Saturday, March 07, 2020

Trust But Verify

Net zero by 2050. Sure, but do they mean it?

When a politician assures you his government is committed to making your country carbon neutral by mid-century how are you supposed to believe that?

If the government has been around for a while, a full term in office should be plenty, you can go by its track record. Has it been honest or dishonest? Has it been open or secretive? Has it kept its promises or reneged on them? Has it put the country ahead of its own partisan interests first?

If these questions set off a few alarm bells you have no business taking this "net zero by 2050" pledge at face value. If they'll lie to you, conceal the truth, renege on promises and pursue partisan advantage over the wellbeing of the nation in the short-term, why would they tell you the truth about something they tell you will happen in three decades from now, after they're long gone?

They want you to trust them but trust is earned. Has this government really earned your trust, anyone's trust?

Here's the deal. If the government is committed to a zero by 2050 Canada then it should already have a plan on how we're going to get there. It should be something they can document so that we can understand it and agree or disagree with it.

This is no time for manana politics - manana - tomorrow, eventually. Those 30 years are going to be gone in a flash.

We've been told we must cut by half our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Ten years. Ten years to cut half, a further twenty years to cut the other half. Why ten and then twenty? Because the first half are the easy cuts. That doesn't mean they won't be painful or won't require sacrifice. They will just be easier to achieve than the final half. We'll have to work much harder to achieve the second half, to reach net zero.

Our government has never accepted the target of slashing our emissions by half by 2030. If they're not planning to do the easy part, they've got no credible plans for laying the groundwork for net zero by 2050.  They're just screwin' with you, hoping we'll be good little Gullibillies until all of this becomes the next government's problem.

It's time we asked our government where Canada's emissions will be by 2030. Does the government have any plan for cutting emissions by half by then? If not, why not? What do they want for Canada? What are they prepared to do for our grandkids?

I don't want to be a Gullibilly, do you?


John B. said...

How is this one ever going to be achieved from the ground up? An increasing number of us don't know where the next paycheque is coming from. Some awareness is developing within the younger generations, but many of them who were born during the period of the libertarian takeover have already become good little situational rugged individualists while a very good number of the under-thirties prefer walking around with their cellphones plastered to sides of their heads, and gulping down shit sandwiches that they were served on the Internet, to any exercise that would require a second thought.

At what level is true leadership going to intervene? Our political culture isn't used to producing any of that stuff. I guess we'll have to wait until enough of the right people have died or until some of the important ones have become inconvenienced (which isn't likely to happen soon).

The Disaffected Lib said...

John, even if we decided there's no way for us to cut emissions to the extent necessary within the time remaining, would it be worse to pretend we're on track or to simply admit the truth and organize our economy and our society accordingly?

Anonymous said...

Even 2030 is beyond the current government's mandate, Mound. I'm not interested in some backend-loaded plan to achieve our 2030 targets. We should be applying the low-hanging fruit logic to the current parliamentary term and insisting on achieving half the 2030 target by 2024. There should be a plan and measurable annual targets at both the national and provincial levels. Without that we've got nothing.

The price of progress is trouble and all of our "leaders" instinctively avoid that. We're seeing this right now as governments try to will the indigenous protests away without addressing the underlying issues. The time for kicking the can down the road is over - hard decisions need to be made now regardless of the political cost.


Hugh said...

"Net-zero" and "carbon-neutral" need to involve actually reducing GHG emissions, not just using the phony "carbon-offset" concept.

I'm not sure how ramping up the export of LNG and dilbit will reduce GHG emissions.

The Disaffected Lib said...

The time for kicking the can down the road is indeed over, Cap. Ottawa has been doing just that so long it's become second nature. That was Justin Trudeau's greatest disappointment. Some of us briefly dared to imagine he would be different, a leader in the mold of the great Liberal prime ministers - Laurier, St. Laurent, Pearson and, of course, his own father. He isn't no matter how well or poorly he has learned to fake sincerity. At this terrible moment it is sad that we have no great leaders.

The Disaffected Lib said...

Hugh, you've answered your own question simply by presenting it.

John B. said...

Yes, Mound. I agree but don't see how we can achieve the will to admit the truth collectively in sufficient strength to force that reorganization under the model of political leadership that a forty year term of market libertarianism has made the most likely to succeed in elections.

