Canadian environmental groups are not reacting to the disquieting news out of Europe with sober second thought or even a pause to acknowledge the coming pain. Environmental Defence chose this moment to demand “new and ambitious climate initiatives” that “deliver at the scale and pace required by science” magical outcomes that will ensure that “Canada’s transition to a decarbonized economy is based upon a just transition for workers and communities” and of course include “a strategy to address environmental justice by examining the link between race, socio-economic status, and exposure to environmental risk.” No word, oddly, on the decidedly unjust consequences for workers of destroying resource industries and causing energy costs to soar, or on the link between race, socio-economic status, and being unable to afford heating or gas for the car. Perhaps such analysis takes too much time. Something called 350 Canada wants us to write letters to politicians demanding said “Just Transition” which, you’ll be glad to hear, “guarantees good, green jobs; puts people first; and aligns with climate science.” Best of all, this slacktivism “only takes two minutes with the help of our easy tool and pre-loaded templates.” Two minutes to spin the rhetoric and two to email politicians, and the rest of the day to shiver in the dark.
Even more extraordinarily, 70 of these groups, and if you’re wondering how there can be so many when we deniers have all the money, ask them and their government and billionaire funders, chose this moment to write a letter to the Prime Minister demanding that he not under any circumstances fund research into new and better nuclear power, saying “the proposed new nuclear reactors are ‘dirty, dangerous distractions’ from genuine climate action.” So as a cold winter closes in on a shortage of energy, they insist that developing the one proven technology with minimal emissions does not constitute “genuine climate action”.
Perhaps they have come to think that genuine climate action means doing without, not solving the problem. Because greens have developed a weird preference for strategies known to fail.
For instance there’s the awkward discovery that Drax’s “renewable energy plant” in the UK is the biggest CO2 emitter in the country. Mind you Drax is not a wind or solar facility; rather, it burns “biomass” which is basically very young oil, so young it’s still wood pellets. Surely, you cry, anyone who thought burning wood did not give off CO2 was not a climate scientist. But part of the politicized accounting jiggery-pokery with GHGs, and of the problem with ostracising anyone who asks tough questions, is that in that rarified atmosphere if a government calls a cow’s legs tails, the beast has no legs. Or, in this case, if the government says biomass is carbon-neutral, because growing new trees offsets the carbon from burning old ones, then Drax’s emissions don’t count toward the UK total in places like COP26, even if they do in places like the atmosphere.
Then there’s the even more dramatic matter of Barack Obama’s showcase Plant Ratcliffe in Mississippi, better known as the Kemper Project to gasify coal and capture the CO2, being literally blown up on October 9, 2021, after swallowing $7.5 billion but no CO2. It doesn’t prove the climate crisis isn’t real. But it certainly suggests that a great many trendy remedies for it aren’t remedies at all, and that a number of people insisting that there’s no pain, just gain, do not know nearly as much as they think they do. And, indeed, have helped cause an energy crisis by their conceited ignorance.