Tuesday, February 25, 2020

What Were You Expecting If Not a Bit of Chaos?

We're now in the Decade of Decision. We have the 20s to slash our greenhouse gas emissions by half if we're to have a reasonable chance of averting irreversible climate breakdown. No guarantees, a reasonable chance.

If, by the time the next decade rolls around, we're pretty much in the same place we're at today, we have thrown in the towel.

While the right in Canada, Conservative and a good segment of the Liberals, gnash their teeth over the loss of Teck's Frontier bitumen mine project, we're all being affected by the 'early-onset' impacts of climate change. The Tyee's Nikiforuk captured our moment this way:
Climate change has now appeared at everyone’s doorstop in different guises; rising seas, longer king tides, melting ice caps, brutal fires, dying trees, failed crops, migrating peoples, rising food prices, monstrous storms, drying aquifers and absent politicians.
As I said, this is early-onset stuff. What we may see over the next ten years could eclipse what is happening today. As these events unfold I'll bet Teck won't be foremost in anyone's mind.

The Carbon Bubble is going to burst. I have that on the authority of Mark Carney, among others. He's not pulling any punches, telling the corporate poobahs that tying their fortunes to fossil fuel investments will be a quick path to bankruptcy.

And so, as conditions harden and turn more dangerous, we will scramble to find alternatives to fossil fuels. That can be hard or it can be bloody hard. It will be especially difficult for petro-states such as Canada.

The fossil fuel industry isn't going anywhere, not without a fight, and they have their political handmaidens mobilized to bring the power of government to their side. That's why yesterday, Christiana Figueres, the former head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, warned that our politicians will fail us on climate breakdown without grassroots civil disobedience.
electoral politics have failed to meet the challenge, largely because of systemic roadblocks including corporate lobbying and partisan opposition
In other words, don't count on the grandiose promises of those we elect to high office when it comes to climate change. Saving your grandkids is not their priority.  That's not the path they have us on. Figueres knows it. She wants you to finally realize it.

Figueres challenges you to decide. What's it going to be? Do you defend a dying economy or fight for the future? Don't rely on electoral promises. They're meaningless or worse.

And, if we choose the future over this sclerotic economy, that's going to mean a degree of chaos.  It's going to mean disruption, non-violent civil disobedience that targets the economy our survival requires we get out from underneath.

Andrew Nikiforuk has taken a break from his focus on fossil energy to travel to Ontario where he interviewed botanist, Diana Beresford-Kroger.
“The big thing that has become very apparent to me is that climate change is not just a question of science,” says Beresford-Kroeger. Her face turns pensive. 
"It is question of society, too. Maybe the society question is a bigger one than the science. Maybe if you change the society’s thinking and the culture in its thinking, then maybe we will solve it.”
...You know, she tells me, when people have too much, they will abuse what they own. “It is the striving and saving for something that is important. Then you get your goal and you have it. If your choices are too great, you can’t make up your mind what you are going to do. You get overwhelmed by the choices. 
“I’ve seen too much money, and it creates a disrespect for other people. It is a divider. It also creates a disdain for manual work. You think if you are doing manual work you are a savage somehow, but actually you are not. Manual work is just as important as intellectual work, because our humanity and community require a biodiversity of work.
Beresford-Kroeger doesn’t think we can fight climate change without making greed and endless consumption as unfashionable as an obviously pregnant woman with a cigarette in her mouth
“Everyone says, ‘My God, what are you doing to the child inside you?’ People should think the same of wealth: ‘My God, what is your greed doing to the community around you?’” 
The 75-year old echoes centenarian James Lovelock's injunction that the way forward must be a path to "sustainable retreat." We are like a neglected garden. We are overgrown with weeds and they're choking out everything else.
Lastly, we need to change our behaviours and learn to live much more poorly than we do. We must waste less and rediscover the joys of serving others. 
“For instance, don’t buy crap. Buy things that last. Maybe the chair and table in your kitchen should last hundreds of years and maybe your children and great grandchildren should value it.” 
She pauses for a moment. The tea is finished. She sips some whiskey.
“There is a whole world outside of the Church of the Holy Dollar. A time of change is a time of great excitement.” 
But it takes saoirse. What is that, I ask. Saoirse, she explains, is a Celtic word that means freedom of a special kind. Freedom to embrace that world.


the salamander said...

.. excellent post ! Refreshing ! Again though, I keep coming back to such 'exemplars' .. and must say I will not be tolerant of those who insult or dismiss our exemplars. Any fool can deny deny deny or bluster like Trump or Jason Kenney, or spew word salads of aspirational propaganda. 'Raising Emissions To Lower Emmisions' .. Really ??? !!!!

