Lowest common denominator deadly on climate change

We must not follow the U.S. in a race to the bottom

The U.S. can stick its head in the sand if it wants. Canada cannot follow suit.

The news from the south last week was that Trump and his administration are gutting anything and everything that has to do with protecting the environment or measuring (or even acknowledging) climate change.

It’s not a surprise, really, what with Trump’s previous statements, and then the appointment of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has flat out stated that he’s unconvinced that humans are causing climate change. And he’s a big proponent of the oil and gas industry.

Come to think of it, perhaps they should think about renaming the EPA.

Anyway, the reason that Canadians should care about this, aside from one of the world’s biggest carbon producers denying there’s a problem and that anything needs to be done, is that we’ve heard some argue that Canada should somehow follow suit.

Nonsense!

Canada, and indeed the rest of the world, haven’t gone far enough even now to try to protect ourselves from the steady march of the catastrophe of climate change.

The last thing we need to do is walk back promised measures because someone else has decided to deny reality.

We’ve got to stop with this false argument that protecting the environment is a job-killer and therefore we should just do nothing.

The change won’t be without pain, but while there will be losses in some areas there will be gains in others. But if we don’t start to protect our environment better we won’t have lives, period, let alone the luxury to worry about jobs.

Nobody knows better than longtime Cowichan Lake area residents the perils of depending on resource extraction jobs to the exclusion of all else.

It leaves us at the mercy of boom-bust cycles. It did in the forest industry, and it is what’s happening now in the oil sands in Alberta.

We need to develop new industries, new technologies and new energy sources. That is how we will both survive and thrive.

Just because the U.S. has decided to do something self-destructive doesn’t mean we should attempt to move to the lowest common denominator.

This particular race to the bottom would have deadly consequences, for the entire planet. Our children and grandchildren won’t thank us.