Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Failure is an orphan

We aren't going to meet our Kyoto targets. It's disappointing and sad, it undermines our international reputation, and it endangers the quality of life of every Canadian and every citizen of the globe, but it's no less true for all of that. The Liberals would like to tag the current government with the blame for this, of course, but I can't take the party seriously (though I take Mr. Dion as an individual very seriously on the topic) when I recall that of all the years since Canada signed the treaty, the Liberal party has held the reins of power in all but the last.

Then again, the Tories like to remind us of the same fact, forgetting that they were the critics of the science, promising to be obstructionists toward any real steps forward. One wonders if the Tories actually believe the science yet, or if they've simply come to the realization that denying the science would make them look crazy, or at least unelectable in most of this country.

(As for the other sitting parties and the Greens, their unwillingness to acknowledge the huge economic impact that meeting the Kyoto targets would produce only serves to make me dismiss them. I'd have much more respect for a party who would, like a Prime Minister converting to a wartime economy, realistically evaluate the price in jobs and economic activity, and then forcefully argue that the price is worth paying.)

Which brings me to the G8 meeting. Does the Prime Minister really expect anyone to take Canada seriously now? He can tart up his intensity targets as a great idea for developing nations all he wants (and perhaps it is a great idea for developing nations), but what it sounds like to the rest of the world is NIMBYism: we're having phenomenal economic growth in Canada right now, the United States is suckling at the enormous energy-supplying teat of the northern Alberta goop-mining business - we just can't stop!

Here's my point. If Harper wants Canada to be taken seriously on climate change, it's time to stop pretending we've got any cred to be a "world leader". We need to content ourselves with being a follower for now, sign damn near anything put in front of us at this meeting, and get started on the path we should have started on a decade ago. Until we pay the piper, we don't get to call the tune.

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