What do such fools say about what transpired in Australia ? Or the stupendous Antarctic ice shelf melting ? A brief list of undeniable events triggered or cascading due to climate change is needed. Just as we track mass shootings at schools or mass murders such as Anders Breivik in Norway 77 dead and 319 injured. How do we get past the Mainstream Conspiracy insanity & Pimpage of Alex Jones or a Rush Limbaugh, becoming multi-millionaires via toxic TV & Web entities ?

How did Canada & our vaunted National Identity or Canadian Values somehow wander to where partisan pricks, peons, parasites like Ezra Levant, Andrew Scheer, Rex Murphy insult us with daily barrages of 'Ethical Oil', the 'Alberta Advantage' 'Energy Security' or Nation Building (a Trudeau fave)

To me, the final assault, the Big Insult is the ass-talk of seperating from Canada.. and a scumbag like Jason Kenney and the mutts in his War Closet riding upon that flucked up wedge horseshit.. and dog whistling it constantly now. I thought this land was pretty intolerant of such dangerous grifters.. and kept them pushed off into their petty but truly dangerous enclaves or travelling medicine shows. That so much of Canadian Mainstream Media is recklessly, fully aligned & integrated with these career 'christian' idealogues, hacks, holier than thou taxpayer paid 'Rapture' parasites is shocking and unacceptable..

We have no inkling among Canada's general population, what extensive peat fires or the complete collapse of keystone species like the wild salmon will mean to Canada and the rest of the world.. nor do we comprehend fully, the ongoing political ignorance and indifference regarding methane escape. Instead we get 'Ethical' Tidewater' 'Nation Building' 'Reconciliation' 'World Class' 'Alberta Advantage' flung in our faces.. slogans and empty diversionary boasts about 'The Law Of The Land'. Try sustaining you or your family by taking a bite or a drink from The Law of the Land, or maybe you can breath it, hell, can you even trust it ? What if that Law lets Jason Kenney speculate with your Canada Pension or Old Age Security ? Your Healthcare, your Education System ? What then ? When its too late, when its a 'done deal' and you've been 'had' Alberta ? Lied to Canada ?

The Disaffected Lib said...

Sal, I read an item on CBC's web site this morning about the future of the Tar Sands post Teck/Frontier. The omissions indicated a popular narrative being spun that blames it all on Trudeau.

Glossed over were facts that had nothing to do with this prime minister such as the glut of fossil energy that had caused the price of Athabasca bitumen to drop to less than half of what Teck needed to break even.

There was no discussion of how Teck might finance the Frontier mine. Teck's entire market cap is barely half of the $20 billion needed for the project. The mine alone could have swallowed Teck whole.

The item had a couple of quotes from a woman who works for an Ontario company that manages $2 billion in assets. She eagerly dumped on the feds. But there was no mention whatsoever about BlackRock with its $7 Trillion (USD) in assets recently disavowing high-carbon fossil energy and, in particular, coal and bitumen. Or JP Morgan's announcement that it was refusing to lend to high-carbon borrowers. Or how the insurance industry doesn't want to underwrite these ventures. Or why people of the caliber of Mark Carney and his contemporaries have been warning for several years that the world is exposed to a Carbon Bubble that could devastate markets and cause bankruptcies among the fossil energy companies and their most ardent investors. Not a word about climate change or how this will hammer carbon economies.

It was "other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?" stuff. That's the CBC narrative. Now imagine the fairy tales being spun by PostMedia, the Globe and Mail and the rest of the corporate media cartel.

What doesn't comport with the "blame Trudeau" narrative is simply omitted as though it doesn't exist. This is Canada's news media. We're in trouble.

the salamander said...

.. I will find/read that CBC article.. count on it, thanks

I saw one this AM Edmonton Joirnal that I considered crafty, polished but well layered lipstick on the proverbial pig (apologies to all pigs.. but) & subtly littered with holes to the story, sly deflections, misdirections, and in short was a new version or flavour of horseshit salad


Then there is this.. another astonishing article, yet one that rings true.. of Failure At Critical Judicial Tasks. You may be very familiar with the story and facts.. Its quite excellent, I learned a lot.


Let me say or suggest this -.Any Benefits Agreements must not be secret. First Nations must insist such agreements are 100% transparent to not just First Nations, but to Canadians in general. The Chevron project - Kitimat LNG apparently has signed Benefits Agreements with numerous First Nations regarding the related & integral pipeline that runs parallel to the Coastal GasLink Pipeline, but slightly south. My understanding is one Benefits Agreement is with Wet'suwet'en Peoples.. Huh ? Signed by whom ? This specific info is not common knowlege.. or just another astounding sample of Media and Government and petroleum developers complicity, collusion .. or outright evasion & failed fiduciary responsibility..