Monday, September 24, 2007

Harper proposes countries already ahead of us "follow our lead" on Climate Change...

I'd be much less angry about the Prime Minister's lack of leadership on Climate Change if he wasn't out there PRETENDING to lead on Climate Change.

The notion that "Kyoto's not realistic, we need to move on from Kyoto" doesn't really fly with the many countries that have met or exceeded their Kyoto obligations. Perhaps Kyoto is unrealistic for CANADA now, because we sat on our hands for 13 years, but that's not the message we should be using to convince countries that MET their Kyoto obligations (or never signed on to Kyoto) to follow the plan of a country that didn't (or rather, won't) live up to their treaty obligations going forward.

Sure, plenty of countries besides Canada think it'd be a good idea to reduce GHG emmissions by half by 2050. However many, many of those countries will be starting from their post-Kyoto totals, and reducing THOSE by half. Meanwhile, Canada would be starting from a position WAY ABOVE our Kyoto targets, and reducing THAT by half. Hell, we'll be starting from a position WAY ABOVE where our actual emmissions were when the Kyoto targets were agreed to, and reducing that by half!!! This is not just Harper's fault, but it is reality.

None of the countries that are already AHEAD OF US are going to "follow our lead". It's as though we've arrived for a 26 mile marathon an hour too late and we're asking the countries an hour ahead of us to run a full 26 miles beginning from where they are currently in the race, while we run the 26 miles fresh from the start line (and actually, what's REALLY going on is that we're asking them to run 26 miles from where they currently are an hour into the race, while we run 15 miles!!!). We just hope (against hope) that none of them figure out that they will have ended up running more than twice as far as we have!

I'd be less concerned about the Prime Minister not leading on this issue (given where he had to start, thanks to the Liberals) if he wasn't out there PRETENDING to be a leader on this issue (and making himself, and by extension the country look foolish in the process). None of the countries that meet their Kyoto obligations are going to be at all impressed that Canada manages to reduce it's inflated pre-Kyoto emmissions by half by 2050 while they all reduce their POST-Kyoto emmissions by half. And they CERTAINLY won't view us as leaders!

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4 comments:

Canadian Infidel said...

Only 2 countries are somewhat on track to meet their Kyoto obligations and they are implementing Draconian regulations to achieve them. Kyoto is nothing more then a wealth re-distribution scheme dreamt up at the U.N. by third world dictators who want more money from western countries.

Kyoto would kill Canada, but that's precisely the point isn't it.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Canadian Infidel,

Did you perhaps mean to say that only two countries are really far away from meeting their targets? Last time I checked, 16 countries had ALREADY met their targets, and another 14 were expected to do so by 2010. (Take a look here).

According to this report from 2006, the U.K., France and Sweden are already exceeding their targets, and Germany is on track.

Looking more broadly at Europe, pretty much all of the 10 Eastern European countires are ahead of their targets, with a couple merely on track. Meanwhile, Western European countries like Denmark, Belgium, Italy and Spain which have seen increases in actual emmissions have also collectively set aside 2.37 billion Euros towards funding emissions reduction projects elsewhere to off-set their failure.

Also, New Zealand is on track to meet their targets.

Among industrialized nations Japan and Norway are the two big problem countries along with Canada. However both are committed to reaching their targets (whether they can or not is another question, true, but they're committed). Canada meanwhile, despite some anemic rhetoric to the contrary has completely given up and, it appears, will simply violate the Treaty.

Regardless, it's patently ridiculous to claim that only 2 countries are "somewhat" on track to meeting their obligations when AT LEAST 10 countries have already passed their targets, and another 3-6 are on track to do so by 2010.

Nice try though.

Tim Webster said...

Currently America is the largest energy consumer. That could vastly change through redevelopment. New Yorkers burn gasoline at the rate the U.S. did in the 1920s, because of the 80% usage of public transit. Asia with their far more efficient economy is killing America. Because of America's enormous energy inefficiency it simply cannot compete. This energy inefficiency reduces competitiveness in many indirect ways such as limiting schools with travelling distance and reducing labour mobility. A more competitive education system and greater labour mobility depend on greater transportation efficiency. Moving 2 tons or even 1 ton of steel around to move your fat fanny around is NOT energy efficient and it is not healthy for you. America learned from Japan in the 80s, but can we learn from Asia today?

The inability to redevelop suburban land is costing us all dearly. America needs to build transit hubs in its suburbs not only to improve our energy efficiency, but social efficiency which include education and labour.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Excellent points Tim, and all the same goes for Canada.

Have you seen the Transit City plan for Toronto by chance? It'll probably never happen exactly as planned as it would be expensive (up front) and there's just not the political will at the provincial or federal levels (currently) to implement such a plan.

It's a great idea though!