I want to address this group of distinguished individuals who have influenced change in the past and have the ability to do so in the future. And I specifically want to raise an issue that concerns all of our future and that is CLIMATE CHANGE. Several comments were made this morning about how hard it is for us to change but it does happen.
My sudden change came about when talking to youths about the school strikes called Fridays for Future. It was pointed out that I won't likely live long enough to see the worst effects of climate change but they will and it scares the hell out of them. It is our generation that has the influence and resources to bring about change. The kids are going to provide the motivation. My contribution to supporting the kids was to write and distribute a chant for their protest marches. (Available on request.)
What can you who have influence in your many respective communities do? We used to say think globally and act locally. It led to lots of valuable programs. Now we must both think globally and act globally as climate change is our common threat.
My engineering background always has me looking for optimum solutions. Where do we get the best return for our resources. For GHG emissions, we have to start with the largest sources. The September 21st issue of the Economist stated that some American politicians have not only committed to reducing their emissions but proposed ways to support cleaner energy abroad by imposing taxes on goods from countries without robust climate policies.
The same article also mentioned aid to poor countries for them to have cleaner energy. Here I have a proposal for my country, which is Canada. We contribute about 1% of global emissions but now have a federal carbon tax of about $30 per tonne of CO2 which could raise say $10 B per year. This will impose significant costs on industry and individuals but make negligible impact on the global GHG levels.
What if Canada took that money to a country like India, which generates most of its power from coal a fuel with high GHG emissions. How many coal-fired plants could we convert to natural gas (which we could subsidize) and could we get a significant reduction of global GHG emissions? What if we repeated the process a few thousand times?
The reaction I get is understandable interesting, but politically impossible. I don't argue that, so my response is that in brainstorming sessions, you may not simply reject a proposal, you must propose something better. I would like to hear any better ideas.
Bryan McConachy, PMP, PMI Fellow
2. In August 2018, Greta Thunberg began the "Fridays For Future" movement. Canada became the 4th country in the world to join the Fridays For Future movement on November 2, 2018.