Saturday, December 08, 2007

Canadians demonstrating and Harper ignoring them

"Hundreds across Canada rally to demand Ottawa take action on climate change." Well done to all these people who are raising public consciousness at this crucial time as the Bali meetings progress.

Stephen Harper and John Baird remain convinced, however, that they are doing the right thing by demanding that all nations be held to the same standards, otherwise Ottawa won't sign on:
A Canadian environmental group says leaked federal document shows Canadian negotiators in Bali are under explicit instruction to undermine a fundamental principle of the Kyoto Protocol.

Climate Action Network Canada, an alliance of environmental groups, says the move is guaranteed to derail momentum as the Bali negotiations enter their critical final week.

“The leaked instructions direct Canadian negotiators to demand that poorer nations accept the same binding absolute emission reduction targets as developed nations,” the alliance said in an e-mail to The Canadian Press.

It said the Kyoto Protocol is built on the recognition that industrialized countries are largely responsible for the problem of climate change, and must take the lead in tackling it.
The Conservatives are apparently opting for the selfish world view that would equate our abilities to address this issue with those of developing nations. It's rather obscene.

One can only surmise that the Conservatives think they will win the next election irrespective of such protests and opposition to their environmental policies. Their strategy has been to neutralize the issue and some commentators have supported that view. I would hazard a guess that they have focus groups who have opined on the issue and they are consequently happy to stay with their pretty rhetoric that suggests they are leading when in fact they are obstructing. In other words, it's very likely that they have made their environmental calculations and they just don't give a rat's ass what we think they should be doing. They have decided, overtly, to throw in with the U.S., the world's leading emitter who will not commit to any binding reduction targets.

Harper and Baird might as well be thumbing their noses at us. They think they can beat the Liberals in the next election and that Canadians won't be voting on the environment issue. That's what their actions suggest to me.