By Peter D. Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth. Clarity Press, Inc., 269 pp, softcover
Nobody in the mainstream media ever asks Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or Finance Minister Bill Morneau if they’re perpetrating an unprecedented crime on future generations.
Even after the Liberal government announced its intention to pay a Texas oil company $4.5 billion for its Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project, coverage focused on the financial aspects of the deal, not its moral component.
So these are the typical issues addressed:
How much would Canadian taxpayers pay to complete construction?
Are there really buyers in Asia for the 890,000 barrels per day of expensively produced, energy-intensive diluted bitumen that will arrive in Burnaby from Alberta?
What does this mean for the people who work on the project?
How will Indigenous people react?
The most uncomfortable questions about greenhouse gases are almost never broached.
But what if, in fact, Trudeau, Morneau, and politicians like them around the world are committing a crime of immense proportions on the young and those yet to be born?
What if this can be demonstrated through the relationship between additional greenhouse gas emissions and more powerful and deadly hurricanes, longer and more devastating forest fire seasons, and unimaginable flooding of seaside and riverside cities around the world?
Would the mainstream media become an accessory to the crime through its acquiescence?
These are some of the issues raised in an extraordinary new book, Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival, by B.C. authors Peter D. Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth.
“The global climate change emergency deserves and requires a rapid global emergency response,” Carter and Woodworth declare.
What’s more, they maintain that it would be criminally negligent to do otherwise. And they point out that information about the threat has been publicly available for nearly four decades.
“During the last ten UN climate conferences, the large GHG-polluting national governments not only committed the crime of omission by failing to protect their citizens from climate disruption: they blocked and delayed action needed to save vulnerable non-polluting nations from CO2-induced havoc already underway,” they write.
Carter is founder of the Climate Emergency Institute and was an expert reviewer of the Intergovernmental Panel of on Climate Change’s fifth and most frightening assessment in 2014. Woodworth is a retired B.C. government medical librarian.
They document the shocking rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which surpassed 410 parts per million in the spring of 2017.
“This trend in atmospheric CO2 concentration increase is on course with the worst case IPCC 2014 scenario…which leads to a best estimate warming from atmospheric GHGs of 4.3 °C by 2100,” Carter and Woodworth write. “However, the IPCC says it could be as high as 7.8 °C by 2100 when including uncertainties such as amplifying feedbacks. Large feedback emissions are certain at 3 °C.”
As well, they keep readers up to date on record sea-surface temperatures, the rapid decline in Arctic ice in the summer, and the disturbing impacts of deforestation on the Earth’s capacity to retain carbon.
Do politicians have blood on their hands?
The first half of the book is called “Crimes Against Life and Humanity”, laying out the legal case for state-corporate crime in willfully blocking actions to curb greenhouse gas emissions, which would save millions of lives.