The climate crisis has put the world`s leaders on center stage. Their passive inaction on climate issues has created a movement. This social unrest has cast them into the public spotlight. To cope with the stress caused by the scrutinization from the public eye leaders have declared a CLIMATE EMERGENCY!
In 2016, the world declared the first climate emergency. Since then 25 countries have taken up the challenge. They`ve accepted and are now willing to mitigate the damage done. In 1979, Scientists held the first climate change summit. It then took 36 years for Governments to come together and prepare an agreement.
194 parties agreed to take action that would reduce threats related to global warming. For instance, rise in sea levels, drought, intense fires, and so on. So it’s no wonder why people are wondering what do we do now? What does this mean for me? How will the government`s actions prevent a catastrophe?
The Climate Emergency
In the past 12,000 years, Earth’s temperatures adjusted plus or minus one degree. Yet, in the past 100 years, our planet’s atmosphere is on track for a projected four-degree warming trend. Scientists believe the earth had experienced this temperature 4 million years ago. But we don’t know what the world looked like back then.
The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate change states that any temperature rise over 4 degrees will lead to “substantial species extinction”. By 2100, they expect to hit the 3 or 4-degree target. At that point, they believe the world’s agriculture system will collapse. The projected population is 11 billion people by 2100. So the threat of no food is why more people should be worried about the climate crisis.
Drought and Social Unrest
Inaction is not an option, it will only make matters worse. The destruction of ecosystems and species is not just our doing. The heat caused by global warming will not be stopped. There is no switch that can be flicked or dial that can be turned. We will watch helplessly and hope for rain. Like children in a war zone, we’ll slowly die. Not because of bullets, but because of heat, food and water scarcity.
Today the hotter regions of the Earth have politics governed by food and water scarcity. The land is protected by force, and walls are built by hatred and anger. For example, Nasa measured the groundwater in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers between 2003 and 2009. They found it had lost water faster than any other place in the world. While the Scientists were watching water levels drop political experts noticed tensions rising in the region. Drought caused thousands to become angry and together they began a revolution in Syria.
Every time we go to the mall and buy something we’re taking from the supply chain. Think about all the energy it took to get there. The raw materials mined or created in a laboratory take energy to produce.
Then we ship raw materials and manufacture them into goods overseas. Next, they`re shipped back, trucked, flown or put on a train to locations across Canada. The chemicals and gases it takes to create these man-made products eventually get released into the environment.
So when we make a purchase it directly affects the CO2 in the atmosphere. We`re burning Fossil fuels to mine, log, process, ship, and ship again. In the past, this logistically has worked. But we`ve had fewer people on Earth. So, our economy can`t work without dire consequences.
If people are not willing to change their ways then the government has no choice. They must step in and do it for us. The Canadian government implemented a Carbon tax to Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. What are they doing with our Carbon tax dollars?
From the government`s perspective, the best way to address the cost of climate change is to tax us. Like taxing cigarettes it nudges people to make a change if it costs them more. Once the government taxed cigarettes people vowed to quit and sales decreased. A collaborative government agreement was signed to keep climate change in check. However, they can’t change the GHG emissions without the support of the public.
Environment Canada states, by 2020 the Climate tax will have removed 50-60 Megatonnes of Carbon from the air annually. If their calculations are correct it is effective. This effectively reduces emissions by 12% each year. British Columbia introduced the Carbon tax in 2008. According to a 2018 report B.C. has the fastest growing economy in Canada! Coincidence?
The Federal government’s website shows the most significant reduction will come from Industry. Corporations haven`t spent money on innovative technologies on their own accord. They’re lured with a carrot to get them to think and act differently. Therefore, through taxation, the government enforces methane reduction in the oil and gas industry.
The goal is to reduce emissions between 40-45% below 2012 levels by the year 2025. They’re allowing flexibilities while encouraging innovation of methane reductions. Canadian taxpayers have collectively reduced the potential compliance costs for the oil and gas industry. By more than 1 billion dollars…
One of the ways companies uses this money is by using cost-effective technology. For instance, they`re using drone planes with infrared cameras to detect gas leaks. If they know where the leak is then they’re able to fix it thus saving time and money. The Carbon tax is hotly debated because it`s misunderstood. But in the end, the Canadian government gives 90% of the tax dollars back to the public. They do this in the form of rebates to those that use transit, electric cars or smart home technology.
The Climate crisis is a term that politicians, activists, and scientists use to get our attention! If we wait we’ll struggle to cope with the warming atmosphere. Fortunately, there is still time. Feel a sense of relief knowing that you can make a difference.
Support a circular economy, drive alternative vehicles, eat a 100-mile diet. There are so many ways to live a more meaningful life. Small changes in everyday decisions will help the climate emergency. It is the betterment of those living in hot arid climates. Plus, it will promote a better life now and for the future. What will you do today that will make a difference for tomorrow?
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