One related problem with climate alarmism, even for those who believe in it, is that it has become a complacent, comfortable, status quo movement. It wins arguments without breaking a sweat, and it has all the money. To take one trivial example, the Canadian government just established a “Net-Zero Advisory Body” to tell it how to do what it already says it knows how to do. Never mind that there’s also a federal public service containing over 300,000 souls, a surprising increase since 2017. Apparently these dedicated, skilled, highly-paid public servants lack the expertise to, say, develop a carbon tax. Other than the one we now have, that is. So now 14 lucky people win a golden ticket to go blah blah blah at public expense. Lots of it.
The blah blah blah probably. And the expense certainly. With eight full-time staff and a budget of $5 million, and the usual commitment to equity across the board, it will perform miracles. It won’t just “draw on existing and emerging research, analysis, and technical expertise.” It will “lead meaningful national conversations with experts and Canadians from coast to coast to coast.” Now it’s one thing to stand up and say you have led a national conversation you can actually point to, and quite another to declare that you surely will do such a thing, and add pretentiously that you already know beforehand that they’ll be “meaningful,” like a restaurant that lards its menu with adjectives instead of waiting for customers to declare the dishes “creamy” or “delicious”.
Apparently “The advisory body will report regularly to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and to the public.” Although frankly releasing documents nobody reads and almost nobody could read is not the same as “reporting” to the public, let alone answering to it. But there’s more. “It will provide ongoing, evergreen advice that is forward-looking but grounded in the current realities of socio-economic circumstances, available technologies, and global trends. As part of its initial mandate, the advisory body will provide advice on actions Canada can take now to ensure a strong economic recovery while laying the foundation for net-zero emissions by 2050.”
Gosh. Evergreen. Somebody should hire these people as full-time high-level government staff if they can do all these things. (And the person who wrote that bumf as a psychic consultant, since they know ahead of time this drivel will become deeply meaningful as opposed to, say, vanishing without a trace.) Especially since there’s way more great stuff it’s bound to do: “The advisory body will provide advice on the most likely pathways for Canada to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The advisory body will also provide advice on emissions reductions milestones leading up to 2050, and identify near-term actions and key building blocks that support this long-term target. To this end, the advisory body will provide advice on measures to catalyze long-term, low-carbon economic growth across the Canadian economy, including advice on policy measures to incentivize economically and environmentally beneficial investments that would support a step-change for infrastructure and clean technology.”
We could go on and on. They certainly did. And if they already know these people can do all this stuff, it must be because they already did, so why not simply take advantage of it? Many of them are long-standing environmental activists. Just grab their old policy papers and hit “Go.” But the point is, of course, that $5 million is just peanuts to the alarmists who accuse skeptics of being on the make. (Indeed the Trudeau administration has also dropped a third of million on The Narwhal in the last two years and no, you never heard of it. But the Sierra Club has, along with Tides Canada.)
At CDN we work hard for our money and ask you to send us more. But if you think we have $5 million and eight permanent staff you are dreaming. Of a gravy train running on very different tracks. And note that this pompously irrelevant body is just one tiny speck in the vast rich simmering savoury cargo it carries within and among nations.
Governments around the world spend uncounted hundreds of billions promoting alarmism, directly and in academia and by grants to activists who then lobby them to spend more. Not to mention the subsidies that rain down like manna from heaven on favoured companies.
What’s worse, this government lolly goes to insiders like the President of the Canadian Labour Congress, the former deputy minister of Finance in Saskatchewan, the executive VP of the Caisse de dépôt et placement, the former CEO of NB Power, the Executive Director of the Pembina Institute and so forth. So forth being the Executive Director of the Climate Action Network Canada, not to be confused with the Climate Discussion Nexus, the CEO of PRIMA Quebec etc. As if these people had anything pertinent to say on climate that they had not already said.
If this “Net-Zero Advisory” thingy does half the stuff it said it was going to have done when created, well, it might be worth having. Though it’s still not clear why it’s necessary given that the Prime Minister and cabinet are already totally on board with all this stuff, and have thousands of dedicated public servants at their disposal.
For instance, “Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) will provide logistical, administrative, and policy support to the advisory body”. On top of which apparently we’ll be working with the new Secretary General of the OECD, who is not Bill Morneau for some reason, to “foster a green and inclusive economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals…. grapple with an evolving range of pressing challenges…. including advancing gender equality, enabling inclusive, sustainable and resilient economies, adopting an agreed approach to digital taxation, advancing climate action”. (And after lunch, world peace.)
Surely between them these folks could already manage the details of forward-looking evergreen advice grounded in current realities that ensure a strong economic recovery while laying the foundation for net-zero emissions by 2050, and pointing to the most likely pathways for Canada to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, identifying emissions reductions milestones leading up to 2050 and also near-term actions and key building blocks that catalyze long-term, low-carbon economic growth across the Canadian economy by incentivizing economically and environmentally beneficial investments in clean technology.
Unless it’s all a bunch of buzzwords and jobs for the boys and girls.