What’s to be done about climate change?
A great book on the subject is Mark Jaccard’s The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success. Jaccard gave a lecture recently that some of us sat in on via Zoom. Slides from the lecture can be found throughout February at this link: Slides from January 26th, 2021.
Experts and non-experts offer competing claims on what should be done by governments and others in the face of the climate change crisis. Most of us non-experts are left somewhat confused in the process. Jaccard, an experienced policy maker and professor at Simon Fraser University in B.C., sets out a persuasive and perhaps unsurprising set of criteria by which the rest of us can judge and can frame our actions.
His core recommendations:
1. To reduce carbon emissions to zero, the key is phasing out coal and gasoline usage as quickly as possible, especially in the critical sectors of electricity and transportation. This should be the laser-like public policy focus.
2. Compulsory government regulation is required. Voluntary targets don’t work. Detailed implementation can be flexible, left to the sectors to work out within the mandatory targets and deadlines set by governments.
3. Learn about how politics work and how governments can be persuaded to change or be changed.