Recently, I read a Financial Post article on the oil business, and it was very revealing for one specific reason. This article, and it was quite detailed, was demonstrating how the world is basically ignoring all global warming predictions and basically carrying on the same way as it always has.
It was basically pointing out what the writer considered to be a short-sightedness on the part of democratic governments of Canada and the US when it came to understanding the world view of the entire energy market.
While I did not agree with the writer’s fundamental opinion that this was short-sightedness, or a failure to take into account the entirety of the global energy picture. What I did agree with is the very dismal picture he created regarding most nations’ ability to reduce carbon emissions to the degree they are committed to by 2030.
The biggest problem with anything to do with energy on a global scale is that the individual is totally removed from the picture.
Individuals, I believe, are starting to embrace the reality of global warming and starting to understand its causes. But the changes that are needed most are wholesale systemic ones, that will require the eventual dismantling of whole industries like oil, gas, and coal, in order for the world to have a chance to halt the alarming rate at which the atmosphere and the climate are becoming hostile to human and animal life.
To understand the magnitude of this problem, all you have to do is look around. Right-wing and business before people governments like China, Russia, India, and even the US, while they may be developing their alternative energy industries, are doing so at a snail’s pace with little or no regard for the consequences.
Whenever I write about this issue, I find myself invariably coming around to the same conclusion, and that is that the fundamental flaws in the way the world economy is now structured make it difficult, if not impossible, to transition to a greener economy without a great deal of turmoil and human displacement.
But at the same time, the potential consequences of doing nothing, or simply paying token attention to the problem, will invariably result in a climate situation that is far worse than any economic situation could ever be.
And that, in a nutshell, is exactly the choice the world has to make.
But as my sister, who is very wise and well-read, is fond of saying:
The big problem is that no one is really championing this cause.
And I guess you could argue that with the geo-political situation in the world being what it is, a champion who would have sway over both sides of these issues would be very hard to find.
And so here were are. Stuck between the rock and the hard place.