Climate change reflections

In a July letter, Premier Pasloski highlighted his government’s approach to climate change.

In a July letter, Premier Pasloski highlighted his government’s approach to climate change. Several of his government initiatives are commendable, such as the assistance to the Kluane First Nation for wind turbines and the extension of the hydroelectric grid to take Pelly Crossing off diesel. However, most initiatives outlined tend to focus on areas within the sphere of government, e.g. vehicle fleet efficiency and retrofitting the Legislative Assembly building.

This approach is too narrow. It omits the majority of citizens and businesses who wish to uphold our responsibilities as global citizens to combat greenhouse gas emissions. Our government is not preventing us from taking action on our own, but they are doing little to encourage us.

Scientists warn of dire consequences of climate change: increased flooding, forest fires,and permafrost changes to roads and buildings. These impacts will worsen in the future. This brings us to the issue of intergenerational equity and responsibility. Our children and grandchildren will rightly ask us: What was your generation doing about climate change?

Will we simply answer that we could not afford a carbon tax and other measures? As we wean ourselves off fossil fuel dependency, we must keep greener alternatives foremost in our minds. There are many concrete ways that we can move to cleaner alternatives — such as more use of clean-burning wood stoves to heat homes, more use of solar and wind power to use less electricity, better insulation of our homes and increased use of public transit and hybrid vehicles.

To encourage this transition to cleaner energy, we need favourable government incentives. When consumers are faced with increased prices for commodities including fossil fuels, we tend to think more clearly about conservation and make better choices. When the cost of gasoline goes up, we often choose more fuel-efficient vehicles and we make better choices for the trips we do make. Carbon pricing provides us with an incentive to conserve. This has been the experience of B.C. in the early period of their carbon tax. Moreover, B.C. implemented other tax changes that put money back in the hands of consumers, especially those least able to handle increased costs of fossil fuels.

Carbon pricing is, however, just one of the policy tools available. Others include: better grants to citizens, communities and businesses to assist the transition to a more sustainable future, extending transmission lines so all Yukon communities are taken off diesel generation, and more educational initiatives in our schools and communities about climate change. Implementing new policies and mitigating climate change will likely have high costs. Is it not better for us to be part of a national carbon pricing effort now and gain better access to adequate resources to make this transition?

Let us develop “made in the Yukon” climate change policies and ask the political leaders of all parties for their climate chnage plans in the next election.

Richard T. Price,

Whitehorse

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Copies of the revised 2021-22 budget documents tabled in the legislature on May 14. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Liberals introduce new budget with universal dental and safe supply funding

The new items were added to secure the support of the NDP.

Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters on May 13. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Cap on rent increases will take effect May 15

The rollout of the policy is creating ‘chaos,’ says opposition

Yukon News file
A 21-year-old man is in custody after a stabbing in Porter Creek on May 14.
One man in hospital, another in custody, after alleged stabbing in Porter Creek

A police dog was used to track the suspect who was later arrested in a wooded area.

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Most Read