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EDITORIAL – More ‘blah, blah, blah’ in the fight to control climate change

(Image: Tie Guan Yin, Pixabay.com)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

I’VE HAD THIS VISION in my head all weekend of City councillors Kathy Sinclair and Arjun Singh peddling around town on their e-bikes, doing their part to save the world.

Don’t get me wrong — I admire them for it. They’re trying to show leadership on the climate-change front. Good on them.

But my vision has a split screen, on the other side of which is the Indian delegation watering down the agreement on climate change at the COP26 summit in Glasgow by changing one simple word that could delay real progress by, potentially, decades.

That one-word switch was from “phasing out” global coal production to “phasing down.”

India, of course, is a major coal polluter, as are China and Russia, whose leaders didn’t even attend the conference. Keeping global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels feels more like a fond wish than a commitment.

Maybe the teenaged climate-change nag Greta Thunberg is right: it’s all just a bunch of “blah, blah, blah.”

“Net zero, blah, blah, blah. Climate neutral, blah, blah, blah,” she famously said in a speech a few weeks ago. “This is all we hear from our so-called leaders — words, words that sound great but so far, has led to no action or hopes and dreams. Empty words and promises.”

Certainly, the COP26 compromise crafted this past weekend doesn’t reflect the desperation in the Climate Change 2021 report released in August, which declared “a code red for humanity” and “the death knell” for fossil fuel.

The point is this: we all have a role to play, whether it be replacing our old gas guzzlers with hybrids and e-vehicles or taking the bus, or buying e-bikes to get around town, but no matter how much we as individuals try, it will mean nothing if leaders at the very top don’t start sharing the alarm sounded in the Climate Change report.

Otherwise, it’s all just blah blah blah.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8573 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – More ‘blah, blah, blah’ in the fight to control climate change

  1. It is not that we can reverse the world-wide damage. But we should be the leaders in environmental stewardship nevertheless. We are witnessing unprecedented climatic events but buying a Tesla and continuing on the way we have been will not improve our course. We need to make frugality hip and demand public policies geared towards it.

  2. You and Greta are right. We have heard it all before. Namely cop Rio and cop Paris and cop Horgan /ndp. It’s rather disgusting that our leaders are such blind cowards that the continued existance of this planets residents (of all kinds ) doesn’t seem to faze them .

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