Climate Change

Vague promises and half measures…

Leaders who worry about the state of the world in future years want actions to address climate change taken today.

Leaders who worry about the state of the economy today want actions to address climate change taken in future years.

In Canada, the former type are rare and the latter commonplace.

One reason is that power in Canada resides with people running large, long established corporations. Money talks. Politicians court praise and favours from wealthy sponsors and stand ready to follow orders when given.

Having lent tens of billions of dollars to enable acquisitions from multinational oil companies selling Canadian operations, financiers are exposed to potentially damaging losses if assets that secure the lending are stranded.

STAND.EARTH reported:

Canada’s five biggest banks are among the top funders of fossil fuels in the world. Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2016, Canadian banking giants RBC, TD, Scotiabank, BMO, and CIBC have poured over $720 billion into climate-destroying fossil fuel companies — providing the corporations most responsible for the climate crisis continued funds to grow.

Business executives pressure governments to ensure generous corporate welfare keeps flowing to fossil fuel industries. Obliging politicians keep proving Martin Luther King right when he talked about, “Socialism for the rich and rugged free enterprise capitalism for the poor.”

According to an agency of the United Nations, shifting to a greener economy could create 24 million new jobs globally by 2030. But political leaders would rather support the status quo than pay heed to what they are told is speculation.

Categories: Climate Change

9 replies »

  1. As I get older it’s becoming harder to maintain hope. They say we’ll survive in spite of our indifference, but I’m less sure. I don’t know how to end this comment on a hopeful wish.
    A wish is all I have.

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  2. For your interest folks, In March of 2021 I wrote the BC auditor General asking why he has announced that new accounting “standards” were to be in place a year from now ( AG ” Report on Financial Audit Work for the 2019/20 Fiscal Year.”) Part of my question was “would these new standards result in greater and more precise disclosure of financial conditions for BC ?”

    The written answer is yes. From time to time improvements are made , “with the intension of improving transparency and accountability of information for the public” . ( deputy AG)

    Now Norm knows some of us have tried to chase down the details of BC Hydro secret contracts for more than a decade so this promised “improvement” should be reason to cheer , but that is so hard to do when it comes after $100 billion of ” contract obligations ” have already been signed for on everyone’s behalf.

    Is it any surprise that long after the fact there is a “money laundering’ hearing now underway in Vancouver.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The behavior of our political /business elite is as if they were a bunch of 16 year old teenagers. Some of them (eg. ex Pres. of USA, present Pres. of Brazil, Pres. of the Philippines, Koch brothers, just to name a few) behave as 16 year old teenagers on meth. And, I swear, it seems to me, they wake up in the morning and take their stupid-pills before they start their day.

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  4. What I was going to say, I am not now saying, except:

    SNC Lavalin

    Bombardier

    When there are big multi billion dollar projects and big criminal cases, these two names keep popping up.

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  5. I have been following the climate crisis unfold for a long time and I hate to break it to you Norm, there is no such thing as a “Leader who worries about the state of the world in future years and wants to take action today to address climate change now”.

    I have witnessed an endless parade of climate change summits and conferences all ending with great promises and pledges to reduce CO2 emissions – and then nothing happens. Global, as well as country, greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb unrelentingly. Yes, I am somewhat skeptical of the pledges presented at the recent climate summit hosted by President Biden. Lots of High-5s and fist-bumps but, of course, no details.

    I’ve seen this movie many times before and it typically ends with very little serious action being taken. At this point in time we desperately need aggressive and serious action on a global scale. Will it occur – I doubt it. If the global response to the current COVID pandemic is any indicator then we are in serious trouble when it comes to the climate crisis.

    You might want to consider buying some property up in Prince Rupert. Before long it will be the new banana belt complete with palm trees and pina coladas.

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    • You are quite right if the reference is to government leaders. But if it applies more broadly to opinion leaders—Greta Thunberg, Bill McKibben, David Attenborough, Michael Mann, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, and more—there are voices calling for immediate action to address climate change seriously.

      David G. Victor, professor at the UC San Diego, wrote an opinion piece published by NY Times. It was titled “We Have Climate Leaders. Now We Need Followers.”

      I don’t agree that all people shown here deserve to be listed, but most names belong:
      Influential People in Climate Policy

      It is disheartening to many of us in BC that John Horgan’s government is conducting a phony war on climate change.

      One easily understood example involves them pushing homeowners to convert from natural gas furnaces to heat pumps. At the same time they are subsidizing increased production of natural gas. If a BC homeowner converted to an electric heat pump, that doesn’t save gas, it just allows the fossil fuel to be exported and burned elsewhere. In fact the result is even worse for the earth because of energy expended in transportation and liquefaction.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes there a lot of very influential activists such as Greta Thunberg & Bill McKibben etc. and they are doing one heck of a job sounding the alarm. Unfortunately they do not have their hands on the levers of power and have historically been pushed to the curb by our political representatives. I do not know what it will take for governments around the world to really, and I mean REALLY, get serious about tackling the climate crisis. I have seen enough hurricanes, floods, droughts and wildfires to convince me the apocalypse is upon us. What will it take?

        Liked by 2 people

  6. About 45+ years ago there was a memorable KCTS Ch.9 science program involving Earth’s ~6 billion year geological time scale. The host was in a long dark corridor, walking on a graduated white time scale “ruler” where each stride represented something like 100 million years!

    Life, in its most primitive microscopic form did not appear until he had walked half the length of the time ruler. Whenever a major new life form or geological event appeared he mentioned it as he continued to walk toward the camera (TV viewer) at the end of the ruler. Fast forward to the last step, where he got down on his hands and knees to show the significant evolutionary events of the last 100 million years. To my surprise, the entire documented human history on Earth was less than the thickness of the paint on the end of the lengthy ~6 billion year timescale he had just walked. . .

    The sobering message from that program back in the mid-1970s was that life on Earth will continue to evolve with or without us; the Earth does not care one way or the other if we chose to destroy our life-support systems — which we most certainly are (collectively) doing.

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