Premier Dennis Fentie launched his global warming strategy on Tuesday.
Fentie’s announcement mirrored the global problem —a lot of hot air followed by little, if any action.
The strategy looks like something cobbled together on the fly on the eve of an election.
What do we mean?
Well, the table of contents lists 12 pages, but there are actually 14.
And the socio-economic impacts are supposed to be on page 12, but they appear on page 13.
There are large pictures, lots of white space, headlines, bullets and flowcharts — all filler.
The text, and there isn’t much, is vacuous.
Climate change is “presenting challenges” around the world.
People are studying it.
People are beginning to understand it.
Temperatures are rising. More precipitation is expected to fall in the Yukon.
Traditional knowledge is important.
And the kicker, especially on the cusp of an election… “increased understanding and awareness of the impacts of climate change in the Yukon is highlighting the need for a co-ordinated response.”
So, the effects of global warming — dead forests, melting permafrost and glaciers, invasive species, sinking buildings — isn’t enough to spur action, but people’s awareness that something is happening is forcing politicians to act.
And so Fentie acted.
He released a booklet.
We expect nothing more.
This is what the guy does best.
He signs memoranda, issues booklets and makes grand pronouncements — but there’s nothing behind them except fuzzy sentiment.
It’s not about doing anything concrete — there are no regulations, no targets and no money.
With Fentie, it’s all about paper shuffling to make it look like you’re doing something important.
The strategy, Fentie’s “framework for a strategic action plan” is a case in point.
The Yukon will “concentrate on opportunities and challenges,” “build on strengths and successes” and “work in partnership.”
How, exactly, will be worked out later.
After an election.
Fentie doesn’t want to rush it. He wants to do it right.
He should start by proofing the index. (RM)