I find it rich that as local oil executives discuss making plans for developing the Arctic, (“Time to sail the Northwest Passage,” June 21) world leaders meeting in Rio failed to address the climate change crisis that is already affecting hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people.
Global subsidies to the fossil fuel industry are now in the $1 trillion range. Yet somehow world leaders are unable to muster the $1.5 billion that is needed to assist the 18 million people in the Sahel region of West Africa who are trying to survive drought and food shortages. Money is needed for water and sanitation, food, livestock and crops.
We are told there is enough food in the world to feed everyone, yet one billion people go to bed hungry every night.
The effects of climate change are expected to keep food prices high, threatening the lives of millions. Why can’t we better support small farmers and fishers, who are key to ensuring everyone has enough to eat always?
A recent UN report found providing women farmers equal access to land and credit could help feed another 100 million to 150 million. This would be a worthy subsidy.
What has happened to our commitment to sustainable development? The planet’s natural resources, those we need for food, water and energy, sustain us and yet all the signs tell us we are using nature’s bounty much faster than Earth can renew them. Where are the moneys for alternative green energy?
In the past month, two major reports tell us business as usual is not sustainable.
The International Energy Agency announced that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide emissions are now at record levels. 2011 emissions were 3.2 per cent higher than the year previous.
The final report from the National Roundtable of the Environment and the Economy informed us that Canada will need to take significant action if it is to meet its modest commitment of reducing emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020. As the report emphasizes, “More will have to be done. No other conclusion is possible.”
I somehow don’t think increasing oil and gas development in the Arctic is what the National Roundtable had in mind.
May I suggest that next year’s oil and gas conference organize a session on developing green energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions?