Instead of drawing the obvious lessons from December’s freeze and worse, the usual suspects went right along with their unexamined assumptions about climate. Thus the National Post, in a major and in many ways reasonable look at how the Canadian government’s determination to hike immigration even higher is overwhelming our infrastructure when already “we’re all stuck on gridlocked roads or jammed into buses and subways, and our hospitals are overcrowded”, reflexively chirps that “Climate change will only further weaken infrastructure that is crumbling in many parts of the country…. Experts say a crisis is looming for many cities, as the population is expected to hit 47.8 million people in 2043.” So how exactly will warming weaken our infrastructure? Up to now winter has been the culprit for the heaving and freezing that demolishes roads and bridges, while heavy reliance on road salt has been a constant source of corrosion and damage to concrete structures. How will winters becoming milder ruin everything?
Because reasons. Basically there’s no effort to explain. Everybody knows. It does offer that “the infrastructure will need to grow, too: transit and walkable communities, a power grid that can sustain increased use because of climate change and the maintenance of infrastructure that currently exists.” But the main stresses on the power grid are, first, the determination of governments to ban electrical generation systems that work in favour of renewables that don’t and, second, requiring everyone to switch to electric cars, thus further overloading the grid. Which means the big problem isn’t climate change, it’s climate panic.
Incidentally the Canadian federal government is also about to ban the fluorescent bulbs it forced us all to adopt when it banned the incandescent kind nine years ago to save energy in the name of climate change. But no experience of its inability to pick winners even with respect to environmentally friendly technology seems to dent its confidence in its ability to do so.
On a related note, much of the National Post piece is taken up with experts calling for more government involvement in infrastructure to help undo the damage of past government involvement in infrastructure. But as to the climate issues, well, what exactly is going on here that is climate-related?
The Post does note that “Compared to other nations, Canada has astonishingly high construction costs, even when accounting for factors such as geography and climate.” But how exactly are excessive costs the fault of climate? And what is it about our climate that allegedly pushes up construction costs? Too hot? Pfui.
Does summer cause potholes, or is it winter freezing, cracking, shifting and melting? So if it really gets warmer, does road maintenance cost more? Does the gravel melt?
As for hospitals, what has climate to do with them? Other than that it seems rather more work to heat them in December than to air condition them in August, and more urgent to do so. Oh, and to clear the access routes and parking lots of snow in the cold season but not of dust in the hot one.
In point of fact the piece does not attempt to make this argument. But then, it doesn’t have to. Everybody knows climate change means worse weather.