While Europe – first in its class in the fight against climate change – Grilling under a standard heat waveThe rest of the world is looking the other way.
in the movie cosmic denialsince an asteroid carrying planetary catastrophes is heading straight to Earth, the public is invited to look elsewhere (do not search!).
We’ll be tempted to do the same thing this rather mild summer in our little corner of the world, but global warming worries us all. Unfortunately, political solutions seem increasingly inseparable.
Europe between two fires
It is ironic to see such dramatic effects of global warming inflict on Europe because it has been at the forefront of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 1990, particularly due to the replacement of coal with natural gas and nuclear power.
An unprecedented heat wave is driving up energy demand as Europe scrambles to reduce its imports of Russian gas in response to the invasion of Ukraine, while it is being stored for next winter. The irony: the rising heat has forced the closure of many nuclear power plants and forced some electricity suppliers to return to coal.
This climate disaster in Europe is a bit like the asteroid in the movie that some refuse to see.
to bury his head in the sand
At home, while the Trudeau government preaches virtue, Canadian greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. We might think it would be worse with conservatives, but that’s not very convincing.
In the United States, political leadership on climate is fading. The increase in energy independence due to shale gas and oil could have led to more massive investments in green energies, but the political will is lacking.
The Republican Party is determined to continue relying on fossil fuels and the other party is captive to a few dinosaurs that insist on preventing any action against climate change. Among them, the palm of the hypocrisy goes to Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who devised a special protection for the environment of the region in which he is vacationing while preventing any climate initiative. And enriched himself with millions with coal.
Global Challenge, Failed Leadership
Where will the leadership come from to stop the inevitable global warming? The return of the United States to the Paris Agreement is good, but Biden’s hands are tied by a stalled Congress and a Supreme Court that limits his powers. And the rest of the world was not fooled: Republicans will overturn almost anything Biden succeeds in achieving. For his part, the average American is so eager to fill the gas tank of his big, cheap car that he seems willing to sacrifice democracy and the planet to make it happen.
Europe alone will not be able to curb global warming, but it has little more to expect from America, than from China, Russia and emerging nations.
However, without taking action that includes all countries, including ours, the deadly heat waves will multiply. We can be flattered by looking elsewhere, but it will also come to us.