Yesterday, the United Nations issued yet another dire warning. Tom Walkom writes:
The report makes for grim reading. Scientists reckon that if Earth is to avoid global catastrophe, the temperature increase from pre-industrial times to the end of this century must be held to between 1.5 and 2 C. That in turn requires a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions released by the burning of fossil fuels, such as oil.
But as the UN report points out, global carbon emissions are not declining. They are rising.
Over the last decade, they have risen by 1.5 per cent a year. If this rate keeps up, by the end of the century global temperatures will be 3.2 C higher than they were in pre-industrial times, leading to even more catastrophic floods, wildfires and violent storms.
To avoid this, the report says, global carbon emissions must decline by 7.6 per cent a year for the next 10 years.
This is not an easy target to meet. Under the terms of the 2015 Paris Accord, signatory nations agreed only to set and meet their own carbon reduction targets, most of which were far less rigorous.
The report notes that unless Canada does something quite different, it will fail to meet its self-imposed target of reducing carbon emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. In fact, says the report, Canada’s emission levels will be 15 per cent above that target.
But, on the prairies, Jason Kenney and Scott Moe are complaining about the equalization formula and insisting that the federal government drop its carbon tax. And Mr. Trudeau's government is trying to accommodate them. We live in a world of alternate narratives -- and we're missing the alarm bells.
Image: The Toronto Star