The US National Climate Assessment is clear, definitive, and very straightforward.
The warnings are stark, and will be no surprise to BCSEA readers. If we fail to act, and to do so decisively, the increase in heat waves will become even more brutal.
Parts of the US southwest will become a permanent dustbowl as soil moisture falls. The deluges of rain will become more frequent. The sea level could rise by up to four feet by the end of the century, threatening the homes of five million people.
In April, BC’s Auditor General stirred the climate change debate with his report on the Pacific Carbon Trust.
In the debate that followed, however, the reason why it matters went missing. The driving reality behind the government’s commitment to carbon-neutral government are those ominous three words - global climate change.
We know healthcare and education are important, and so are debt-repayment and many other things. But we’re all together on this one small planet, sharing our berths on the Good Ship Civilization, and as a direct result of the fuel we’ve been burning and other careless activities a god-almighty storm is bearing down on us, with the ability to toss our puny boat up in the air and down into the depths, wrecking everything we love and care about, from our children and grandchildren to our forests and food, our furry friends and our future.
‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,’ BCSEA and Sierra Club BC told the BC utilities commission in a late September argument on FortisBC’s electricity net metering program. FortisBC wants approval to ban net metering customers from having generating equipment big enough to regularly generate an annual surplus of net energy. BCSEA and Sierra Club told the regulator that an annual net surplus is not a problem. In fact, they said, it is highly desirable, assuming the price is reasonable and the equipment is below the maximum 50 kW generator size.
As the TMX Ministerial Panel made its way across British Columbia this summer, holding consultation meetings on Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, three of BCSEA’s Chapters spoke of our belief that Canada has no need for expanded pipeline capacity and should instead focus on a transition to clean, renewable energy.
More than 160 B.C. businesses have signed the following open letter calling on the B.C. government to commit to strengthening the province’s carbon tax as part of the Climate Leadership Plan, due out this spring.
Last August, we urgently appealed to you, our members, to show the government your support for effective action on climate change. The B.C. government had called for public comments on what should be in an updated B.C. Climate Leadership Plan (“CLP”), and the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris (“COP 21”) created the expectation (since confirmed) of a growing global consensus that all the world needs to act urgently to minimize harmful climate change.
PUTTING SUSTAINABLE ENERGY & CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE AGENDA ONE DEBATE AT A TIME
Engaged crowds, lively discussion of the issues and stalwart work by volunteer organizing teams have marked the first three of five "Energy, Climate and Our Future" federal debates on southern Vancouver Island.
World leaders decided in Copenhagen that global warming should be limited to 2 degrees Celsius. Achieving that target, though, would take nothing less than a miracle. With another round of climate negotiations approaching, it is becoming increasingly clear that mankind has failed to address its most daunting problem.