Climate change mitigation: mission possible
There is no doubt that the Paris climate agreement will not get us below 2 degrees C but Steve d’Eça is talking like the CEO of Exxon when he warns about the dangers to our economy of an overzealous effort to get there. He’s right, however, to point out that the objective does seem unachievable.
Recent polls show that only about half of Canadians think that global warming is mostly caused by human activity. We would willingly mobilize all our resources and make sacrifices if we were attacked by a foreign enemy but we can still comfortably hide our heads in the tar sands as long as the changing climate doesn’t affect us directly.
We have procrastinated far too long. A serious carbon tax that notches up progressively like BC’s would provide incentives for new investments in clean technology while discouraging further fossil fuel production and use. Would anyone have believed 10 years ago that the US would become a major exporter of shale oil and gas? If this creativity had been applied to weaning us from fossil fuels the kind of changes that people now think are impossible would have looked much more feasible.
Because of our foot dragging we may not reach our objectives in time but anything we can do to slow down GHG emissions will give the next generations a bit longer to prepare for the worst. We owe it to them.