Canada's Harper and White House Soon All Alone in anti-Kyoto Land

Fri, 2007-11-16 11:38Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Canada's Harper and White House Soon All Alone in anti-Kyoto Land

With Australian PM John Howard set to be dethroned in the Nov. 24th Australian election, Canada's Conservative Government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and President George W Bush will lose their last key ally in their anti-Kyoto Protocol battle.

The United States and Australia never ratified the Kyoto agreement in the first place and picked up a key ally in Canada when the right-wing Conservative government took power 2 years ago. The Conservative party quickly joined ranks with the US and Australia stating that Kyoto targets could never be met and they preferred a “Made in Canada” approach to climate change.

Such sentiments were not surprising considering that it was only five years ago that Prime Minister Harper claimed Kyoto was a “job-killing,” “economy destroying” “socialist scheme.”

Finding themselves all alone on the world stage is bad news, but its the timing of the loss that should have the two heads of state sweating.

In December world leaders will meet in Bali at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change where they will begin negotiating a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. And while Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Bush are calling for voluntary targets (“aspirational” in their words), the world's community is looking for much more aggressive targets. Even the OPEC oil cartel is talking tougher than Canada and the United States at this point.

Harper and Bush also appear to be more concerned about what China and India are doing, while emissions per capita in their own countries remain among the world's highest. They don't seem to understand that it was, in large part, North America's unmitigated burning of fossil fuels that got us into this mess in the first place.

In the words of rapper cum blues singer, Everlast, “the time has come to clean up our own backyard.”

Harper and Bush also don't seem to understand that the public (especially in Canada) is waking up to the issue of climate change and getting trashed on the world stage is not an image either politician needs right now. With Republican support flailing in the United States and the Conservative party stalled in the polls, both leaders have an opportunity to shine on the issue of climate change, take the initiative to do what's right and reap the political rewards.

Like what you read on DeSmogBlog? Subscribe to our RSS feed here. 

Or better yet - help us fight the right-wing attack on climate change science and policy! 

Previous Comments

Kyoto is not a job-killing, economy destroying, socialist scheme?

So which Kyoto signatories have actually met their treaty obligations?

I typed “countries meeting kyoto targets” into google and got this:
http://www.climateactionnetwork.ca/e/cop-12/kyoto-targets-dsf-2006.pdf
It looks a bit out of date and looks to be based too much on speeches (see the footnotes), but there’s a start. JIK asked if Kyoto wasn’t crushing economies – according to this document, it doesn’t seem to be. Where is JIK’s evidence that Kyoto is a job killing, economy crushing, socialist scheme?

I remember when Kyoto was being ratified. The Edmonton Sun suggested that increases in the price of gas and oil were already responding (???) – their illogical scaremongering pointed to prices that rose due to some happenings in Venezuela at the time. And before that, Kyoto was described in our media as ‘draconian’. Seeing how easy it is to avoid penalties, it looks extremely flexible. So, which position is more credible? I haven’t come down firmly on either side, here, but the dollar vs the euro don’t support the cries that Kyoto = doom. Let’s see the evidence JIK and Paul!

I don’t know, have you paid your 2012 taxes yet?

Hey Kevin,

It was Hadi Dowlatabadi [ http://www.chairs.gc.ca/web/chairholders/viewprofile_e.asp?id=206& ] who said during the Q&A period of the panel discussion desmog sponsored [ http://www.desmogblog.com/desmog-and-university-of-bc-panel-discussion-on-global-warming-in-the-media ] that much of what even Canada (which has done little) needs to meet its Kyoto obligations is already available. Am I remembering correctly? For those who don’t know, Hadi receives a bunch of money from big oil and is quite bright (or so I’ve been told).

My opinion is: anything that doesn’t happen to agree with Mr Harper’s point of view is….to him…a “socialist scheme”.
The possibility of “job-killing” and “economy destroying” linked to Kyoto is nothing compared to the situation that will happen when the environment crashes around us…

Stephen Harper really doesn’t want to talk abut this but he’s forced to do so. he want to fool canadians and the world by setting “voluntary targets” so called aspirational targets. These type of targets have absolutely no consequences for the polluters, will be allowed to pollute even more, this is what i call dangerous thinking. there has to be strict mandatory targets, to help us get out of this critical situation.

I think it will be time for the US to ratify the Kyoto Accords when those restrictions are placed on China and India as well. Both those countries are growing industrial and commercial powerhouse and both are hiding behind their “Developing Nation” facades so as not to be bound by such restrictions.

But the US has no moral authority to insist that India and China sign on unless they have done so themselves. Bush doesn’t understand the meaning of “leadership” if he can’t get his tiny little mind around that concept.

[x]

This is a guest post by David Suzuki.

The Amazon rainforest is magnificent. Watching programs about it, we’re amazed by brilliant parrots and toucans, tapirs, anacondas and jaguars. But if you ever go there expecting to be overwhelmed by a dazzling blur of activity, you’ll be disappointed. The jungle has plenty of vegetation — hanging vines, enormous trees, bromeliads and more — and a cacophony of insects and frogs. But much of the activity goes on at night or high up in the canopy.

Films of tropical forests don’t accurately reflect the reality of the ecosystems....

read more