In his book Decadent Societies, historian Robert Adams wrote,
“[B]y the fifth century, men were ready to abandon civilization itself in order to escape the fearful load of taxes.”
The City of Calgary has been actively engaged in incorporating climate change planning into almost every level of municipal culture.
Sometimes citizen’s groups have been involved, like Sustainable Calgary.
Sometimes Mayors have joined in international programs like the 2010 Greener Cities by Sir Richard Branson.
But has anyone stopped to ask questions about the Cost-Benefit of some of these proposals and initiatives? Do citizens even know what some aspects of ‘going green’ will cost them?
Is ‘climate change’ too often a diversion of funds and attention from more serious municipal needs like flood mitigation, infrastructure, or homelessness?
Friends of Science Society has issued two reports responding to the City of Calgary’s Climate Change Plan.
The first is entitled: “City of Calgary – The Climate Cost-Benefit Question.” It demonstrates the incremental path of rising costs.
The second report is entitled: “The Costs of Doing Something Wrong: An Evidence-based Review.” It examines the scientific claims about climate change data in the Calgary area and looks at some climate change policies in the context of geographic and climate norms and population densities of other global cities.
We are often admonished that the cost of doing nothing might be catastrophic – but this report examines how the cost of doing something wrong is destructive to society overall.
By 2015, Calgary was $4 billion in debt. By 2016, provincial climate policies were making things much worse. Coal phase-out, renewables, law suits over Power Purchase Agreements – billions upon billions.
No question that many beautiful (East Village), practical (C-Train), enjoyable (St. Patrick’s park) developments have stemmed from good intentions for ‘stopping climate change’ – but can we afford it?
Is it sustainable if we are going broke and present generations can’t meet their own needs? Is it necessary if climate change is driven mostly by nature? And shouldn’t we be investing in mitigations against Mother Nature’s whims of floods, fires, droughts and deep-freeze winters?
Much of what follows has its roots in Sustainability 2020, ImagineCalgary and PlanIt.
Imagine Calgary. Debt free.