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?
"Peter Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth make an overwhelming case that the public, especially young people, are victims of 'Unprecedented Crime'. And the fossil fuel industry, they explain, are not the only perpetrators. There has been extnsive collusion and denial.
Fortunately, Carter and Woodworth do much more than expose the crimes against humanity---they also present actions that people can take to alleviate the consequences for today's public and for future generations." from the Foreword by Dr. JAMES E. HANSEN formerly chief climate scientist at NASA
"The science is not in dispute—CO2 emissions are on the rise again and GHGs are accumulating at an unprecedented rate---humanity is changing Earth's climate. The world is on track for a catastrophic 3.2 Celsius degree mean global temperature increase by 2100. Climate change deniers, corporate stake-holders and recalcitrant governments are essentially defending a position that will raise sea levels by more than a metre, destroy ecosystems essential for human survival, displace or kill tens of millions of innocent people and otherwise undermine global civilization..." —William E Rees, PhD, FRSC Professor Emeritus, UBC/SCARP Faculty of Applied Science
"A timely and important contribution to the debate regarding how criminal prosecutions, both at the national and international level, could be used to repress and deter climate damaging conduct at a large scale and on a lasting basis." —Reinhold Gallmetzer Appeals Counsel International Criminal Court
"A last call on the fast approaching calamity for humanity and for nature."—Dr. Andrew Y. Glikson Earth and Paleoclimate Scientist Australian National University "An indispensable read for the citizens and policy makers who will fight for civilization's endurance and advancement." —Lawrence Torcello Associate Professor ofPhilosophy Rochester Institute of Technology "A timely analysis given the current political crisis in the U.S., with excellent descriptions of some Game Changers for Survival." —Ronald C. Kramer Professor of Sociology Western Michigan University"An important contribution to the public debate about climate change because it effectively explains why the climate change disinformation campaign funded by some fossil fuel companies and free-market fundamentalist foundations should be responded to as an unprecedented virulent crime against humanity." —Donald A. Brown, Professor Sustainability Ethics and Law Widener University Commonwealth Law School
Unprecedented Crime first lays out the culpability of government, corporations, and the media through their failure to report or act on the climate emergency. No emergency response has even been contemplated by wealthy high-emitting national governments. Extreme weather reporting never even hints at the need to radically scale down CO2 emissions.
It then reports how, often independently of governments, scores of proven zero-carbon game changers have been coming online all over the world. These exciting technologies, described in the book, are now able to power both household electricity and energy-dense heavy industry. We already have the technical solutions to the CO2 problem. With these solutions we can act in time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to near-zero within 20 years. These willful crimes against life itself by negligent governments, oblivious media and an insouciant civil society are crimes that everyday citizens can nonetheless readily grasp – and then take action on behalf of their children and grandchildren. This thoroughly researched and highly-documented book will show them how.
Dr. PETER D. CARTER is founder of the Climate Emergency Institute. He has served as an expert reviewer for the IPCC's fifth climate change assessment in 2014. He has also presented on climate change issues (especially the implications of global climate change on food security for the world's most vulnerable regions and populations) at science and policy conferences in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.
ELIZABETH WOODWORTH is a writer on climate change science and activism, co-author of Unprecedented Climate Mobilization, and co-producer of the COP21 video "A Climate Revolution For All." For 25 years, she served as head medical librarian for the BC Government. She holds a BA from Queen's and a Library Sciences Degree from UBC.