Some days, it is hard to reconcile the words being spoken by political leaders with the reality that we are actually in. Case in point is yesterdays announcement by Andrew Weaver and George Heyman on climate change accountability:
“People across this province, and especially young people, are demanding we take the climate crisis seriously and that we make sure everyone works together to secure a stronger, cleaner future,” Heyman said in a news release. “That’s why we will work with communities, people and industry to put in place targets for each sector. What’s more, we’re mandating that the steps we’re taking are reported to the public every year, by law.
This will likely anger some, but how can we applaud this legislation which makes it look like the province is doing something *amazing* with respect to climate change accountability, at the very same time the reality is that:
- gas extraction aka fracking is rapidly expanding in the north east of BC. to supply the many export facilities approved or under review
- Fortis will soon be exporting LNG down the Fraser River, past mountains of dirty US thermal coal we export to Asia because US environmentalists stopped it from being shipped from US ports…
- Kitimat will be exporting LNG….
- Woodfibre LNG proposes to export LNG…( this is an interesting new development here with the provinces proposes changes )
- BC ships massive amounts of condensate to Alberta from northern BC gas production, which is used to help the thick, unrefined oil and bitumen move through the pipelines. We are literally propping up Alberta oil and have been for many years.
All these LNG facilities mean a massive increase in tanker traffic through our coastal waters, right from Howe Sound, through Roberts Bank and from the north coast. And we only ever hear about oil tanker traffic…not all these damn LNG supertankers. 68 a year minimum out of the Fraser river alone, not counting Kitimat or Woodfibre – I’m not even going to go look and see what their capacity will be. And did I mention its always been heavily subsidized?
This is EXACTLY what Greta speaks about. Our talk, is not matching our actions.
We applaud leaders and governments for small things like this announcement…but when we look beyond the press conference, the smiles and platitudes about stepping up for the youth, this is what we actually see.
- We see no community led solar projects being encouraged by government to take load off the grid and help smaller communities become self sufficient and resilient in emergencies, especially in times of fire or storms. ( some communities on Van isle were without power for weeks last year after a major storm)
- We see no efforts to legislate or create bylaws at municipal levels to include solar, which is when its cheapest to incorporate and makes minimal difference to home price ( and would be a big selling feature ) * This is where I would encourage the use of our own BC gas for stoves and high efficiency furnaces, as being without heat and the ability to cook in an off season power outage is crippling to famililes.
- We see no solar powered townhome or condo developments where units buy back and forth with each other. God forbid we not by into the narrative by Hydro that we have abundant water resources ( remember the post I did on drought this summer, when some reservoirs were too low to produce electricity? Read this in depth look at impact glacier loss and lower snowfalls are likely to have)
Hell we cant even get legislation on things that should be mandatory to any new industrial build, like green roofs to reduce heat retention and release in hot summers ( reduces median temps in urban areas), features like roof wind turbines in windy areas, and rain gardens ( to control runoff instead of going into our storm drains or flooding streets)
The possibilities are endless, and they do not need endless study to enact. Just do it. Where is the actual political will to stand up and say the damn truth? Why are average residents being forced to take up the slack so industry can profit and pollute?
None of these targets will mean a thing when the world passes us by as we quickly build new LNG facilities while the price drop of solar, wind and other tech has come down so much other countries are embracing it like no ones business.
We applaud Greta for speaking blunt truths, but what good is the applause when the truth is that while this legislation was brought forth in one hand, the other hand of government still carried on with a plan that relies on greenwashing a heavily subsidized LNG industry and fracking. There are some serious climate change extremes happening globally.
Permafrost is thawing all over the Arctic, in Siberia its making roads buckle and infrastructure crumble and in the Yukon and Nunavet its damaging homes, roadways and making lakes implode and collapse. ( Google images search term: ” permafrost melting damage” for an eye opener)
Here’s the thing. Extremes and weird weather events are increasing here in BC and across Canada. Polar vortex. Floods. Fire. Extreme drought and heat waves. Home insurance rates are increasing because of increased claims. Some underwriters aren’t covering certain types of damage anymore. Climate change doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, but its the poor and mid income victims that will bear the burden when these events hit.
Its our governments who will have to fork out emergency relief funds,house people who have lost homes and rebuild critical infrastructure. That’s why addressing climate change is also a social justice issue, so mitigating it and acting faster to enable resilient communities is a must. And yet we continue down the same path here in BC despite it all.
That’s why I will applaud nothing with respect to this latest announcement.
Not while 2km squared gravel well pads are being laid to frack gas, the Peace is being logged to mitigate methyl mercury when the valley is flooded, and Canada’s north is melting.