Clean BC moves towards Beyond Oil: Dr. Andrew Weaver Speaks

 

Yesterday in my home province of British Columbia, our government announced an updated Climate Action Plan called CleanBC.

 

Port Hardy Harbour (2) Dec 6-2018 - bruce witzel photo

  Port Hardy Harbour, Dec. 5-2018

 

Driving over to Port Hardy for business and to get a load of seaweed for our garden,  it was truly inspiring as I listened to the radio and learned about the new CleanBC program. It basically focuses on reducing emissions and creating new jobs in the clean energy sector through 5 strategies:

1. Better Building

2. Reducing Pollution from Industry

3. Cleaner Transportation

4. Reducing Emissions from Waste

5. Clean Energy Jobs

Funding the program is largely via BC’s Carbon Tax which is currently priced at $35.00/ton of carbon emissions, rising $5.00/ton annually.

 

Jerry Brown quote Capture

 

 

One of the people to speak when during the announcement from the BC government was the the leader of the BC Green Party, Andrew Weaver.  As a climate scientist and past member of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Dr. Weaver has  worked tirelessly in this field.  Now as an elected MLA and leader of the BC Green party, Weaver has focused not so much on the problem, but rather on solutions to help transform and end our dependence on fossil fuels. He and countless others is making British Columbia a North American leader  in working to mitigate the climate crises. 

 

Along with my photos, here I give you excerpts of Andrew Weaver’s speech  from yesterday.

 

Gathering seawood Dec 6-2018 - bruce witzwl photo

                                                                                                                                         

 

CleanBC repositions BC as a leader in the 21st century low carbon economy

(from Andrew Weaver’s MLA website)

 

Today, as I speak to you, we are at a pivotal moment in human history: Our generation is responsible for deciding what path the future climate will take.

We will either be complicit in allowing climate change to despoil our world – or we can fight for a different outcome for our children.

 As Sir David Attenborough said Monday in Poland at the UN Climate talks, “If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

 

At the beach Dec 6-2018 -bruce witzel photo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

As a climate scientist, I have spent my entire adult life consumed by this threat and the opportunities that will come with it. . .

 

In 2007, I had the honour of being on the Climate Action Team that advised Premier Gordon Campbell. That work led to B.C. becoming the first jurisdiction in North America to put a price on carbon.

B.C. stood as an example of how putting a price on carbon is perfectly compatible with prosperity. Our emissions dropped as our economy grew.

 

BC Carbon fee disbursements 2

 

And when I saw that leadership and progress being dismantled by the administration that followed, I put my name forward for public office. I knew I would not be able to look my kids in the face if I didn’t do everything I possibly could to fight for their future. . .

 

By tackling climate change, with carefully designed policies, B.C.’s economy can grow in new ways.  CleanBC offers a pathway for B.C. to be on the cutting edge of the low-carbon economy. This plan is a vital first step towards keeping B.C.’s climate commitments.

 

 Alert Bay Solar Conversion - comliments from BC Hydro Power Smart Program

 

 

Climate change is daunting and overwhelming, yes, but within every challenge lies opportunity. We worked hard to ensure that CleanBC is not just a climate plan – it is an economic vision. It is not just the Ministry of Environment’s responsibility – it is an all of government approach. . .

 

I have long believed that our children and grandchildren will ask us one of two questions when they look back at the beginning of this century.  It will either be: “How could you let this happen?”

Or, if we choose a different path, they will ask: “How did you solve this problem when so many said you couldn’t?”

 

Alertbay fire department - compliments BC Hydo power Smart Program

 

To be a climate scientist one must be an optimist. Frankly, I’ve found it helps you survive politics too.  I am convinced my children will one day ask me the second question. And when they do I will answer: “We prevailed because we worked together. We saw the threat and we knew we had to deal with it.”

181205-mru-horgan-heyman-weaver-mungall-1 Ministers Mulligan with her baby Xavier, Andrew Weaver, George Heyman (Minister of Environment) and Premier John Horgan

I am greatly encouraged by the spirit of hope and collaboration in which this plan was written and thank the government, in particular Minister Heyman, for their efforts in this regard.  There is much work still to be done, but today I feel we are one step closer to that brighter future.

 

Thank you again, to everyone who has helped us get here.

 

Andrew Weaver, Dec. 5-2018

 

 Sunrise at the lake (solar power) Dec 6-2018 - bruce witzel photo

 

Cheers to the Solar Age that’s is dawning

~ Bruce ~

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10 thoughts on “Clean BC moves towards Beyond Oil: Dr. Andrew Weaver Speaks

    • Yes Bob and Donna- voting does make a difference,. Also the dollar, and how we spend it, like our time. Do we take pause to for reflection about nature, conservation, and the world suffering at large? I know you folks do…. Thanks for your caring.

      The thrust of the movement for the moment is now when a price on pollution is absolutely essential. We, especially the richer countries which have been the biggest pillagers over time by far, have been given a free ride for for too long.
      The earth is in this together. Only together will we be able to have life worth living.

  1. Very encouraging! It has become sadly clear that the US govt. isn’t doing anything to slow climate change, but local state leaders are stepping up. Leaders are coming forth at last.

    • Yes Eliza. News from the Renewable Energy sector is testimony that so many leaders and forward thinking people and communities throughout many North American communities are seizing the moment. A recent article in PV magazine stated that 8.7% of the electricity generated in the USA in the first three quarters of 2018 came from Wind and Solar. The same statistical report from the US dept. of Energy states that in the same 3 quarters of 2018, Solar PV electricity had grown 29% and Wind Energy grew 14%, from 2017 levels. Those are impressive growth rates aren’t they? If renewables haven’t quite come of age, they are really close. A hopeful reality in trying times.

    • With such initiatives and forward thinking, we still have hope at least to mitigate some of the change, Rosaliene. As i read recently in a report form the US Dept. of Energy, in the first 3 quarters of 2018 8.7% of the electricity was produced from wind and Solar. And the report stated solar electric grew by 29% and wind power 14%, from 2017 levels. I’m not exactly sure of the math, but i jsut did a growth calculation search that shows with growth rates of 20 or 25%, output would double in 3 or 4 years … hence by 2022 that’s wind and solar producing 17% of US electricity…. and we shouldn’t forget that the USA uses about 1/5 of the worlds energy. So we know that is imperative that the USA and us in Canada tackle our emission problem. As Andrew Weaver has said – each of us are part of the problem, and each of us are part of the solution too. To paraphrase David Attenborough, or we are toast.

    • Yes Roy. Already from 2009 to 2015 we reduced emissions, though then we dropped the ball for 3 or 4 years. The gradually rising price on carbon pollution is key to the solution, I’m certain, cause this will shift taxes away from using more and more fossil fuels to the things we need solve the problem, like solar, public transit and much more efficient industry and building.

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