Calling on Government Practitioners to Scrub Up and Not COP Out

By Kathy Egland — Chisholm Legacy Project Advisory Committee

Science has sounded the alarm and climate activists have converged in Glasgow to respond and administer emergency triage until our global leaders can perform the necessary transitional operations to repair the damage done to our atmosphere. It is no exaggeration to equate our earth with an ICU patient on life support. It was diagnosed years ago with a deadly fever and many lethal side effects that we have been witnessing. This fever is highly contagious and has infected innocent bystanders, without the ability to pay for treatment or recuperation. But there’s been an unwillingness of the careless super spreaders to take responsibility for the bills for the decline and/or possible demise of those they’ve afflicted.

Instead of global leaders properly preparing the O.R. for major surgical repairs they’re showing up at COP 26 like magicians with bags of tricks and announcements that amount to Band-Aid fixes for the monumental wounds to planet earth. Word wizardry, misleading, manipulative math and greenwashing will not get us well below the 1.5C cure. We’ve known the diagnosis and prognosis for quite some time so there’s no need for our world leaders to continue telling us about the seriousness, as if to placate our concerns because they finally speaking our language. We know we’re in a code red situation that could be terminal if we don’t act swiftly. We’re also quite aware of the the primary cause for the condition. However, rather than eliminating the carbon cause, world leaders have been unable to shake its addiction to fossil fuels. They still somehow do not understand that fossil fuels cannot be included into the remedial regime needed for a full recovery. They are convinced by that a drip here and drop there of fossil elixir is needed to aid in the healing of our climate. We must refute any reliance on such snake oils. As a matter of a fact, we should kick the snake oil salesmen out of all the consultations altogether. 

A prescription for substandard alternative treatments that are tantamount to climate malpractice is equally unacceptable. Placebos such as coal-burning  carbon capture sequestration, wood biomass, carbon taxing, carbon trading, etc. will not provide the healing we need. These clinical trials are often worse than the carbon cause and re-injure the very populations that have already suffered most. A just transition is commensurate with “do no harm”. Any medicament that continues the impairment of the most frail is an affront to humanity. Those who have suffered most must be first in line for treatment and provided with the means for rehabilitation.

Even though our climate prognostication is grim, there’s still a slim window of opportunity for our governments to stop the long, idle consultations, roll up their sleeves, and scrub up to ameliorate the ailing, carbon stricken planet. Glasgow is not the time to COP out but to opt in on the crusade to upgrade earth’s status from critical to stable.

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