Wait a second, the Conservative government’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to let them rise? Oh, but don’t worry, they’ll rise “more slowly.” I’m thinking of sending Rona Ambrose a certain James Cameron film in the mail. Water entered the Titanic pretty slowly too.
This planned rise in emissions is due to the government’s last minute announcement that, at the request of the oil industry (ok, they didn’t actually admit that part), they’re going to be using “intensity-based” targets. What that means is that overall emissions can go up, as long as emissions per production unit go down. For example, as long as the oil industry reduces the amount of emissions that are created by the extraction and refinement of each barrel of oil, they can go ahead and increase the total number of barrels they produce.
How does that help the fact that the earth is hotter than it’s been in a million years? It doesn’t.
Still, not everyone gets that this is a problem. Some continue to say things like, “reducing our emissions is, you know, really hard, so we shouldn’t even try.” Those of us in the choir need to keep reiterating to our skeptical coworkers and friends that reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is not a luxury. It’s not an option. The best case scenario for failure is a serious decline in our quality of life and economy. The worst case is unthinkable.
The good news is, reason has the momentum. As Elizabeth May’s Globe And Mail column pointed out in true Green style, the Clean Air Act has nothing to do with either clean air or action. The Conservative government thinks Canadians are too dumb to figure that out. We will prove them wrong.