President Biden’s Economic Growth Plans dragging all of the global Democracies
into competition with Autocratic China…
have little chance to reduce GHG Emissions to 2030.
The major GHG polluters are China #1, USA #2 , and the EU #3 with little old Canada, exceeding them all on a per capita basis, but in aggregate in 10th place.
US President Joe Biden is applauded for his leadership in moving quickly for the USA to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, and in a recent virtual Climate Summit to seek new pledges from the major global polluters to cut greenhouse gases by 2030 and to be carbon free by 2050.
Our PM Justin Trudeau was present and accounted for laying new pledges on- the- line for Canada.
Local climate activists in Peterborough Ontario despite the pandemic, are protesting the Canadian Federal Government that Canada’s new pledges don’t go far enough!
The question is will any of this make a difference, while we all push the economic growth gas pedal to the floor ?
That’s right, it remains a gas pedal burning more oil in the name of “building back better.”
Its hard to resist such logic. Biden is a good guy. He is looking out for his citizens and democracy.
But his strategy has no hope of bending the Global GHG curve downward by 2030!
China has already extended its carbon pledge from 2050 to 2060 and changed the metric to carbon neutrality by 2060
The summit produced no new pledges from China’s President Xi Jinping.
He is playing this emissions reduction pledge game … straight up!
China knows that they can’t be off all coal, natural gas and oil by even 2060.
The western democracy leaders know this as well; and that oil itself is the major driver of economic growth needed to sustain the global capitalistic system, which is now clearly identified as the root cause of the Climate Crisis.
Nonetheless, the race is on between the West and China, not to cut carbon emissions but to gain greater access to the declining availability of high quality oil to continue to fire economic growth to recover from COVID -19 and build back western economies better.
Joe Biden himself and his team are openly selling his Infrastructure plan to rebuild roads, airports, repair ten thousand bridges and to de carbon the centralized electric grid based on its creation of thousands of new middle class jobs and increased economic growth making the US more competitive with China. Biden says that focusing on the Climate Crisis means one word… Jobs!
The dirty little secret being played on the US public and the rest of the world is that renewed economic growth, using more oil not less is virtually guaranteed to continue the upward curve of GHG emissions making it more difficult for us all to live in the Climate Crisis Long Emergency.
The continued pursuit of economic growth is the very cause of the GHG pollution that has led to the Climate Crisis Long Emergency.
We know this from the recorded growth curve of GHG emissions since the start of the First Industrial Revolution.
The only recorded emissions declines have come as a result of the Great Recession in 2008/2009 and now the 2020/2021 COVID -19 pandemic both leading to a decline in global economic growth.
Just think about it for a minute …how would we combat a global pandemic like COVID -19 without oil.
Our medical system is one of the biggest users of oil and oil derivatives…and the accumulated waste from that system piles higher and higher every day.
And the introduction of wide band 5G internet is increasing energy demand all over the world contributing to more pollution.
Solving the climate crisis is not just about centralized renewable energy, electrifying transportation and saving the polar bears!
It’s actually more about how we are going to live more locally, with much less energy of all types, including oil and without economic growth!
Indeed, the core subject of my book is available in paperback and e- version online.
Fred Irwin Founding Director Transition Town Peterborough Inc.
Author: NOW IS THE TIME! Building Community Resilience in Response to COVID- 19 and the Climate Crisis