18 hours and 17 minutes, that’s how much time it took between the Government of Canada declaring a climate emergency and the Government approving a massive new tar sands pipeline to accelerate the very emergency they just committed to fighting against.
It’s as ridiculous as it is horrifying.
The pipeline approval shows just shows how seriously the government is taking their own declaration because in an emergency the last thing you want to do is make the emergency worse.
It also shows how little the government understands the climate crisis, thinking scientific targets are just some shell game in an election cycle and don’t have real world consequences.
As the government approved the pipeline those real world consequences were making their presence felt in the tar sands home province of Alberta. The latest climate fuelled wildfire, which has already forced thousands from their homes, is now over 300,000 hectares in size, and despite the best efforts of fire fighters and first responders is expected to grow in size and intensity. The province is currently experiencing its driest conditions in 40 years.
Last week temperatures in the Arctic were 40 degrees above normal. The Greenland ice sheet is losing 3 billion tonnes of ice every day as it’s witnessing its biggest melt this early in the season ever recorded. The extent of ice over the Arctic Ocean has also never been this low in mid-June since the age of weather satellites began.
We are in a true crisis and the scientific predictions are getting more dire by the day.
The last IPCC report said global emissions must be cut in half within a decade, and fall to zero by 2040 to avoid widespread and cataclysmic impacts of the growing climate crisis. For an industrialized country, like Canada, equity suggests our emissions must fall even faster.
That means we have less than 11-years to make some fairly widespread changes. It means some existing oil operations will need to be phased out in the next 11 years, and by 2040 all of them need to be.
The government’s current climate plans, that they like to tout so often, come no where near that mark and the government itself has said it’s unlikely to meet even the weak targets set by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. That weaker target, that the government is not expected to meet, is far off from where the science says we need to be in order to save millions of people and species from annihilation.
So where in this scenario does a new tar sands pipeline and the new emissions it would unlock fit? The answer is nowhere.
If can’t meet our current weak targets, even without a new pipeline and the emissions they unlock, we definitely can’t meet the real, necessary and more severe targets with one.
The Prime Minister may think he can play politics with our future and talk out of both sides of his mouth but we know the science isn’t negotiable and the stakes are too high to fail.
We need a plan to meet the demands of the science and justice and if we have to stand in front of a bulldozer to get it well that’s exactly what we will do.
With love and solidarity,
We need to #ActOnClimate. Add your name to demand we implement a #GreenNewDeal: act.gp/2KmCr4h