Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Britain Has It. Even the US Has It. Why Don't Canadians Have It?

As the Harper government is busy cutting off funding for public climate change research, the Americans, like the Brits, are getting out clear, concise and useful information about coming climate change impacts to their country on a region by region basis.

See what I mean. Take a look here: http://www.globalchange.gov/

The Harper government is deliberately and forcefully betraying its duty to the Canadian people to get them the latest, most accurate information on climate change so that, like the British and American public, we could become informed, engaged and focused on the planning and preparation challenges we'll have to meet this century.

Harper, with the acquiescence of the opposition, is leaving the Canadian public uninformed (even misinformed) and unnecessarily vulnerable to what is coming. Our children, probably, and theirs, certainly, will pay dearly for this betrayal.


LMA said...

Sooner or later Canadians will have to deal with temperature extremes, increased storms and changes in agricultural production just like everyone else. The Cons will stall as long as possible. The Libs can't seem to commit to any environmental policy at all. Last October they effectively killed the NDP's Bill C-311 by stalling and sending it back to committee, and today they have tabled a motion calling for the Cons to adopt a legally binding long term target of 80% reduction from 1990 GHG levels by 2050 - the same long term target in Bill C-311 which they didn't support! This is leadership? They get a second chance tomorrow when Bill C-311 is back for a vote having passed through committe with no amendments. Go Libs go, right? In my dreams maybe.

Anonymous said...

Today's liberal opposition motion:
April 12, 2010 — Mr. McGuinty (Ottawa South) — That, in the opinion of this House, this government has lacked a commitment to principled environmental policy backed by action which is urgently needed to address the climate change crisis, and it is the further opinion of this House that the government has consistently ignored the legislative and regulatory powers at its disposal that allow the government to take immediate and decisive action to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve meaningful and science-based reduction targets, and therefore the House calls upon the government to: (a) use the legislative, regulatory and fiscal authorities already available to the Government of Canada to put in place immediately a national climate change plan that implements economy-wide regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, and invests in renewable energy, clean technology and energy efficiency in order for Canada to compete in the new green economy; (b) stop putting Canada’s environmental and economic future at risk by insisting that Canada must wait for the United States to act first before showing our own leadership on this most vital issue; (c) set a domestic legally-binding long-term greenhouse gas reduction target of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050; (d) report to Parliament annually on its policies and proposals to achieve the trajectory toward the 80 percent target and revise as necessary; (e) establish a non-partisan expert group approved by Parliament to set a science-based emissions trajectory to reach that 80 percent reduction target so that Canada does its part to keep global temperature increases to below 2oC; (f) reverse the decision to cut the ecoENERGY program that allowed Canadians to receive a rebate for greening their homes using energy efficient products and services; (g) restore Canada’s tarnished international environmental reputation by implementing Canada’s international commitment made during the Copenhagen negotiations to provide our fair share of new climate change financing for developing countries to support their adaptation and mitigation efforts to deal with the climate change crisis; (h) follow through on Canada’s commitment at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh in 2009 to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and report on implementation; and (i) convene within 90 days a First Ministers’ Meeting on climate change to build upon the best practices and leadership that have been demonstrated in the provinces, municipalities and the private sector.

The Mound of Sound said...

Nice motion, sort of, but it sounds positively schizophrenic coming from a party that has proclaimed the Tar Sands a key to national unity and the cornerstone of Canadian prosperity for the 21-st century.

An 80% reduction in GHGs from 1990 levels by 2050? The only way you can hope to achieve that is by decarbonizing the Canadian economy and our society. That means cutting out even "clean" fossil fuel and a total ban on tar sands oil.

Until the IgLibs rectify that policy fart this motion is little more than a scam.

LMA said...

Well, apparently both Bill C-311 and the Liberal motion passed today, to my utter amazement. Of course Bill C-311 will now get bogged down in the Senate, but at least it passed.

The medium term target of C-311 is a 25% reduction by 2020. Will be interesting to see how Ignatieff proposes to develop the Tar Sands while achieving these targets. You may well be right MoS, it could all be just political games intended to win votes. It's hard to know who to trust these days.

The Mound of Sound said...

Targets are essentially meaningless absent a clear vision of how they're to be achieved.
Someone has to take some very difficult and courageous decisions even to reach the 25% target and they have to be taken now based on the best and most recent science that's available.

2050, while I'll blessedly never see it, is but four decades away and, in the context of an undertaking of this magnitude, that's a mere heartbeat. It takes a fully engaged public adequately informed and aware of the problem; debate and planning involving input from all parties; a plan of action presumably reinforced by a referendum or plebiscite; allocation of resources and construction of alternative energy sources - PLUS - simultaneous efforts of almost equal magnitude focusing on adaptation and remediation responses to the inescapable changes already coming our way.

Absent any sign of a party and leadership openly committed to this Herculean undertaking, percentage targets are rank bullshit.