Despite having only a quarter of one percent of Earth’s population, the Netherlands was a dominant world power in the 17th century. For considerable time, the Dutch exercised mastery over the ocean. A sizeable portion of the nation’s land is below sea level and the Netherlands reclaimed almost one-fifth of its land from water.
Yet engineering ingenuity may not cope with long-term effects of climate change.
With unprecedented sea level rise forecast as a result of climate change, the Dutch government is racing against the clock to figure out how to keep one of the world’s richest countries from disappearing into the North Sea...
Said Maarten Kleinhans, professor of geosciences and physical geography at Utrecht University. “And as soon as this gets known, as soon as the shit hits the fan, there won’t be any investments anymore and local economies will collapse.”
Perhaps because a future generation will pay the price of doing too little today, the Netherlands “will likely miss climate targets set for 2030.” But unlike British Columbia where the battle against climate change is a public relations construct designed by an advertising agency, the European nation has initiated real action.
Producers sell natural gas as a bridge-fuel, needed for long-term conversion to clean energy. Netherlands officials decided that gas is not a bridge; it is a wall, delaying or blocking transition. Ninety-two percent of the country’s households heat with natural gas, but national policies now aim to eliminate fossil fuel heating entirely.
Government is contributing to establishment of fifty natural-gas-free municipalities and has funded a program to assist all local areas convert to clean energy.
The world cannot afford foot dragging or delays in addressing climate change. This year, weather related disasters and disruptions were hugely expensive for British Columbia. Rising insurance premiums will soon affect every household. According to Insurance Business Magazine:
With climate change causing extreme weather conditions to increase in frequency and magnitude, many insurance industry insiders are concerned that the situation could push premiums to unaffordable levels.
However, insurance costs may be the least of our worries. Food costs will continue to elevate, fires and floods will be commonplace, extreme weather will kill people and damage property, and taxes and public debt will rise to repair resulting damage.
British Columbians and the Horgan Government must stop pretending that increased natural gas production is acceptable because the province will export the fossil fuel for consumption elsewhere. That is the equivalent of helping illicit drug distributors and holding addicted users responsible for all deleterious effects of the dangerous products.
Categories: Climate Change