IS HARPER SOFT ON CLIMATE CHANGE?

Early next month the Environmental Minister, John Baird, will travel to Bali in Indonesia to present the Harper government’s policy on climate change.

But does the Harper government have a policy? At the recent Commonwealth climate conference in Uganda involving 50 countries two countries, Canada and Australia (whose government was defeated on Friday) scuttled the Commonwealth’s attempt to impose binding gas emission targets on developed countries.

Stephen Harper himself opposed binding targets and insisted that the policy also be applied in developing countries, such as India. My understanding is that the other 48 countries in the Commonwealth wanted to give developing countries a temporary pass to give them a chance to develop their industrial capacity.

The upshot was that the Commonwealth reluctantly watered down its climate change commitment because it couldn’t get Harper on board. Come to thin k of it, maybe in Uganda Harper was playing to his base in oil-rich Alberta.

Clearly Harper’s views are far closer to George Bush’s than to Gordon Brown’s.

Liberal leader Stephane Dion charges that Harper has “embarrassed Canada on the world stage.”

What do you think?

5 Comments »

  1. 1
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    As long as we will be governed by Bush clones, what do you exspect? Oil presently runs the USA and Canada…until, hopefully, the elections in both countries. Perhaps the Australians are showing us the way?

  2. 2
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    He has certainly embarrassed those Canadians who believe in catastrophic man-made global warming. For those who do not, I suspect that they are hoping that Harper will resist committing Canada to binding emission targets.
    I wonder: how many readers of this forum have seen the documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle” and, if so, what do they think of the film’s arguments?

  3. 3
    Chimera Says:

    The first thing people have to learn to do is divorce their personal feelings about Harper from the facts of the topic at hand: global climate change. If necessary, pretend it’s your favorite person in the world who’s saying what Harper said.

    He is right. It surprises me that I can say that, but he is absolutely correct. There is no way Kyoto would ever work on any scale unless all the world’s countries — developed, developing, and leave-us-alone-please — signed on and agreed to its principles and then acted upon them with determination.

    There is no reason in the world to exempt “developing” countries from any of the restrictions on such an agreement. India and China are leading the pack in pollution, fer Pete’s sake! Why on earth would you want to allow them to continue to pollute while expecting all the other developed countries to adhere to a strict code that limits their abilities (at least, on the surface it looks like restrictions, but that’s another discussion topic, I think)?

    It’s as if everyone believes it to be a scientific truth that natural law makes it impossible to get to non-polluting technology without going through heavily-polluting technology. That’s preposterous!

    People say they want to allow developing countries to “catch up” with the rest of the world. Why? Why not “surpass” the rest of the world? Why don’t we help developing countries to becoming leaders in advanced technology and environmentally friendly energy sources? Countries who have not yet developed polluting technology have a huge advantage over the rest of us: they have no mess to clean up before they can succeed!

    Harper is being burned in effigy all over the world right now. And trust me, if this were another subject, I might be tempted to light a match, myself. Trouble is, he’s right. We need to do better. And we need to have everyone on board, or it won’t work.

  4. 4

    Tony:

    I have not seen the documentary, “The Great Global Warning Swindle” but yesterday I attended a Books & Breakfast event at which Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail said the great preponderance of the world’s scientific community says we are on a man-made course of global warning that, unless we do something, will lead the world to a monumental disaster. I believe that and I also believe that Harper and Bush and their ilk are playing political games.

  5. 5
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    A great majority of scientists agree to the fact that, although there are natural cycles of cold and warm periods, the present trend is the strongest and the fastest ever. Over the last 100 years we have had the equivalent of 1 000 years of such a cycle. Of course some sceptics are bound to stick to their guns and those of big industry and big oil. However even some in big industry are beginning to say that they have to do something and they have begged the government to set guidelines. harper said no. Probably because big brother disagrees.
    Even if the Pope invoked his almighty connections to negate warming, I would still say he is wrong.


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