CLIMATE CHANGE: Evidence-Based Science Decisions, Yes – but Informed Evidence-Based POLICY DECISIONS are the key to effective delivery.
Update 21st April, 2016
Against the backdrop of the Paris Summit where world leaders had photo ops under banners of transformative and revolutionary idealism; Accelerating the Green Energy Revolution for example, the Scientific evidence and challenge appears to be that the Rate of Global Warming has increased and it has been advanced by some that Canada’s Challenge of CLIMATE Change is twice that of the global rate.
The UN with a presumed global $100 billion Climate Mitigation fund is all for steering economies away from dependence on fossil fuels. The transition to low-carbon economies is necessary it seems for our Health, Security and indeed Prosperity. Nobody or any of 150 nations seems to be challenging the science around climate change, climate mitigation funds aside, not to mention the potential of putting a price on carbon.
The broader goal of 50,000 officials and unofficial visitors, gigantic carbon footprint aside, are working away vigorously to mitigate and avert a potentially devastating 2% Celsius temperature increase in global temperature that Scientists have proclaimed is above PRE-INDUSTRIAL LEVELS, apples and oranges measurements aside. The hope is to cap the average global temperature increase at 1.5%. Some Scientists and other august and distinguished entities meanwhile take the position that there has been no increase in warming since 1998.
For the next two weeks approximately, some sizeable portion of 15,000 of our overall 50,000 visitors to Paris will be attempting to thrash out agreements on carbon emissions targets and quantities, or Green House Gases if you wish. A daunting task when green house gases continue to rise and previous targets since Kyoto, Copenhagen and all interim-derived goals have not been met.
Further, while the single greatest source climate trouble is fossil fuels, the World Resource Institute reports 1,200 new coal-fired electricity plants are planned for installation in India and China. Such things as Global Carbon budgets, credits, instruments of exchange are swirling around as well, never mind such things as intellectual properties and assets associated with innovations.
The background, it appears this time matters of legal bindings monitoring and penalties for non-compliance are disparate among nations, when according to our Prime Minister; the science is unquestionable and the changes taking place will have profound repercussions on our future.
Mindful at the same time of 2006 Liberal leadership contest between our current Minister of Global Affairs and Michael Ignatieff, the aspiring party leader at the time, the former said to the latter; you know not of what you speak, while the latter said; we did not get it done on targets and emissions. Since that time Former Prime Minister Harper extricated Canada from penalties associated and negotiated from that time. New targets were set. Targets considered or offered by the new Liberal Government in Paris are the same.
Now the Canadian Parliament will resume and a new speech from the throne will follow; our position on the world stage, according to scientific modelling and measurement is that Canada is a green house gas culprit to the to the tune of 1.6% of global mega-tonnes of emissions. Projections abound based on previous missed targets.
One such is to reduce Canada’s emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, a mere 5 years hence. Some have projected that is the equivalent of shutting down some 58% of Canada’s oil and gas sector within those five years and 100% with 15 years at the same pace.
Difficult to grasp when the first question from recent scientific discussion groups is; what is geo-science or the depth and stratospheric measurement of the magnetosphere varies. These are opportunities to reflect or pursue in support of a singular united goal still in construction.
No matter, Science is Science and such arguments have prevailed since those days when the earth was supposedly flat. Einstein was purported to have been asked or referenced, at the time of the most recent Information Global Village onslaught on societies, what would have been his choice if he had not been a Physicist, the study of the nature and properties of matter and energy, He replied- a Plumber.
Asked why, he replied because they explain and deal with very humanly natural things in a very simple way, or words to that effect. Perhaps, in that sense, or the thought occurred, that we humans seem to instinctively know what to do and where to go in a practical, secure, efficient and healthful way that works, when nature calls.
Scientists in the matter of governance want a say in the decision-making in an evidence-based collaborative and transparent tone and manner to so that decisions can be based on SCIENCE. They have it seems or some claim to have been left out, but the challenge is to translate rhetoric into action remains.
Canada is very experienced in big issue transitions from Woodstock to Wonderland. For example Reorganization of Government in the 60s to the concluding Lambert Commission on financial management and control gone awry, to balancing the budget and the Gomery Commission on matters of Governance – a practice involving separation between political and non-partisan involvement in the execution of Government Decisions.
We need a responsible plan to reduce carbon emissions. This is not about election promises, re-branding, pandering or educating about where we fit into the bigger picture. Ideas already abound concerning Geothermal Investments; 20 billion in green Investments over 19 years, $2 billion in lo- carbon economy trusts and investments in technology innovations, revenue tools and taxing.
Our Prime Minister is introducing a code of conduct for political staff working on behalf of cabinet ministers. This draws the line between Politics and Public Service. According Karl Saigo, the Executive Director of Public Governance at the Institute of Governance explains a single enforceable of written and unwritten rules form a code and implications for employment.
Apart from the Gomery Commission recommendations and the Accountability Act of former Prime Minister Harper, this is progress because it is well known by the Privy Council and the Clerk through many erudite Clerks who have articulated; Political Decisions without INFORMED POLICY ANALYSIS imply there is no need to questions or seek non-partisan policy advice from our 400,000 or so public servants necessarily. Such in itself is the core of much frustration, not quite exclusive to public service scientists.
Furthermore, haste to adopt solutions based on election time frames or matters of one-upmanship in order to gain speed in the matter of delivery or get the deficit spending moving to satisfy Climate Change is not about politics of FEAR. Perhaps, the collective concern about the possible consequences of CLIMATE CHANGE WRECKONOMICS carry profound repercussions the industries most impacted or in the process of transitioning, given the fragile state of the global economy.
Finally, errors and omissions exempted, We have resilient industries, we are blessed with Her Majesty’s loyal opposition representing 5.9 million Canadians who voted. Editorial boards praised the Conservative economic leadership, and employment gains. The current government has inherited the benefits of sound Fiscal Policies to achieve new job growth and economic prosperity.
Climate Change implementations are really a matter of BALANCE it seems; fiscal balance, free market economy, service and control, and a matter of informed policy decisions, political promises moderated and included as well. (“inclusive” “diversity”- if you wish.) Perhaps we are more realistically talking about EVOLUTION rather than REVOLUTION.
Update, February 12, 2016: For further reading, Bruce Cheadle’s article “National climate plan will take time, federal and provincial ministers say” reveals that the upcoming climate conference is unlikely to result in a Canadian climate plan.
Update, April 21, 2016:
Ottawa Sun April, 21st 2016-Lorrie Goldstein – Trudeau knows climate deal’s A FRAUD
When Prime Minister Trudeau ceremoniously signs the UNITED NATION’s PARIS CLIMATE TREATY in New York April 22nd 2016, it will be the same farce that occurred when Prime Minister Jean Chretien signed the U.N.’s Kyoto Climate Treaty in 1998 […] Chretien knew Canada couldn’t achieve the Industrial Green House Gas Emissions targets he was agreeing to.
Trudeau will also throw BILLIONS of TAX DOLLARS at so called GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS that don’t actually reduce emissions and allow the provinces free rein on CARBON PRICING.