Climate change, arguably (but eventually self-evident) one of the biggest issues facing our planet for the foreseeable future. I do not dispute well founded science. People much smarter than I in their areas of expertise I will not refute, I will listen.
However, here is what data does not tell you, how to get from problem to solution.
To simply state climate change, human caused GhG (greenhouse gas) emissions are pushing planetary mechanisms way beyond their ability to balance. Solution is reducing net GhG emissions, and further beyond that is actually pulling what we have already released back into some non greenhouse effect form.
Now I understand looking at the figures it can be hard to justify building anything really, but here is where I think understanding where someone’s beliefs come from is important. It shows that if circumstances change, when policy changes would then be appropriate.
I believe my ideas are not exclusive to just myself and represent a more realistic approach to solving the problem without just trading it in for another.
The Carbon Tax
Why I disagree with it now
It does not help (most studies of the aftermath of implementation have weak correlation). This problem is not solved by one region or country. It is a global problem. I would support a GhG tax, if the majority of emitters were on board, even just getting North America on board I would probably support it. At ~1.6% of total GhG output our entire country stopping all emitting activities would only subsidize ~2 years of Chinas current growth. And this tax as it currently stands suffers from leakage. We have seen it happen already, money goes to places with the least resistance. This has all been carried on the backs of working families, which has disproportionately affected those in our natural resource sector.
Why I support them
Energy independence for our Country needs to be attained. The idea that we have the 3rd largest proven oil reserves on the planet, and we can’t even supply ourselves with it is just wrong when you consider the other sources feeding our demand out east now.
Demand for oil around the world continues to grow. No amount of policy changes here at home will make any meaningful impact to this. So the question I see needing an answer looks like this. Would you rather stunt our own industries, be more broke than we already are, and continue losing prominence around the world? Or develop responsibly, not be broke, and continue to be able to push back against regimes that run so counter to our ideals? Yes, there is room for arguments in those questions but it sums up that these choices we are making have consequences. We are not among close friends in the top 10 of oil exporting nations. If we don’t get our resources to market, they will, and likely along with it sowing threads of discourse about the west in the process.
This is also in addition to not getting a fair price for our resources from the US, which this past week has held onto an all time high disparity from the benchmarks we typically run alongside.
Now I want us to continue to be leaders on this file, but I can’t support shooting ourselves in the foot financially (which will create social consequences long term) just to make us all feel better, we do not live in an eco chamber when it comes to climate change. In addition to this we are financially fragile right now. Introducing all of these policies like phasing out coal put added strain on balancing all of our household chequebooks when we are already hurting. We still need a significant amount of solutions, none of which will likely come from the government. What I would like to see is more engineers, more STEM workers hacking at this gargantuan problem we face in all of the facets that it exposes itself in. We all see a barrage of energy and roadway transportation solutions that are of critical importance and they still have their significant problems. But we still have a need for agricultural solutions, military solutions (an often neglected substantial consumer of energy), and the other types of transportation. I will encourage their proliferation but the hardest thing for us all to accept is that they need to be able to stand on their own otherwise we are handing in one sustainability problem for another.