1) This isn't even greenwash, it is green tokenism. As @GretaThunberg points out, we have only about 8 or so years of our total carbon budget left to avoid more than 1.5C of warming. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/17/boris-johnson-announces-10-point-green-plan-with-250000-jobs
2) What the remaining carbon budget means is the total carbon we have left to emit before that level of warming becomes locked into the system. The time remaining means at the current rate of emissions, how many years left before all this budget is used up.
3) It doesn't mean that at the end of that time period we have to start reducing our emissions. It means at the end of that period we couldn't burn any more fossil fuels at all, and would have to produce zero emissions, not net zero.
4) It should be pretty bleeding obvious that phasing out petrol and diesel cars in 10 years time, and reaching net zero emissions (not zero emissions, which is something entirely different) by 2050 will not avert dangerous climate change.
5) There are various targets and scenarios. This one is to stay within 1.5C of warming. To stay within 2C of warming would give us a bit longer, but not much longer i.e. we'd still have to start rapidly reducing emissions now.
6) It is interesting to note that this 2C limit derived from the Stockholm Environment Institute report of 1990 was a threshold it was considered we should never cross. Not a safe limit we could work up to.
7) The SEI report of 30 year ago made clear the threshold where the likelihood of uncontrollable warming may occur was actually 1C of warming, but it was considered that historical emissions meant more warming than that was already locked into the system. https://www.carbonbrief.org/two-degrees-the-history-of-climate-changes-speed-limit
8) These are physical limits. You cannot negotiate for a bit more, like you can with a bank, with the electorate i.e. the normal way politicians operate. It is not like money, where ultimately you can just print more. You can't extend the laws of physics.
9) The frightening thing though, is that we are not just facing a climate crisis, which is just one part of a much bigger ecological crisis. Crises which will not be solved by just lowering carbon emissions. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/06/human-society-under-urgent-threat-loss-earth-natural-life-un-report
10) Therefore, to avert future catastrophe and the possible collapse of our civilization, we need to address and avert all these crises, not just the climate crisis.
11) This is why I am baffled by these token gestures from the Boris Johnson government, and how they think it will avert a climate and ecological catastrophe. It says they have no grasp at all of reality.
12) I can only see that this strange thinking is derived from the religious mindset of the powerful. For centuries powerful people have projected this false pious image, hiding their wrong doing from the public as if this would fool the god they claimed to believe in.
13) The current situation is very analogous to this false pious image, where they seem to believe that if they make some token gestures about addressing the climate crisis, that when it comes to the crunch point, we will be let off. By whom?
14) This would only make sense if everything was run by a creator god who could say, well at least you put up a good effort, so I will wave my magic wand and let you off this time.
15) It is not derived from a mindset that understands that the laws of physics and nature are not like human laws, which can be changed and modified at our whim. These are absolute planetary boundaries we must stay within to avoid destroying our civilization.
16) Living within your means is not a hard concept to understand and every rational person is expected to understand the concept of living within your means. Living within our ecological means is exactly the same.
17) For our civilization to persist it must be sustainable in ecological terms. If it is not, it means eventually it will collapse and disappear when the natural systems our civilization and economy relies on are no longer able to sustain us.
18) In very plain English an unsustainable civilization is one that will collapse and where most of the people who rely on an organized economy will starve, because that is the only way to feed such a large population.
19) I really am baffled by how people like Boris Johnson, our government and virtually every political leader in the world sees this situation. Self-evidently they do not see the world as it is described by science.
20) There seems to be infinite faith in magical thinking, where these people imagine humanity so clever that we will come up with some wondrous magical solution which will save us from reality.
21) It is utterly bizarre, and the only other context I know of where people think like this are substance addicts i.e. hopeless alcoholics, heroin addicts etc. where there is no long term view, and it's all just about getting the next fix to stave off withdrawal symptoms.
22) The obstacle seems to be the most powerful people in our societies live luxury lifestyles in which they consume far more than the average person. That they are addicted to this lifestyle and therefore refuse to give it up because of this addiction. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/nov/17/people-cause-global-aviation-emissions-study-covid-19
23) Let's get this clear. It is these privileged few who always come up with inadequate plans to address the climate and ecological crisis, because an adequate plan would end their luxury lifestyle and end their much greater personal wealth.