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Comment: In a serious crisis, we need serious solutions

I can honestly think of a no less effective effort at persuasion than assembling 70,000 of the world’s elite at a luxury venue.
People walk through the COP28 U.N. Climate Summit, Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

A commentary by a Saanich resident.

I read the “A global climate-change emergency statement for COP28,” Dec. 2, with an increasing sense of disbelief.

The writer itemized the failures that have characterized COP over the years — the ridiculous promises and exhortations, each more extravagant than the last — with the bizarre bit about “deploring … the continuing war between NATO and Russia …” thrown in for good measure.

No doubt the current shindig will demand still more fantastic measures for us peasants to absorb in the name of saving the planet.

I wondered at first if it was ironic, some sort of satire/parody of the whole climate change industry; but in the end I had to accept that it was in earnest: the writer was enumerating the failure of the accumulated COPs as a prelude to calling for more of the same. COPs 1 through 27 were total duds, but No. 28 will be the charm!

I can honestly think of a no less effective effort at persuasion than assembling 70,000 of the world’s elite at a luxury venue — in a Petrostate, within sight of the world’s largest natural gas manufacturing facility — to wine and dine and “convene” for a couple weeks in order to produce an injunction telling us poor slobs to give up our cars and quit eating meat.

It will be another item to add to the litany of failure, another comedic transcript dreamed up by folks who inhabit a taxpayer-funded utopia where they pass the time compiling wish lists, like rich kids penning letters to Santa.

Meanwhile, back here in reality, a quick trip to Sidney or Langford will show you in undeniable terms that the region is growing like a teenager, with the newest crowding out the merely new, and everyone driving a car to the mall or the school or the rec centre.

You can dislike it as much as you want, but you can’t reverse the trend no matter how many bike lanes you build to accommodate your host of phantom cyclists. Let’s accept that the crisis is as serious as the writer claims. Then I guess we better start looking for some real-world solutions.

We are not going to replace fossils fuels with windmills or solar panels anytime soon. We are not going to suddenly quit driving. We are not going to switch from burgers to crickets.

You’d better think up some things we might actually do here on planet Earth, instead of pampering yourselves at luxury resorts while inventing a new set of sacrifices for the rest of us.