Trailblazer said...

Politicians promises are to dates that are either way after they have left office and are receiving their monthly pension plus a lucrative lobbying job or the promise will not start to kick in until after their deaths.
Until we start to demand promises that start next month or within the next year, they should be considered lies.


Toby said...

"Net zero by 2050. Sure, but do they mean it?"

Are you familiar with the acronym SEP? It stands for somebody else's problem. That's the catch. Of course the government spokespeople mean it when they say Net zero by 2050 but they also know they won't be holding the reins when 2050 comes around. SEP.

Frankly, I think our Prime Minister and several of his ministers are lying through their teeth about having a plan. The only way to get their attention will be massive
obstruction. Those who blocked the tracks recently have the right idea.

the salamander said...

.. to Hugh's final point..

Its apparent that neither BC or Alberta feel bound by their mandate to monitor or report emissions accurately. That's 'fraud' at its most basic Provincial levels. Do we have any idea if the same holds true at Federal levels as well? There are 'normal' (expected) emissions and there are 'fugitive emissions' including Methane and as we are becoming aware - radiation levels and gross disposal cheating. Obviously Industry 'self regulation' and 'world class' boasts are bogus bullshit, yet Governments proclaim such complete fslsehoods as 'stringent' successes. Its also deceit at its most astonishing levels. When did this become status quo acceptable ? Its systemic failure. The rot long since penetrated Oceans and Fisheries - DFO .. This is 'deep rot'

Trailblazer said...

When did we become so selfish?


The Disaffected Lib said...

Sal, you raise important questions that should trouble all of us. It's not a Liberal thing or a Conservative thing or, as recent NDP premiers have shown, a New Dem thing either.

I believe it was Nikiforuk who identified chronic deceit as an attribute common the petro-states. Money talks, the plebs walk, sort of thing.

It was last year that we learned many Tar Sands operators were grossly under-reporting their emissions. Where were the regulators? Why did they fail for so long to spot this and intervene? A cynic could be excused for concluding this was an engineered lapse "of convenience."

Trailblazer said...

We live in a world where almost everyone voices their 'rights'
It's time we all accepted our responsibilities.

Add to the conundrum that we would seem to be inherently greedy; want everything, no questions asked!
Hmm, perhaps that is why we do not accept our responsibilities?



the salamander said...

That's a link to Rolling Stone's in depth article on radiation in the Marcellus Formation. Its quite shocking.. very much in keeping eith stories of coal or asbestos mining. As far as 'sins of ommission' by elected and unelected 'Public Servsnts'.. its old hat. But as the 'discoveries' of duplicity and outright deceit keep piling up now.. the question becomes who will police the police etc. We've 'discovered' 'Lethal Overwatch' (RCMP snipers) Kenney creating a taxpayer funded War Room immune to Freedom of Information, discovered that at the height of the Coastal GasLink protests, neither Alberta or Ottawa thought to mention that Alberta and South Korea had purchased a 65% majority position over the pipeline.. we know dick about that other pipeline for LNG Kitimat that Chevron dumped out of, despite having secret Benefit Agreements with First Nations - including Wet'suwet'en ! And the new hot meme 'Canada Is Broken' is a fabricated poll by DART Maru/Blue and PostMedia.. savagely converted into Canada Wide 'National News'.. deary me.. a 'Poll' that fails to include the 100% foreign controlled consortium behind the pipeline that's being protested, for a scintilla of blame ?? That the RCMP Pension Fund is invested in ? Are you serious ?? This kind of Fiduciary failure is now 'business as usual? And the RCMP would lead any investigation ?

The Disaffected Lib said...

TB, we don't do "responsibility" today. We don't do it at the top nor do we do it at the bottom. Responsibility usually carries costs that we assume, sometimes gladly, sometimes begrudgingly. It can mean foregoing some advantage or opportunity for some larger good, perhaps nothing more than principle.

We're not big on sacrifice these days. Superficial gifting, sure, but not the hard stuff. When the going gets tough a lot of us like to immerse ourselves in our tablets and smart phones.

There's little currency in responsibility when we live in a society that will not embrace reality.