By John Moore, Columnist
The UN recently reported rich nations are not meeting their emission reduction targets. The good news is the important world climate conference that took place in Glasgow Scotland showcased new carbon dioxide removal technologies. Carbon Cure Technologies Inc., a local environmental star, is at the leading edge of this new technology.
This all comes at a time when the world grapples with ever rising fossil fuel prices amid rising demand and falling supplies. Aramco, the giant Saudi Arabia oil company has recently reported spare supplies are dangerously low. Meanwhile energy analysts are stating the price of oil could be heading to $200 a barrel in the near future. These prices could cause social upheaval in some countries if something isn’t done soon. Our own governments ironically are benefitting from these rising prices through increased tax revenue. It comes at a time when they are saddled with near record debt levels due to covid relief funding. It’s a bit of a paradox. They’ll be hesitant to do anything about this but morally they have to. For consumers it’s time to lead the way when it comes to reducing our fossil fuel consumption. It’s a great time to do it given these ever rising prices.
In our own province and community action needs to be taken. In HRM, we are in a climate emergency, but you would never know it. Simply look at all the gas powered vehicles on the road and relentless building with sky cranes everywhere it seems. The carbon footprint all this building and driving creates is enough to make environmental stewards want to stand up and scream. It’s up to us to do something. We need to cut back wherever we can on our energy use. We are fortunate to have agencies like Efficiency Nova Scotia that can help us do this. A good place to start is to have an energy audit done if you haven’t done so. There are rebates available if buying electric powered vehicles such as cars and bikes .There are rebates available when converting from oil heating to a heat pump. Check these options out if you will. We also need to let our elected representatives at all levels of government know they need to start putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to fixing the environment. This should be a case of where action speaks louder than words.
Recently, California announced it plans to ban small gas powered engines such as lawn mowers and chain saws. In Nova Scotia we should do the same. We should go a step further and include outboard motors both recreational and commercial. Incentives should be put in place to allow users to convert to electric powered alternatives. Furthermore, bylaws for our waterways should be strengthened making sure they are protected environmentally and safe for all users. Lakes such as Banook .Kearney , First and Thomas are world class paddling lakes and need even more layers of protection. Already Lake Banook is under threat due to an ongoing reed problem. Recently, a senior paddler told me these reeds are getting on paddles and inhibiting paddlers when competing. Given a world canoe- kayak event is planned for 2022, no effort should be spared to make sure these reeds are gone by then.
It really is time to get serious and take action wherever possible when it comes to saving and protecting our environment. We all have a role to play in this so let’s get going. Remember, we’re all in this together.