Should Canada Care about Climate Change?
There always seems to be controversy about climate change. Climate change is a dumb term. The climate changes, always. It is a natural thing. However, global warming was also a dumb term. The Globe warms and cools in phases again, naturally and in phases.
Carbon Foot Print
We hear about a carbon foot print. The carbon footprint is a measurement of greenhouse gases emissions per capita (person) in tons per year. For instance, the top five countries who have the highest carbon foot prints are Qatar (39.7), Kuwait (24.4), United Arab Emirates (21.8), Australia (18.6) and Turkmenistan (17.5).
Total Emissions Per Country
However, as the measurement is per capita (per person) we need to look at countries based on total emission to obtain a more truthful statistic. The top countries that emit the most Co2 in kt are China (10,641,789) United States (5,172,336), India (2,254,968), Russia (1,760,895) and Japan (1,252,890).
There is a third metric that needs to be considered as well and this is the concept of a carbon sink. A carbon sink is a forest, ocean or other natural environment viewed in terms of its ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A desert area with no water, forests or vegetation in general would have a much lower absorption value as a carbon sink than a country rich in old-growth forests, ancient forests, soil and bodies of water. Additional considerations are the development level or degree of a nation and the population per square kilometer.
The concept of a carbon sink has not been operationalized yet, that is it has not been assigned a quantifiable value, as far as the author of this article is currently aware. One can be assured that a complex formula has been devised however, because of the dynamic nature of carbon footprints and sources of carbon sinks there are no overall values that have been assigned on a country basis.
For instance, when looking at the top 5 countries that produce the most greenhouse gases, 4 of them contain substantially large land masses and one could be forgiven if they assumed that Russia was a greater carbon sink than Japan. If true, this means that some of Russia’s carbon emissions could be considered nullified compared with Japan.
Benefit cost ratios are less favorable. Given higher costs concerns over competitiveness matter. E.g. European carbon tax made conditional in 1992 on US and Japan adopting the same. They didn’t. US concerns over developing country competition.
Today, with all the leftist propaganda and social justice warriors’ issues it appears that society is heading for a collapse or at least a substantial shift regarding ideologies. In a sentence society can be described as there is a substantial percentage (50%) of the societal population that just wants to be left alone and the other half of the population will not leave them alone. That sounds somewhat simplistic and there is no argument that some of those that just wan to be left alone are negligent regarding the posterity of the globe. Additionally, there should be no argument that there are those who constantly dictate to others what they should do who take things too far with no evidence in a bid to make others bend to their will in a classic power trip scenario.
Regarding ‘climate change’, are we destroying our planet? There is no doubt that humans affect the environment of the planet. Are we destroying it? The evidence is just not in. Yes, we are affecting it in a detrimental way, however to what extent is the planet resilient and self-healing? Unfortunately, the faction that constantly dictates to others state they know the answer. Their steadfast confident attitudes do nothing but motivate those that are more evidence-based with their decision-making process to dismiss their claims. Is there a god? Do we know if there is a god or not empirically? No, and anyone who refutes this claim with their platitudes of intelligent design arguments and ‘evidence is all around you’ statements do not understand debate, epistemology and rely on too heavily on faith.
Another unanswerable question is, is there life after death? Anyone who claims to know this answer can safely be ignored. No, they do not know. Whether they answer yes or no, they should be and will be ignored by a more logical, reasonable and accountable mindset.
Canada’s Impact on Climate Change
Canada’s carbon footprint is substantial coming in 9th at 15.5 tons of greenhouse gases per person per year. Coincidently, Canada is also the 9th largest producer of greenhouse gases producing 555, 401 kt annually. However, to not excuse Canada, the top 5 producers produce 21x, 11x,7x, 5x, over 3x and 3x as much greenhouse gases as Canada per annum.
Only one country in these top five are larger than Canada and could compare with Canada regarding being a carbon sink and that is Russia. Russia also has over 10x the population as Canada. It can be safely assumed that the fifth largest producer of greenhouse gases does not compare at all with Canada regarding its ability of being a carbon sink and that is Japan.
Canada’s GDP per capita is $48,100 and is one of the most sparsely populated countries on the planet. 90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the American border in the southern region of Canada. Canada’s northern half of landmass is so cold that it remains permanently frozen all year round locked up in permafrost.
Canada has more fresh water than any other country with up to 3 million lakes and has 20% of the world’s fresh water. Canada has 9% of the worlds forests and can fill Cambodia, Cameroon, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Nicaragua, South Korea, Sweden, Uruguay and the United Kingdom with its forests. Canada has adopted practices protecting soil’s role as a natural carbon sink since before 1991.
How does Climate Change and Climate Change Policies Affect Canada?
Canada has the 3rd largest oil reserves in the world only surpassed by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Canada is 9th in the world in recoverable shale oil. Canada is 5th in Shale gas. Canada is the 5th largest exporter of oil in the world exporting 1.576 million of barrels a day. Any policies that affect either the price of oil or the daily usage of oil negatively affects Canada’s economy.
Canada’s Greenhouse gas emissions policies recently implemented by PM Trudeau are currently reducing the Alberta oil sands production and negatively affecting Canada’s economy.
Realistically, any form of minor global warming benefits Canada. Between 1906 and 1982, the area of ice shelves fell 90 % as arctic winter temperatures fell approximately 1C every decade for the past 6 decades. As a result, the Northern Sea Route and the Northwest Passage could soon be open to commercial sea traffic and this will directly compete with the Panama Canal as early as 2050. Some may consider this shallow and environmentally problematic, however in considering modern and prehistory climate models, this phenomenon is natural and indeed if it can be prevented the side effects caused could be substantially more problematic inducing a chain reaction of catastrophic events.
Additionally, the impact on agriculture of climate change has a positive affect on agriculture production and farmable land size and land use initiatives for Canada.
It should be noted that overall, Canada is a carbon sink and not a carbon source globally. That means Canada’s carbon footprint does not affect the globe in any manner at all other than reducing the amount of carbon it nullifies that is produced by other leading countries of greenhouse effects.
The implementation of climate change policy creates great hardship on the tax payer and citizen of Canada. Climate change policy drains the public bank, disrupts private industries and greatly harms Canada’s economy. If there are any developed countries that can safely ignore the entire climate change conversation, it is Canada as long as Canada commits to a frugal mindset regarding producing greenhouse gases and pollution.
Some will argue that Canada needs to set a good example for the world. No, it does not. No one cares except odd pompous virtue-signaling politicians at formal political dinner parties. Then, why should others reduce their emissions? because their emissions are affecting the world.
Still others say that allocating funds on greenhouse policy, even if not necessary, help stimulate the economy both financially and technically. I suggest those individuals read the Parable of the Broken Window by the great French economist Frederick Basitiat who eloquently dismisses fiscal waste and destruction for what it is, bad for the economy.
In conclusion, it must be stated that although Canada is large in stature and mass, that Canada is comparable if not smaller population-wise than some of the world’s largest cities. Yes, the second largest country in mass in the world has only 35 million citizens. Canada should not participate in notions or implement policy regarding climate change. At the very most, Canada should not be a trail blazer and be an outlier only to implement policy when prepared and with the least economic effects on the Canadian citizen and economy.