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Normally I wouldn’t define good public policy by who it angers, but the fact that Ontario’s climate change plan caused Rex Murphy’s coal-powered brain to blow a gasket, driving him elbow-deep into his dog-eared thesaurus for as many synonyms for diabolical as he could find, made me think hey, maybe there’s something to this.
The Liberals’ plan isn’t quite in line with what climate science requires, but its goal of reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 at least sends the message that fossil fuels are on their way out. And while muscular government measures won’t be problem-free, they’re unfortunately the only option we’re left with. The fossil fuel industry and its beneficiaries decided decades ago that human survival was a luxury they couldn’t afford, so their lobbyists ran out the clock on moderate, incremental action.
All that remains are bold moves. And while many will complain about the price tag, the multi-billion dollar megafire still burning in Alberta is a helpful reminder of the much larger price tag on business as usual. And most if not all costs will be offset by the thousands of jobs to be had if we take part in the global renewable energy boom we’re currently missing out on. Even with oil prices at record lows, more power capacity is being installed every year from renewables than fossil fuel.
Our energy system is past its prime. Scrambling to build oil pipelines at this point is like getting into a bidding war over Blink 182 tickets. So it’s nice to see at least one province committing to a Bigger, Shinier Tune.
This video originally appeared in The Toronto Star.