The best available science tells us we have about 15 years left to avoid catastrophic disruption to life on this planet. Yet we are still electing political leaders (federal and provincial) that are determined to undermine all efforts at realistic and effective measures to avoid the worst outcomes. Ontario is poised to spend up to $30 million to challenge a federally legislated price on carbon after dumping an existing provincial carbon credit trading mechanism that was yielding 1.5 billion dollars a year for carbon descent solutions.
When we take a closer look, we can see that the vocal resistance to change is organized and funded by the vested interests that currently profit from the status quo. Some of the largest donations to the Ontario Conservative party in 2017 came from major land development companies and some from those associated with the energy sector. At least eight of the largest donors to the Ontario Conservatives in 2016 and 2017 have extensive links to numerous off-shore corporations exposed to scrutiny through the publication of the leaked Panama Papers. This is not meant to imply that the party is funded by tax evaders. I mention this only to show how wealthy individuals with substantial global interests position themselves to influence public policy at a regional and local level.
This is a global phenomenon. While Ontario was busy scrapping the Green Energy Act, the US was promoting the use of coal, reducing environmental protections of land and water, allowing more risky carbon fuel exploration such as fracking, and weakening automotive fuel economy standards. Continue reading