BREAKING: Canada Pulls Out of Kyoto Protocol

Mon, 2011-12-12 14:52Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

BREAKING: Canada Pulls Out of Kyoto Protocol

Canada is pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol, the cornerstone of international climate negotiations, in the wake of the failed COP17 climate talks in Durban. Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent announced Canada's bail-out of Kyoto as he returned from Durban.

The Kyoto Protocol was ratified by Canada in 2002, when the agreement became legally binding. Canada's decision to turn its back on its international obligations confirms yet again that Stephen Harper and his carbon cronies are securing a hellish future for generations to come.  Canada's 'leaders' are brashly choosing pollution-based profiteering over public health and cooking the climate to make a killing in the tar sands. 

BBC reports: 

Peter Kent said the protocol “does not represent a way forward for Canada” and would have forced it to take “radical and irresponsible choices”.

The move, which is legal and was expected, makes it the first nation to pull out of the global treaty.  …

“Kyoto, for Canada, is in the past, and as such we are invoking our legal right to withdraw from Kyoto,” Mr Kent said in Toronto.

CBC has details on Kent's timing, as well as a news poll showing 62% disapproval of the decision (as of 3pm PST) on CBC's Inside Politics Blog: 

Kent returned to Ottawa from Durban Monday afternoon and made the announcement about two hours after landing.

He said he waited to formally pull out of the Kyoto Protocol because he'd promised a top UN official in Durban not to distract from the talks.

Greenpeace Canada climate and energy campaigner, Mike Hudema, reacts:

“The Harper government has imposed a death sentence on many of the world's most vulnerable populations by pulling out of Kyoto. The decision to leave Kyoto behind destabilizes the promise of action on the climate crisis. This is a further signal that the Harper government is more concerned about protecting polluters than people.”

DeSmog contributor Graham Readfearn wrote in ABC's The Drum yesterday on the implications of the failed Durban talks, and what we can expect in the future. From his article, “Locking in calamity: Durban agrees to dither”

The United Nation's Environment Program's recent update to its Bridging the Emissions Gap report shows the result of Durban's non-decision.

To give the planet (that’s us, folks) a “likely” chance of limiting global warming below 2C, global human-caused emissions need to peak at about 44 Gt of greenhouse gases by 2020.

But those UN analysts and scientists for Climate Analytics, say current pledges on emissions will instead see the world emitting more like 55 Gt by then.

This looks like a commitment to warm the planet by about 3C by the end of the century. BBC science correspondent Richard Black says some analysts are projecting that current pledges will in fact deliver 4C of global warming. Yet the science suggests that a world warmed by 2C, considered the threshold for “dangerous” climate change, is still a radically changed place.

Among some of the probable impacts in a 2C+ world, are widespread coral bleaching, sea level rises of a metre, more extended droughts, decline of crops, dieback of the Amazon rainforest, sharp rises in species extinction rates, more frequent extreme weather events such as floods and heatwaves and a broad array of human health impacts.

The news of Canada's pull-out isn't sitting well, even as far away as Taiwan, where Next Media Animation put out this scathing video reacting to the news (2nd one is English version):

Perhaps South Park sums it up best (substitute climate disaster for foul-mouthed kids and it is a fitting jingle today):

Previous Comments

PM Harper is doing what he promised.. get rid of the Wheat Board, no gun registry, and now no Kyoto protocol.   Canadians are getting what they wanted.. 

Harper’s  Conservatives recieved less than 40% of the poular vote.The difference between the Conservative candidate  and their nearest opponent in the 14 races giving Harper his false  majority  was a total of  6,202 votes. Harper’s power stems fromthe failureof our electoral system,not the national will 

True - Canadians are not in anyway serious about climate change. For example I heard a radio interview on the subject where the interviewer pretended to be half interested in what was accomplished. She wasn’t interested in climate change. She really only covered the failure of the conference to do anything but agree to future talks.

If that’s all they are going to accomplish a 10 minute conference call would take care of it.

People pretend to care about climate the same way they pretend to care about morals. It’s not real.

One day you may have something of value to contribute to this blog. I write ‘may’ rather than ‘will’ because my hopes are not high.

I suspect that many Canadians are more concerned about climate change than you realise.

So, Canada is now officially a rogue state perpetuating crimes against humanity. It is as simple as that.

One factor that is unknown to the public right now is that if Canada re-upped for Kyoto we would have owed between 6 and 7 billion in Carbon Tythes to the UN. This played a large factor in the decision as well as the uncertainty surrounding the science of Global warming. Much of the conference played out that way, if there was scientific certainty you would have seen an agreement to do something.

Broken.

See here is the problem.
Climate change is a fact, not a religion.
You either accept the fact, or deny it.

