In its bid to balance what’s urgently needed with what’s politically expedient, British Columbia’s new climate policy is a perfect symbol of society frozen in inaction
Certainly, this is the moment of impending catastrophe. In just the last few weeks, one scientist predicted that next year or the year after, the Arctic will be free of ice.
Rolling Stone magazine warned we’ve reached “the point of no return,” that sea levels could rise 10 times faster than predicted, and suggested “historians may look to 2015 as the year when shit really started hitting the fan;” the small village of Newtok, Alaska, voted to relocate as rising waters erode the town’s land; global coffee production is estimated to be halved by rising temperatures; and a New York Times map of projected temperatures across the U.S. showed 37c/100F days soaking the continent by 2100, like some deadly red dye.
Tossed into this whirlpool of bad news is the B.C. Liberals’ much-anticipated climate change policy, (downloadable documents available) providing a perfect example of a society frozen in inaction.
Released last week, it’s a document written for gentler a time, or a time when we had time on our side. Tom-Pierre Frappé-Sénécleuze, a senior advisor at the Pembina Institute, described it as disappointing, but another equally apt word would be useless. Premier Christy Clark is seeking to balance something desperately needed, the curbing of greenhouse gas emissions, with something politically expedient. Protection of gas prices at the pump as well as jobs and the economy.
The carbon tax will remain frozen, instead of increasing by $10 per tonne a year, as the province’s Climate Leadership Team recommended. B.C. is already off track in meeting 2020 emissions targets set in 2007.
The new plan aims to keep a promise to reduce emissions by 80 per cent from the 2007 level by 2050, suggesting accountability is really only important a few decades from now.
(Rosemary Westwood is a columnist with Metro News. She’s worked as an editor, writer and broadcaster for Canadian and international media. She’s a former writer for Maclean’s magazine and has contributed to the Edmonton Journal, Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. As a broadcaster, she’s produced and reported news for the CBC and the BBC world news programs.)
Read entire article at Source: The false choice between ‘economy’ and ‘enviroment’ | Metro News