There’s SNOW time to wait on climate reform

Scotland is snow-free for the 9th time in the last 300 years. Let’s say that again, Scotland is entirely, completely, snow-free for only the 9th time in the last 3 centuries. Another way to put that would be that Scotland is snow free for the 4th time in the last 6 years.

We’ve ignored sign after sign after bloody, melting sign. Sure, most folk accept climate change as the basic scientific fact it is, yet we insist on doing nothing about it. Instead choosing to engage in a circle-jerk about ‘net zero by 2050’ or, for the uber ambitious, 2045. Consider everything solved. Crisis averted, my dudes. As long as we miraculously figure out how to stop emitting by 2050 everything will be fixed.

Despite this never-ending stream of signs, we haven’t actually made any real progress. Instead, we hide behind terms like carbon neutral or justify our actions with ‘carbon credits’ and ‘carbon offsets’. Neither of which mean a damn thing. And even with the best will in the world (and let’s be honest we’re talking about massive, multinational corporations raking in billions in profits each year, so ‘best will’ really just means they’re not actively shitting in your cornflakes, just your drinking water) they’re not making the large-scale intensive changes we need if we’re to prevent what we know will be catastrophic.

Carbon credits allow companies and governments to ‘offset’ (read: ignore) a percentage of their output by attributing it to a country that has significantly lower emissions, this budding business model allows polluters to keep polluting, all the while making a bunch of adverts about how they don’t pollute and legally they’re technically right. Even if morally they’re a bunch of snivelling shitebags. We’ve seen this in Australia in particular and major companies involved in this practise include Disney, Microsoft, Xerox, and pretty much every airline in the world. Because it’s the easy way out, rather than cut your emissions which is hard you can just throw money at the problem. Isn’t capitalism great?

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Forget carbon credits, what we should be doing is levying intensive carbon taxes and using the money from these to fund green subsidies. We need an aggressive carrot and stick approach to this problem. In the UK we currently have the ETS, basically a carbon copy of the scheme we were involved in in the EU because Brexit is just an opportunity to do all the same things we used to, but worse. Under this policy companies are allowed to emit up to a point and once they cross that threshold then they have to a pay a levy of £78/tonne of equivalent CO2. It is interesting to note that the most expensive carbon levy in the world is Uruguay, with $137 US per tonne of equivalent CO2. Thanks to recent policy decisions by the UK government we don’t really need to guess what the conversion rate there is. If Uruguay can charge this much why are we demanding a piddly 78 quid? Especially given that we are one of the worlds largest polluters, sitting at 15 or 16th place in most estimations. But if you take into account historical emissions, we rank 5th globally. That’s not a leaderboard you want to be near the top of.

It’s stunning just how little these wealthy, wasteful, wicked wankers care about the world they leave behind for their children and grandchildren but hey I suppose when you can afford your own ‘SexCrimeIslandtm’ you don’t need to worry about what’s going on elsewhere in the world, or even your own actions – after all these are the ‘people’ responsible for the shithole that we and our children will inherit. The steaming, soggy turd that is what our parents and grandparent’s generation have done to our home is our reward for being born. The melting of Scotland’s last patch of snow, the sphynx, is just another sign that we can consign to our grandkids’ history classes

Illustration by Alexa Sambrook.

By Adam Losekoot

Senior Opinion Editor, 'The Opinionator', sexy bastard and all round stand up guy