Environmentalists are blowing smoke up the wrong orifices.
One truth is that “incentive based program” will not reduce the distance between Calgary and Edmonton or between Saskatoon and Regina. We live in a big country.
Better they should put their efforts into finding means to reduce world population.
There are a number of ways of conceiving this:
For example, a ten per cent reduction on a large amount is more effective than achieving a 10% reduction of a small amount. Specifically, reduce the emissions of the petroleum industry by 10% and you save a million tonnes. Reduce one person’s emissions by 10% you achieve next to nothing by comparison.
While not without benefits, personal carbon emissions reduction may induce hardships on individuals. Such reductions may increase costs without increasing income for individuals.
Whereas industry will actually benefit by becoming more efficient and even more profitable.
Secondly, a large polluter can more easily sustain a significant reduction than can a small polluter.
The petroleum industry can sustain the changes without blinking. An individual citizen would experience drastic, unpleasant changes in their lives by an equivalent reduction.
In human terms, the aggressive reduction of personal pollution may mean fewer family visits, living in colder houses, wearing old clothes rather than buying new ones, eating more expensive foods perhaps, generally having a poorer lifestyle.
Another truth is that there are only 33 million Canadians, while there are 2,500 million people in China and India, which are rapidly industrializing – something we cannot morally ask them to arrest.
Think globally not locally. Canadian emissions are trivial when compared to the total emissions of a country like China, despite the fact that Chinese citizens produce one fifth the emissions per capita.
The government has proposed reducing Canadian emissions by 50% by 2050.
One way would be to reduce the number of Canadians by 50% or 16 million people.
If each Canadian did nothing different, the result would be the same: 50% reduced emissions.
While fantastic, it reveals an interesting fact. Chinese per capita emissions are estimated to be one fifth that of Canadians. To match a population reduction of 16 million in Canada by 2050, China would only need to reduce its projected population in 2050 by 80 millions, a five to one ratio. As was demonstrated in Korea, the social experiment of giving young women a college education will, by itself, reduced the birth rate. If this were done in China (and India, and Africa for that matter) the reduction in population alone would achieve the intended goal.
Of course Canada is not able to reduce its 2050 population by 16 million people, but China can easily do it.
Which is more achievable: Canadians reducing their carbon emissions by 50% or the education of women throughout the world?
World Population is projected to increase from 6.5B in 2007 to 9.4Billion in 2050.
Reducing our emissions today by 50% per capita will only sustain current emissions output by 2050!!!
All talk of carbon emissions reduction is crap without discussion of population control.
Carbon Emissions per capita
Population Projections for 2050