While individuals can use recycling and reduce consumption, the really important changes will come from systemic and revolutionary change implemented on a global political basis
After the hoopla of the Climate Change conference, life goes on. The conference is over. The politicians have flown home to their countries along with cadres of civil servants.
Planning for the next stage of negotiations has begun. The under-developed countries will be adding their sums to build claims for transfers of billions of dollars in carbon tax credits from the developed nations.
The US, Canada and others will drag the process as long as they can since they have enough fiscal worries at home without another multi-billion dollar payments to make.
The world is a study in contrasts. The woman in the picture tells the tale. She is riding home from the conference on a bicycle – very green and low carbon footprint. She is carrying three brightly colored plastic bags on her bicycle, a telling waste of hydrocarbons that will no doubt remain in the environment for eons. The Fotex shopping bag is not durable. According to local guides – “the Føtex bag, for example, is a flimsy and unreliable thing.” Morons Guide to Denmark
We are caught in her dilemma: how do we save the planet from environmental disaster while living our day to day lives. While we can make a few moves to “green” living, we are part of a system of work and consumption. The answers will come from small things but mostly from big changes in how the world’s economy and technology function.
For Canada, it’s easy to complain about Tar Sands pollution; however, we all know people who work in Alberta and make their living servicing this energy project. Canada has been developing this resource for more than four decades at great cost to taxpayers. With the payoff in hand, it would be foolhardy to scale back or abandon the Tar Sands. It is part of our economic engine. We must find ways to reduce the environmental impact of the oil patch without hurting the economy and the people who need the work.
Without a commitment to change from politicians, business will not find those solutions on their own. It is incumbent for politicians to lead since that is their role.