LETTER: Pandemic an opportunity to retool climate goals
The tragedy of this pandemic has inadvertently become a important opportunity for our society to slow down and think carefully about how we live. Before this event we were struggling with another deadly situation albeit one that is occuring much more slowly and is not as obvious or immediate in our perception but still one that needs major attention.
Climate change is still occuring and we have an opportunity now to deal with it just as strongly and intelligently as we have with Covid-19.
With airplanes grounded and our energy consumption decreased we will be able to see how our slow down has benefitted our fight against climate change. Instead of just returning to the status quo, we can use this opportunity to see how our changed behaviour and focus on health and safety of ourselves can be beneficial for the restof our planet’s ecosystem.
Before the pandemic the oil and gas industry in Canada has struggled as prices drop for their low quality product and workers in Alberta lose their jobs. Alberta is asking for $20 billion dollars to bail out the companies that are already struggling in a changing world. Instead of giving this money to these companies who will not be able to pay it back and who have said they will use it to cut costs which is generally attained by automation and lower wages, why not give this incredible amount of money directly to workers in the industry for retraining or for starting their own businesses?
With this $20 billion dollars each worker could use $100,000 for this purpose and there would still be billions left for the wider communities affected by this inevitable change in the industry. There is a huge need for dedicated and hard working people in low carbon industries such as healthcare, technology and renewable energy and these funds would be an amazing opportunity to support the workers and their families for the long term rather than an short term fix for bankrupt oil companies.
We have all trusted and listened to our incredible scientists and doctors to get us through this difficult time and we can do the same for our struggle to balance the systems of our earth. We can start by giving our money and support not to the failing oil companies but to Alberta’s workers and families to help build a low carbon future.
Let’s rebuild green!