The conventional wisdom, Linda McQuaig writes, is that ordinary people don't understand the science of climate change:
It’s we ordinary people, with our self-absorption or resistance to change, who are the prime culprits in the world’s failure to act against climate disaster.
But that's backwards:
By focusing on the alleged failure of ordinary people to tackle climate change, we take our eyes off the real culprits behind the drapes — the fossil fuel industry and lickspittle governments, the best example being the one in Ottawa.
Big Fossil is the wealthiest and most powerful lobby in world history. Any serious attempt to tackle climate change would involve it giving up future profits that are truly staggering.
That’s because, according to the International Energy Agency and other authoritative sources, at least two-thirds of the world’s fossil fuel reserves will have to stay in the ground if there’s to be any hope of meeting the widely-agreed target of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius. (So far we’ve warmed the planet by just 0.8 degrees and that seems to be working out just fine, right?)
Since Big Fossil owns the rights to those reserves, leaving them in the ground would mean it would have to walk away from trillions of dollars — about $20 trillion, according to U.S. environmentalist Bill McKibben.
Governments around the world are going to war to protect those oil reserves. Or, if they're not at war, they're bending over backwards to do the oil bobby's bidding:
Stephen Harper’s government has undermined international climate negotiations, gutted Canada’s environmental review process, targeted environmental groups with harassing audits and championed unbridled oilsands development.
Its craven devotion to Big Fossil has made it a perennial recipient of the Fossil of the Year Award, disdainfully issued each year by the Climate Action Network, a global association of more than 850 environmental groups.
Stephen Harper is his father's son. He works for the oil companies -- not thirty-three million Canadians. The oil barons are in charge.
We'll be in Ottawa for the next couple of days. I should be back on Monday.