We've heard all the excuses used to argue against meaningful Canadian action to curb greenhouse gas emissions. One by one they're falling apart.
A big argument is that we're really a small country in terms of overall emissions. Ergo, emission cuts from Canada will be insignificant in the greater scheme of things. Why bother?
Why? Because it's called "global" warming. It's a global problem and, with our massive carbon footprint, the Canadian people are fully instrumental in the fate that's already befalling the poorest and most powerless who happen to live in regions most vulnerable to the effects of our collective carbon emissions. You and me and every other Canadian gets a full share of responsibility for the suffering, displacement and death that's happening and will continue to spread elsewhere on this planet (just not here so much quite yet).
Sure China and India are bigger emitters than Canada but their populations are vastly bigger than us and their per capita emissions are vastly smaller than ours.
Back in the pre-Harper days when Canada had a hard and well-earned reputation as an honest broker instead of a member of Washington's posse, we didn't base our contribution to global security on our small population. Could you imagine if we contributed peacekeeping forces based on our percentage of the global population? "Let's see, we're one half of one percent, so we'll be sending... four soldiers."
When it comes to anthropogenic global warming the only thing that matters is that we are fully instrumental in the problem. Hiding behind our relatively small population is craven, downright cowardly.
The all too convenient silence from the opposition benches leaves me with a sickening suspicion that I can see where our country is heading on this most important problem. I expect inaction and duplicity from Stephen Harper but it's Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton who truly make me a little sad and a little ashamed to be Canadian.