evangelicals now wrap themselves in the flag and demand that we drill more with fewer regulations, even though the market is oversupplied and the climate has reached a tipping point.
Conservation and reduced energy use are ignored.
...The Liberals think they can twin an uneconomic bitumen pipeline largely for Chinese markets and somehow battle climate change. Conservatives may be anointed by oil but Liberals are anointed by rank dishonesty.
The Liberals (and the BC NDP) also think they can subsidize liquified natural gas plants and still claim they’re fighting climate change by supplying $680-million subsidies to electrify fracking operations in B.C.’s northeast.
...Our pathetic politics reflects the inertia in the fossil fuel system, the moral poverty of the status quo and a popular denial about the scale of change required to prevent an unending emergency.
We are living the storm before the storm.The deniers and the delayers are the imperial storm troopers of the carbon cabal. They work for corporations that have no fiduciary duty to the planet or its people. Modern capitalism is a "by hook and by crook" business and we try to tame it by regulation.
Contrast that with the political caste. Our politicians do have a fiduciary duty, a duty to protect us and future generations, and these solemn obligations they routinely honour in the breach, not compliance. We invest them with the power and resources to perform their fiduciary duties and they alone exercise sovereign powers supposedly on our behalf except, too often, they don't.
Justin Trudeau and his government will not be remembered for the apologies he so freely issues or for his selfies nor even for the parades in which he marches. Future generations will have a clearer and more critical view of the Dauphin and they'll be living his legacy.