It’s Time to Acknowledge That Conservative Climate Policy Will Kill Us All
A new report by the UN says we have 12 years to reduce fossil fuel usage before we unleash extreme heat, droughts, flood, and all the violence and poverty that will accompany catastrophic climate change.
It’s time to be honest about who is to blame for this situation. It’s not individuals and their consumer choices that have landed us in this mess. Any serious assessment must instead look to the systemic causes, the first of which is large profit-seeking corporations.
In fact, data shows just 100 corporations are responsible for producing 70% of all the pollution that is driving climate change. Their reckless drive to “increase value for shareholders” and accumulate ever-more profit comes at the expense of nothing less than our planet.
They are responsible and should be held to account.
But corporate decision-making does not happen in a vacuum. Corporations operate within a set of rules defined by the state and shaped by our elected officials.
Governments had the power to put strict limits on carbon pollution decades ago. But most politicians are wed to a neoliberal consensus on the necessity of limited involvement in the economy. That consensus precluded them from acting, and now we are reaping the consequences.
It would be easy to blame every politician for this failure. Here in Canada, the pace at which governments of all stripes moved to stop climate change has been far too slow. The current Liberal government’s tax on pollution is too small, and their commitment to buying and building pipelines is likely to make matters worse.
But it would be a lie to say both sides are equally to blame.
In Canada, the Conservative Party and its various affiliates deserve the lion’s share of scorn.
They have undermined the consensus about the dangers of climate change, and continue to question the danger it poses and whether it even exists.
They have tried to undermine Canada’s environmental policies under the guise of protecting Canadians checkbooks, when in fact they want to protect corporate profits.
They have given corporations unlimited power to continue polluting and destroying our world, even as the effects of climate change are laid bare before our eyes.
One political movement has doomed our country. And that’s Canada’s Conservative movement.
Conservative leaders will shrug their shoulders, extolling the dangers of Pigovian taxes. They will say that billion dollar corporations cannot bear the burden of a minuscule carbon tax. They will claims climate change policy is nothing more than an elitist tax grab.
Finally, when all else fails, they will question whether we can even stop what’s about to happen.
It’s all bullshit.
It’s time we acknowledged the dark secret no one is willing to say: Canada’s Conservative movement is complicit in the destruction of our planet and the deaths of our children.
Their actions, and the actions of their political allies all around the world, have doomed us to live the rest of our lives on a mostly uninhabitable husk of a planet, forced to live as far away from the sun as possible.
Yet, amidst all the doom and gloom, hope exists. If the world were to commit to radical change, the crisis could be averted.
An uncontroversial prediction? Canada’s Conservatives, and the conservative movement around the world, won’t do a thing. In fact, even as waters rise, the earth heats up and catastrophic weather events increase, they will continue to undermine any policies to stop climate change.
The world is burning. Our children are doomed. But at least Conservatives saved us 3 cents at the gas pump.