Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cap & Trade & Christian Witness

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, centre, speaks at the beginning of a premiers' summit on climate change Tuesday in Quebec City.

"You bad!  No, you badder!" (hissy slap, hissy slap) Okay, this might be an exaggeration about the relationship between the provinces and the feds on mitigating the causes of climate change, but not far off. The federal government says the provinces aren't doing enough while provincial leaders are saying that the feds aren't doing anything.

We should be angry and ashamed of the Canadian governments regressive policies on controlling greenhouse gas emissions and developing a strategy to address climate change. I am realistic that we still depend on fossil fuels to keep our economy chugging along --today-- but what about tomorrow? The Tar Sands are a blight, an open sore. Again, they are a tremendous economic asset but Alberta and Canada have been incredibly irresponsible in managing their development. We are dealing with a downturn which reflects this.

I'm glad that Ontario and Quebec have announced an agreement-in-principle about some sort of joint cap and trade program. These proposals in various forms essentially require those who create pollution to pay for it. There are a number of such legislated programs around the world and they often effective in reducing carbon emissions.  But the conference of premiers which wrapped up yesterday in Quebec indicates that there is anything but consensus on what needs to be done. Jim Prentice of Alberta and two others didn't even bother to attend. The premiers do agree that the federal government is showing no leadership, "selling our birthright for a mess of pottage" to use a biblical phrase.

This conference and the action/inaction of our governments should be at the forefront of our consciousness as we approach Earth Sunday this weekend. It's lovely to declare that "the Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." If we are indifferent or regressive in how that is lived out in practical terms through the governments we are entrusted to elect, then we are hypocrites.

Have you been following the conference? Are you baffled by cap and trade and carbon credit jargon? Do you want to make a difference as a Christian?

1 comment:

Frank said...

As a Christian, I would like to make a difference, and "live with respect in creation".
We are at a crossroads, whether we accept that assertion or not.
The federal gov't under Harper is totally in denial and completely lacks any moral and leadership credibility whatsoever. His gov't is committed to blowing our "carbon budget" to smithereens.
Personally, I support the tax and dividend approach taken by BC, as do other notables (eg. James Hansen). But at least Ont. and Que. have embarked on some effort to price carbon.