Vancouver City Council has declared there is a “global state of climate emergency“. Staff are to return in 90 days with updated plans to reflect a growing sense that time is running out, and that missing climate change mitigation targets is a practice that has to end.
OneCity’s Councilor Christine Boyle has brought forward a motion asking that council “. . . recognize the breakdown of the stable climate and sea level under which human civilization developed constitutes an emergency for the City of Vancouver”. It was approved unanimously.
Meanwhile, ideas float around as to what personal changes may be required for us all to participate in mitigation. What — me change? [Thanks to Charlie Smith in the Straight].
- Switch to a plant-based diet. Reduce meat consumption.
- Have fewer children.
- Rein in the rich, who are 10% of humanity, but are responsible for 50% of global emissions.
Personal changes — always a hard sell to the cohort of comfortable and oblivious, not to mention the wealthy. After all, what’s in it for me, right now, today? But maybe, just maybe, the sense of urgency is beginning to rise above the acrid smoke of public discourse. And there’s a growing number of the young who get it big-time. After all, it’s all about the world that they’ll have to live in.
While these ideas are a good beginning, there are others, a lot more risky for any traditional public figure to champion, but necessary for major and lasting impact. They’re also inevitable, and their adoption will be the litmus test for our chances of survival as a species.
- Leave the fossil fuels in the ground. Meanwhile, what do we hear? <GASP>, what about Alberta, pipelines, LNG plants, oil tankers?? Let’s focus on the past, and what got us here in the first place!! And rip and ship as fast as we can, before the party is over. Oh yeah, and “war on the car”.
- Accelerate the transition to a society based on electrical energy. It’s highly doable, and clean energy sources are getting much cheaper. There’s a huge industrial opportunity in designing and manufacturing the bits, pieces and controls to put this in place and manage it. But — ya know — I think we’ve missed that train, and we’ll be buying it all from someone else. Hello, China. Sorry about that Huawei stuff. A provocative overview thread HERE (“Oil Fall”, Gregor Macdonald) discusses “Electricity is the new oil”. The full document is available HERE as a $9 PDF for that in-depth study you’re dying to read.
- Increase investment in transit. Tie it to land-use and city-making around compact and walkable ‘hoods. Sorry, Nimbys, but your time-honoured stance (No Poor Allowed) may not survive. It was really good while it lasted.