Mr. Blair has it right.
But Mr. Bush and Mr. Harper aren’t listening.
Of all the nations of the world, only the United States of America, Australia, Liechtenstein and Monaco failed to sign the Kyoto Accord, the global treaty attempting to get greenhouse gases under control, and thereby slow down the impending disaster to every living thing on planet earth.
We signed, in good faith.
We now plan to either rescind our signature or simply ignore the provisions and the targets of the Kyoto Accord, courtesy of the Conservative Government of Steven Harper, even though Mr. Harper’s plans to cut greenhouse gases will be: a) ineffectual, and b) much more costly.
Meanwhile, Mr. Harper’s minions talk loudly as they go about secretly cutting environmental programs by up to 80 per cent, cancelling some and starving others in what is euphemistically termedâe¦ “a made-in-Canada approach to cleaning up the environment.”
Two things are evident: our new Conservative masters are unaware that global warming is a global problem that can only be solved by a global approach, and those same political mouth breathers are unaware that global warming is a present crisis.
That makes Mr. Harper and his Conservatives terminally and criminally stupid.
“Apparently the federal government has launched a stealth campaign against action or change,” observes John Bennett of the Sierra Club of Canada.
While Mr. Harper and his Environment Minister Rona Ambrose make polite noises they are, in secret, cutting budgets and laying off staff while at the same time planning a three billion dollar giveaway in transit passes that will do nothing to lessen emissions into the atmosphere. Indeed, the Harper plan would be the least effective and most expensive measure anyone has yet contemplated.
According to documents prepared by the Finance Department, and leaked to Canadian Press, the Harper plan will increase transit use by two to seven per cent, and would cost an estimated $2,000 for each tonne of carbon dioxide saved. The Liberal plan, now being scrapped solely because it was a Liberal plan, would have cost between $20 and $200 for each tonne saved.
If that is not terminally and criminally stupid, it is difficult to determine what might be so considered.
Mr. Harper and his Environment Minister say Canada cannot cut its emissions six per cent from 1990 levels by the Kyoto deadline of 2012. Despite this, despite the budget slashing in emission control programs, and despite the avowed intention to ignore the treaty to which we pledged our good name, Ms. Ambrose will chair the next Kyoto Conference in Bonn, Germany.
“I will be vigorously defending the taxpayers of Canada, and Canada’s position about approaching climate change with a realistic and effective plan,” she says.
Now that’s hutzpah.
Those are also empty and ambiguous words. They are cold comfort to a worldwide scientific consensus that human-caused global warming is already upon us, and its effects are evident, especially in the northern and southern extremes of the planet’s geography.
There is no debate in the Arctic and the Antarctic. There, the matter of global warming is anything but a theoretical scientific exercise. There it is reality, observable in the retreating glaciers, the lack of ice in polar seas and the changes in animal and plant life taking place each passing year.
These are the places acting as harbingers of what is yet to come for the entire planet as it becomes more and more unlivable; as centuries-old social and economic patterns are upended; as civilization as we have known it disappears in the global meltdown.
It is a doomsday scenario, and it is real.
For Mr. Harper and Ms. Ambrose to prattle on about “made in Canada solutions” in the face of this is to make one weep.
Or perhaps, buy a copy of a new book by an Australian scientist named Tim Flannery.The book is entitled The Weathermakers. It was published in Australia last September and has become a world wide best-seller because of its lucid explanations of the causes and effects of global warming, and what we can do about it.
“Sometime this century the day will arrive when the human influence on the climate will overwhelm all other natural factors. If nothing is done, the twenty first century will see global warming that could lead to conditions the planet has not seen in 40 million years,” reads the book jacket blurb. “… in the years to come, this issue will dwarf all others combined. It will become the only issue,” writes Mr. Flannery.
I beg to differ on only one count. It is now the only issue that really counts.
For as Mr. Flannery himself writes, “If…we wait to see if an ailment is indeed fatal, we will do nothing until we are dead.”
And as he cogently points out “âe¦70 per cent of all people alive today will still be alive in 2050, so climate change affects almost every family on the planet.”
What we must do, according to the scientific consensus, is cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent by 2050. “The transition to a carbon free economy is eminently achievable because we have all the technology we need to do so,” says Mr. Flannery.“ It is only a lack of understanding and the pessimism generated by special interest groups that is stopping us from going forward.”
That, and the criminal stupidity of politicians like Steven Harper and his ideological guru George Bush.
Think on this: the past winter was warmer across Canada by four to six degrees than any in recorded weather history, yet a permanent rise of one to three degrees will exterminate thousands of species, including homo sapiens in some parts of the planet.
Then read The Weathermakers by Tim Flannery, published by Harper/Collins in Canada. You may just get mad as hell and not be willing to put up with the political stupidity anymore.