The Climate Cliff

Promote to chapter block

Cliff ? What Cliff ?

No

"Climate Reports Forecast Dire Future, Even If Action Is Taken" – Huffington Post

"Climate Predictions: Worst-Case May Be Most Accurate, Study Finds" – National Geographic News

"I got it wrong on climate change – it’s far, far worse" – Sir Nicholas Stern, in The Guardian

The World Bank, the UN Environment Agency, the new Obama Administration – they are all emphasizing the urgency of climate change. 

"A 4 degree warmer world can, and must be, avoided – we need to hold warming below 2 degrees. Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today."  – World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.  

"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."  – President Obama

"Stabilizing global atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will require a radical transformation of the global energy system over coming decades". – IMF, Climate, Environment, and the IMF

We’ve a provincial election coming up in May, but here in BC there has so far been an ominous silence from the Liberals and NDP over this one big issue that’s looming over us, like a dark alien spacecraft. (Note: In our newsletter intro to this article, we erroneously included the Green party in this statement.)

The Liberal government, going back several years, made a major contribution with its legislated Climate Action Plan; its carbon tax; its LiveSmart BC program for home renovation; its effective ban on coal-fired power generation; its requirement that new gas-fired power be carbon neutral; its commitment to demand-side management; its requirement for a carbon-neutral public service; and its commitment to advancing BC’s electric vehicle infrastructure. But that was then: now is now. BC has been big a leader in Canada on climate change. Are we going to let that slip, and send a discouraging message to every other province?

The Green Party of BC has published its Green Book 2013, containing copious details of its plans to combat climate change, but there’s so far no word from the Liberals or the NDP.

Transportation – Where’s the plan to accelerate the use of transit, light rail transit, cycling, e-bikes, cargo-bikes, electric cars, electric trucks, carsharing, ridesharing, and other smart solutions?

Heating – Where’s the plan to accelerate the use of solar and geothermal heat pumps, bioenergy, district heating, and far greater building envelope efficiency? 

Electricity – Where’s the plan to increase our commitment to energy efficiency and conservation, and accelerate the use of BC’s abundant resources of safe, clean wind energy?

Natural gas – where’s the plan to oblige the gas industry to control its fugitive emissions, and pay the full carbon tax at the methane-equivalent rate on whatever’s left?

If a 12-year-old girl from Antioch, California, can launch a balloon 28 kilometres up into space carrying a space-kitty, surely BC’s two largest political parties can come up with a practical plan to launch BC’s green economy into the profitosphere?

The election is less than a hundred days away. The climate cliff is looming, and we are waiting. 

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