Friday, September 18, 2020

Friday Morning Links

 Assorted content to end your week.

- David Roberts examines a few of the ways to conceptualize the share of responsibility for climate change. And while the most crucial reality is the need for everybody to take steps (and not just incremental ones) to avert a climate breakdown, Vernon Loeb, Marianne Lavelle and Stacy Feldman highlight how a second Trump term alone could do irremediable damage to our planet.

- Moira Wyton writes about the roles of connectedness and resilience in mitigating the health effects of the damage we've already done. And CBC News talks to George Monbiot about the importance of a politics of belonging to reclaim power from the wealthy few.

- Hiroko Tabuchi reports that the longtime deception from the fossil fuel sector is far from finished, as oil executives privately acknowledge they're doing little if anything to stop especially-harmful methane emissions.

- Leslie Evans Ogden discusses the long-anticipated growth of geothermal power as a source of baseload electricity in Canada. And Arthur White-Crummey reports on the Saskatchewan NDP's commitment to prioritize geothermal development as part of its work to develop a clean energy grid.

- Robert Palmer notes that the combination of upper-class tax slashing and general austerity remains thoroughly despised by the general public when accurately presented as such.

- Finally, Sara Birrell reports on new research as to the devastating public health impacts of the Saskatchewan Party's shuttering of STC.

1 comment:

  1. Greg, thanks for the link to Roberts' essay. It was an interesting read but not persuasive. Over the past two months it has become apparent that, in terms of averting climate breakdown, the horse has left the barn. Roberts concludes with a rather limp suggestion that we all must "chip in" to the effort. There is no appetite for that among the big emitters, especially in North America where we are latitudinally buffered.

    Few recall any longer that the goal of Kyoto was to curb man-made greenhouse gas emissions to a level low enough not to awake the sleeping giant, nature, and trigger natural feedback loops, runaway global heating. We knew that the Earth held massive volumes of safely sequestered greenhouse gases in the tundra and permafrost along with seabed and lakebed clathrates.

    The goal was to avoid tundra wildfires and the thawing of the permafrost releasing sequestered CO2 and methane. We have decisively and indisputably lost that battle. When Tundra dries out it is peat, an historic fuel. We have no means of monitoring the vast tracts of tundra or of responding when wildfires break out. Even in the Lower Mainland the municipal fire services are severely taxed when, every few years, the peat beds in Burns Bog catch fire.

    We needed revolutionary change 20 years ago. We allowed our opportunities to slip between our fingers, one after the other. We're still squabbling about carbon taxes.