The Climate Crisis: bold action needed now

I have heard a lot of arguments against the federal government taking bold action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Here are some of them:

  • China and the US as the world’s two largest emitters, need to act first.
  • Canada’s contribution to global emissions is small so any reductions we achieve will hardly make a difference.
  • Canada will be at an economic disadvantage if we move too fast.
  • What’s the use if China and India keep building coal-fired power plants?
  • Concerned consumers and corporations alike will make responsible choices to reduce their emissions. They don’t need any new taxes and heavy-handed regulations to nudge them to do so.
  • Technological fixes by the private sector will get us out of this mess.

None of these arguments hold water since the climate crisis is rapidly accelerating. It requires the wealthy industrialized nations like Canada to act decisively so others will follow. Canada is warming at twice the rate of most other countries. The Arctic is the fastest warming area on earth. What is needed is a rapid and deep cut in global carbon emissions. Period. Climate laggards will be left in the dust whereas countries that adopt policies that substantially address climate change now will have a significant ‘first movers’ advantage. My hope is that who ever is elected on Sept. 20 will realize that and continue with bold climate initiatives that builds on the initial progress made by the previous Liberal government.


Gary Markotich

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