Climate change deserves greater attention in the election debates. Scientists are telling us to slow down the rate at which we produce carbon dioxide, and to arrest the increase of temperature at 2 C (it has already risen by 0.8 C).
Already the earth is experiencing extremes of weather — superstorms, droughts, insects and fires, melting ice caps and glaciers. With a 2 C scenario, costs to Canada’s economy are predicted to rise from $5 billion per year in 2020 to $21 to $43 billion by the 2050s. Yet the oil corporations continue to pump and sell.
We should continue the carbon tax in B.C. and use it to stimulate renewable energy innovation and business. We need to reform the tax by making all carbon polluters contribute their fair share.
We need to:
• shift the economy to renewable energy;
• develop meso- and micropower plants to collect renewable energies;
• develop storage technologies to store intermittent energies;
• use Internet technology to develop a smart grid;
• transition the transport fleet to electric plug-in and fuel-cell vehicles.
Canada currently captures just one per cent of the $1-trillion global clean-technology industry. As this industry grows to a projected $3 trillion by 2020, Canadian clean-technology companies have the potential to increase their market share from today’s $9 billion to $60 billion.
We must move away from our addiction to oil and fossil fuels, and toward renewable energy.
John K. Jeglum