/When “net zero” is not zero

When “net zero” is not zero

To the Editor,

Net zero carbon. Net zero targets. Net zero by 2030. Net zero by 2050.

We hear a lot about net zero but do we hear much about what it is and what it means? To paraphrase Ray Conniff’s old song, “net zero means different things to different people, that’s what net zero means.” 

The impression we are given is that achieving net zero means we are overcoming continued global warming by drastically reducing CO2 and methane emissions in our atmosphere. Is this true? How do we know it’s true? Who tells us this is true? Who benefits from our believing that it’s true?

Are you starting to wonder if you were told enough about net zero to determine if the claims made in its favour are valid? If so, you are not alone. How important is net zero and do we need to have a better understanding of the term and how it is used?

COP26, the 26th annual United Nations Climate Change conference, is being held in Glasgow, Scotland between October 31 and Nov. 12. Yes, net zero will play a key role in the pending discussions, negotiations and commitments aimed at holding our earth’s global warming average increase to 1.5 C degrees.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some local event available to help us get a handle on this net zero business? Well friends and neighbours, look no more! The good folks of Environment Haliburton, Seniors for Climate Action Now, and Climate Action Muskoka, have got just the thing for us. This Thursday night (Oct. 28) at 7:30 p.m. they have arranged for a free online presentation by economist Marc Lee entitled, “COP26 and Net Zero’s Dangerous Distractions.”

Simply register at the internet site www.environmenthaliburton.org. I hope to see you there!

John Gibb