Part of climate change is warming, some is cooling. Climate changes has happened over millions of years on the earth.
We have seen warming recently, as measured by thermometers. This is a fact. You can accept the fact or deny it. If you deny it, then you need to challenge the measurement process (which was done by BEST) which IMHO affirmed the fact.

CO2 in the atmosphere has increased. This is a fact. you can accept the fact or deny it. If you deny it you have to challenge the measurement process (this has not been done). But I have not seen any evidence to refute this fact.

Is the increased CO2 in the atmospher a contributer to the warming. There have been many experiments that have been done that point to the FACT that this is true. Dr. Pielke Sr. and many others have affirmed this fact. You can either accept the fact or deny it.

Now whether the warming is good or bad is a POLITICAL or RELGIOUS “belief”.

Libertarians like King Harper and his Royal Court (PMO) along with the the team of deniers: Chistopher Moncton, George Monbiot, James Delingpole, Jo Nova, Thomas Fuller, and our friend Willis Eschenbach … http://www.libertarian.to/author/index.php) “BELIEVE” that there should be no governmental interference, no laws that impede an individuals/businesses choice of action, ie laissez-faire Capitalism. (ah good old Ayn Rand’s Objectivism)

Others worry about the effects of this warming .. what will happen to the food output of the world, what will happen to coastal city erosion, what will happen to weather.. What will be the cost of these changes? To some it is important to do “something” to mitigate this warming by reducing CO2 output EVEN IF it is not the main cause of the current warming, it is still a partial one. The COST of doing nothing is of a concern to the U.S. Navy (http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12897) and to many countries with sea level coastal cities.

So there you are. The science is solid. It’s more about if or what anything should be done by it.

I agree with your point, but please don’t include George Monbiot with Moncton and Delingpole.  That casts doubt on everything else you wrote.

I hadn’t come across Libertarian International before, but after a quick glance at their web page that you referenced, I’m sure Monbiot and 38 Degrees would be appalled to be associated with them.

Here’s what Monbiot thinks about Monckton:

http://www.monbiot.com/2010/06/09/madder-and-madder/

and here’s what 38 Degrees is campaigning about:

http://www.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns

And I feel that while the science is solid, denying is in fact avoid far more useful and worthy conversations.

Like;

What are the damages? (Canada does pretty well in Climate change.)

What are the costs? (We don’t seem to look at this one.)

Do we really care about what happens in other parts of the world. (No.. I guess not.)

How will we live in the prairies as food exports diminish?  (At least I like Perogies.)

As drought hits the US will Canada just give away its diminishing water supply? (US Government is a mean bully.)

And yes… the military are all over this. Here’s a think tank with non other than Zbigniew Brzezinski on its board.  (You may remember him for luring Russia into Afganistan.)

http://csis.org/expert/zbigniew-brzezinski

http://csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/071105_ageofconsequences.pdf

When another nation’s population is starving its simply not going to work to tell them to be reasonable.  They won’t be.  When your population is starving you’ll do anything.

In fact Brendan, you could probably run an article on what the various military think tanks around the world think of climate change.  Gwynne Dyer has a rather depressing book you could start with. http://gwynnedyer.com/  (I really look forward to Ralph calling them all Green Shills and such…) 

I hosted a FireDogLake book salon online with Gwynn when his book came out. http://fdlbooksalon.com/2010/11/06/fdl-book-salon-welcomes-gwynne-dyer-c...

And thanks for the idea about the military think tanks (and militaries themselves) statements on climate change.  We'll take that on in early 2012.

Friends of Gin and Tonic tell the real story of Canada’s Kyoto withdrawal:

http://www.friendsofginandtonic.org/files/a552fa8a24a3678dc145e8de6c871d0e-429.html

In fact its hard to understand what he’s saying from one day to the next.

Why don’t you watch him debate himself.  He says one thing in public, and another on blogs.  The real question is which Monkton do you believe.  **

Point by point he lies he lies he lies.  You can see the actual science and compare it verbatim to what he actually says on video.

Video One

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9K74fzNAUq4

Video Two

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1xx5h1KNMAA

** Trick question.  If you need to use belief to trust Monkton, then you are engaged in a process which doesn’t involves facts, but a reasonable religious substitute.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2011/12/question-of-the-day-498.html

If you check the poll now it looks like there are a lot of educated deniers out there. The question cited in the article “Do you agree with Canada’s decision to pull out of Kyoto?”

yes - 60%

no - 40%

Looks like the religion is losing it’s flock.

Reminds me of the polls we see here on the Murdoch websites. Any right wing issue wins overwhelmingly. Not saying that CBC is.

They are incredibly fair & accurate I’m sure. Don’t worry about the fact that I can use 10 different proxies from home & vote on the same poll, then stifle a yawn, go to the office & do the same thing.

 

[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....

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