Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Time to Euthanize the Fossil Fuelers?

In 2015 as our newly minted prime minister and his environment minister took the floor at the Paris climate summit, the nations of the world vowed to try to keep global warming within just 1.5 degrees Celsius. Oh, Joy.

There was, however, a sobering warning that went largely ignored. It was from the founding director of Germany's prestigious Potsdam Institute, the highly-respected Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. He said, yes, 1.5 C might be achievable - but - it would require the "induced implosion" of the fossil fuel industry to have a decent chance.

What has transpired over the next four years has been dispiriting. Instead of holding steady or even declining, global fossil fuel emissions have increased and, according to OPEC and the International Energy Agency, consumption of fossil fuels and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with them have a bright future for at least the next 20 or 30 years.

Canada, for all our Greenish pretensions, is riding that gravy train. If that same prime minister who took the floor in Paris in 2015 - or his only real adversary - win this election, we'll be flooding world markets with climate-killing bitumen just as rapidly as possible. That will be our message to the Third World where they're already taking it in the neck from climate change with much more to come before the next decade is out. So much for Canada the Good.

Whether Liberal or Conservative, we will be electing a government in the bag for the fossil energy giants. The fossil fuel-rich provinces are already aboard. They're chomping at the carbon-energy bit. It's money, honey. Besides, those little brown people who will be, in some cases already are, taking it in the neck first, well they're pretty much out of sight/out of mind and, thank the Gods, don't vote here.

All this came to mind as I watched the following video posted today by the environment editors of The Guardian.

It's telling that we use such a selective narrative whenever the issue of climate change is raised. If we talk about consequences at all, it's pretty much on a local focus. There'll be no mention about Vanuatu or Central America or Bangladesh. We must never connect what we're doing with the dislocation, suffering and even death we're dealing out to the poorest and most vulnerable humans, those in the immediate crosshairs of our fossil energy bacchanal.

Schellnhuber was right in 2015. He's still right. But our leaders, our people are in bed with the fossil energy giants. There'll be no induced implosion from us. We're heading in the other direction just as quickly as we can dig that bitumen out of the ground and pipe it into the hold of an armada of supertankers.

It's a damned disgrace.

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