Embarrassed to be Canadian

The position taken by the Canadian government in Bali at the climate change negotiations is an embarrassment to citizens of the nation.

Environment Minister John Baird has insisted that Canada will not sign a deal unless other major economies including China, India, and the US also agree.  They know that Bush’s America won’t sign for reductions, so that makes it a safe position – they know they won’t have to sign.  Asking China and India to reduce emissions, when Canada’s have soared, and when they already use 80% less energy per capita than we do is a like taking a coat from the homeless so you can be warm.  And they have proposed to reduce Canada’s emissions by 20% by 2020, but from the 2006 level, which is already 25-30% higher than 1990 levels.  Other countries are using the internationally recognized 1990 for the baseline.

Youth and media delegates at the conference report being accosted by other international delegates in conversations.  Our government’s position reflects poorly on all Canadians.

But thank God for the US.  Fortunately, their position is equally obstinate.  And because they are larger, the world’s anger is more directed at them than at Canada.

In 2006, Paul Martin was labeled with the term, “Mr. Dithers”.  So far, the Conservatives climate change plan consists of renamed Liberal programs, that the Conservatives rightly criticized as ineffective, and insufficient.  Not only do the Conservatives dither on action, they also do their best to scuttle international agreements.  Shame.

The rest of the world marches on.  Quebec has introduced car emissions legislation on cars that matches California.  San Francisco has introduced major new loans and grants for photo voltaic installations.  Germany has made it mandatory for all new houses to obtain 14% of their energy from renewable sources (photo voltaic, solar thermal, wood pellet stoves, heat pumps).

But our Federal government does nothing but damage the climate, international negotiations, and our reputation.

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