We don’t have a bedtime story yet that parents can read (to their kids) about the carbon budget, but I’m sure it’s coming soon to a neighbourhood near you. The 43rd federal election was an enormous awareness-raising campaign for adults on so many levels but most notably the insight that we are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the future. Call it what you want but it is clear that the climate emergency is an unprecedented economic crisis that will not go away until we leave fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – in the ground. Nothing is going to get better until we accept this and insist that government at all levels assume this realization as their modus operandi.
If you are curious to know why the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion can never be built, that the Alberta tar sands need to be decommissioned now and that LNG in B.C. has no future, do your homework. The two most important words for all of us to understand and bring deep into our lives are carbon budget. Simply put, our life-giving atmosphere has very limited space for more greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. Demanding that it mop up more of those pesky emissions would ensure we’ll plow through the 1.5-degree barrier that keeps this a livable home for us in a hostile galaxy. Can our tiny lives handle something of this significance and consequence? Sorry – no choice here – live large! Make these new goalposts required learning no matter who you are or where you live. Ignorance of this game-changing reality is downright dangerous. Get educated – be a lifelong learner!
Tim Turner, Gibsons