Climate Change

So we don’t all lose

GUEST POST by Bill Henderson

Disqualified NDP leadership candidate Anjali Appardurai has called for a ‘bigger push on climate change initiatives’. Greta-like, she spoke very insightful truth to power :

The best way to forge ahead with any serious action is for the province to declare a state of climate emergency, cancel fossil fuel infrastructure and announce a moratorium on new oil and gas expansion projects, Appadurai said.

Slowly drawing down emissions year by year, that’s actually not how we’re going to achieve any kind of meaningful climate action. I think we do need to acknowledge that we’re failing on this file and in a related way failing on several other files because the climate crisis intersects across all parts of society and the economy.

If you read the climate science, climate breakdown is clearly a civilization if not humanity threatening emergency requiring urgent mitigation action. Reducing GHG emissions by at least half globally by 2030 is an imperative and halting new fossil infrastructure and initiating a managed decline of existing production is absolutely essential. This means coal and gas in BC and also ending forest industry destruction of BC forests, a major global carbon sink. 

But the NDP (or any other party) cannot, will not end LNG, wind down coal, or curtail forest industry destruction.

On CBC Radio’s Early Edition premier designate David Eby responded that BC was a climate leader, that CleanBC is a leading climate plan. But only Covid has slowed BC’s counted emissions and our uncounted emissions are a crime against humanity.

Slowly drawing down emissions in a CleanBC variety of pretend mitigation while you allow LNG, coal production for export, and continue to degrade BC forests is clearly just a time-waster, a delayer tactic. In UK climate scientist Bill McGuire’s reuse of the perfect word, it is appeasement — all that is allowed are ineffectual  pretend policies that just allow fossil fuel producers and forest industry companies to keep on making our climate predicament worse.

Justin Trudeau is our foremost – world-class! – climate appeaser, wasting nearly a decade with pretend mitigation including a puny carbon tax and now billions for unicorns, all the while doing everything in the government’s power to expand fossil fuel production. While emissions continue to rise.

I’m sure John Horgan never saw himself as an appeaser but David Eby has to know the full climate picture – that climate is a growing existential risk; that half by 2030 is an imperative; and that closing LNG, regulating a wind-down of all fossil fuel production, and a draconian reduction of logging is what the province of BC must accomplish by 2030 (as well of reducing emissions from domestic fossil fuel use).

He has to know that climate is an emergency and that staying within BAU and pretend CleanBC mitigation is appeasement.

Neville Chamberlain wasn’t a bad guy; he was a well intentioned PM whose government couldn’t do what it had to do to prevent Hitler’s Germany from rearming and seizing territory. How will Eby be remembered – if there is anyone remembering in what looks like possible oblivion?

But this still doesn’t make this ‘bigger push on climate initiatives’ possible.

Dr. McGuire has a very readable, very pertinent, superb new little paperback HOTHOUSE EARTH: An Inhabitant’s Guide. (More about it here; read the three page Forward – convincing)

Here’s his Dedication:

This book is dedicated to valiant climate activists everywhere, who are daily fighting ignorance, abuse, obfuscation and outright denial. I know you will win the battle, because you simply can’t afford to lose.

This is too big a weight to lay on Anjali. We are almost certain to all lose bigtime because in the present BAU socio-economics and politics the systemic change needed isn’t possible. BC – and virtually every other jurisdiction – can not and will not do what is now needed to keep a safe climate and the timeline gets shorter and the consequences of failure ever worse with every year of pretend mitigation appeasement.

There’s not much hope of a path to safety but at least Anjali and other activists are pointing out what is needed and the ignorance, abuse, obfuscation and denial.

What if David Eby knew that we all know he is planning to continue being an appeaser?

He could give Kevin Falcon a call and, armed with the best climate science (which now reads like a message from the doc that massive regime change is needed immediately or you’re going to die), he could explain how they both have a big problem. Forming an emergency coalition government they could escape BAU and accomplish what is now impossible. BC could do what must be done – cancel LNG, shrink coal and protect BC forests – to dramatically reduce our true share of GHG emissions and salvage our precious carbon sink.

And maybe by actually doing what we should do, BC’s political leaders can find a path through the multicrisis to the future we all want. One where, in that future, the  BC Unity party, the NDP and the Green Party can fight for who gets to govern in a prosperous post-carbon society where good government is still possible.

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Categories: Climate Change

5 replies »

  1. The day I heard Anjali was going to “run” for BC Premier I told her “The BC NDP will never let you become Premier. At best, they will use you as “green window dressing”, at worst they’ll run you out of town.

    The BC NDP are a failed political party. They have betrayed their roots, and all humanity. Anjali should run for the Green party if she wants action on biodiversity and climate change.

    The truth is, our first past the post democracy has failed. We have to do this ourselves.


  2. Bill a good description of where we have found ourselves, some are still looking, but a couple of suggestions. First Big Hydro has to be included in the industries that have to be stopped. The methane emissions from a dam at Site c would be worse than a coal fired generation system. The environmental and social consequences of finishing the dam will impact the next 7 generations, if we have that many, in umitigatable loss.

    I don’t believe that the NDP can be persuaded to abandon resource extraction to the benefit of the future. The same greed, the same need to have it all, emanates from the party as does from the Unity Party/Liberals/Conservatives. Better to suggest to people that the Green Party be asked to make that try.


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