Many politicians and corporate leaders are beating their chest about their commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050. Similarly, climate warriors and so-called progressives call upon all governments, institutions and corporations to become carbon neutral by 2050.
But hang on, did these people think about the implications of what they are saying or demanding? Or do they just want to big note themselves that they are the ultimate woke progressives?
My contention is that ‘being carbon neutral by 2050’ is the ultimate cynical woke statement. I discuss the reasons for my contention below.
2. Carbon neutrality- what does it mean?
It is not obvious what carbon neutrality means to many proponents of this idea, nor are they very forthcoming with their definition. Do they mean offsetting the carbon dioxide generated by an entity or do they mean the elimination of generating carbon dioxide all together?
The strategy of offsets sounds like a very neat idea. It may be even achievable by some limited number of entities but not by the global community. There are many reasons for that, but let me just suggest to you two crucial ones, which are rarely discussed. First, when a consumer pays for carbon offsets, say when one buys an airline ticket, there is no guarantee that the payment is used for carbon offsets. I have discussed this matter with one of the largest international audit firms. They confirmed that there is no audit trail for carbon offsets. Second, the international market for carbon credits does not function properly and it can be easily manipulated(https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-02/carbon-offsets-risk-libor-moment-without-tougher-rules).
Eliminating carbon dioxide all together is just an absolute nonsense. It would require the reconfiguration of how humanity lives today in terms of diet, internet based entertainment and communication, transportation and many other aspects of it. It is just not going to happen.
So, at very best, ‘carbon neutrality’ can be defined in terms of reduction of carbon footprint. That is in itself is a noble aim and it is happening. Climate science is far from settled(https://climatechangethefacts.org.au/), except in the minds of the totally intolerant woke people, who want to suffocate scientific debates.
3.Carbon neutral by 2050-the most cynical woke statement by today’s political leaders
Carbon neutrality by 2050 has been pledged by a number of world leaders on both sides of politics in the Western world(https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50778001). Furthermore, even China has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2060(https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/22/china-pledges-to-reach-carbon-neutrality-before-2060).
That’s all very nice, but let us think about this for one moment. These politicians cannot be held accountable for their promises. These pledges are 30-40 years away. There is not one current political leader who will likely be a leader at that time, even if still alive. In the Western world no Prime Minister or President has served for 30 years. The longest serving freely elected Prime Minister or President was Robert Menzies of Australia, who has served 18 years and 163 days. Currently, the longest serving Western leader is Angela Merkel (14 years). Xi Jinping of China may still be alive in 2060 (he was born in 1953), but he is highly unlikely to lead the Chinese Communist party at the age of 107. Only dictators have served over many decades, like Fidel Castro over 50 years, Chiang Kai-shek over 47 years and Kim II-sung over 45 years(https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/leaders-who-have-served-the-longest-terms.html).
So, no wonder, if the non-woke, but thinking public is somewhat sceptical about pledges of carbon neutrality by politicians.
4. How to make pledges about carbon emission credible-a simple guide
All the above points are not to suggest, that carbon emission should or should not be reduced. They are simply to point out that the public should not be taken as non-thinking fools.
Policy makers and politicians could undertake a number of steps to make their carbon policies credible. First, they should not be fooled by the argument that ‘the science about climate change is settled’ by the biased ‘progressives’. Climate science is far from settled(https://climatechangethefacts.org.au/), except in the minds of the totally intolerant woke people, who want to suffocate scientific debates. Politicians would be better served by recommendations of scientific committees made up of climate change supporters and climate skeptics. Second, it is important to recognise that 100% reliance on renewable energy is financially prohibitive for Western economies due to energy storage costs and it is only a pipe dream for poorer nations (http://thinkagain.today/wp-admin/post.php?post=111&action=edit). Furthermore, sanitation and clean water have much higher priority for less developed nations.
Third, woke politicians should not make irrelevant pledges about their climate goal for 2050, but provide an explicit, short term step by step road map for carbon reduction. At each election, they should explicitly state their carbon reduction targets, the economic cost of achieving those targets and the quantifiable way of measuring their progress towards their target. Without these measures, the silent majority will think the ‘emperor has no clothes on’.
5. Key take-aways
Supporters of carbon neutrality should clearly define their meaning of this term;
Announcements of ‘carbon neutrality by 2050’ are the most cynical, politically motivated woke statements by politicians as no democratically elected politician will be in power in 2050;
The longest serving, democratically elected Prime Minister or President, Robert Menzies of Australia, served for 18 years;
Only dictators served over many decades;
Promised reduction of carbon emission without explicit short-term road maps, costings and measurable targets is just a woke assertion.