The motion by Councillors Mike Layton and Mike Colle to recover costs associated with Climate Change from Big Oil companies is a good one. Unfortunately, many of the policies of Big Oil companies were supported by our own Councillors in the past, who consistently blocked attempts to fund enforcement of anti-idling measures, and, in the case of the present provincial government, have blocked subsidies for electric vehicles. The time line for when these policy and funding measures may be realistically adopted, ignores the emergency scenario that is unfolding, in Toronto and elsewhere.
The cost of asking Big Oil Companies to fix potholes is peanuts compared to the devastation in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Iowa. Alarmingly, 25 U.S. states are at risk of serious flooding this spring.
The personal liability lies with stockholders, taxpayers, and elected politicians, who chose to ignore the many voices of so-called “environmental activists” who have delivered warnings, on and off for the past 50 years.
The Councillors need to do 6 things right now:
- Declare a State of Emergency with respect to the climate.
- Set up an agency at the City, funded by the City, to be called Emergency Measures for Climate Change
- Rewrite the budget to include carbon audits for every department, and require those departments to begin cutting GHG emissions immediately, in a parallel budget.
- Remove licenses for businesses that are unco-operative.
- Require Councillors to post personal bonds on election, as a guarantee that they will not support measures that increase emissions unnecessarily.
- Start enforcing bylaws, like the anti-idling bylaw, that were designed to cut GHG emissions. Many people are now using their cars as “mobile offices” and keep their engines running for long times in parking lots, and underground garages. Where is the signage? Where is the enforcement? The 1st weekend of this year’s March Break, Toronto experienced an air quality alert, because of increased aviation and traffic. In March, at a time, when air quality is usually OK.
The time to act is now. Stock Market highs and lows be damned.