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Steven Harper managed to dilute the agreement at the Commomwealth talks from a proactive statement to a statement of hope that one day things would be better, just not now.
Commonwealth leaders agreed to a much watered-down agreement on climate change after Prime Minister Stephen Harper resisted any reference to binding targets on greenhouse gas emissions.
The agreement, announced at a news conference Saturday afternoon was a setback for other Commonwealth members, led by Britain, who had called for binding commitments for greenhouse gas reductions in the statement.
Instead, the statement speaks of “a long term aspirational global goal for emissions reduction to which all countries contribute.”
The Harper government does not see climate change as a ecological problem. They are treating it like a political problem – where the mere appearance of trying to do the right things are enough. Despite the mounting evidence, the Conservative are still debating if the main cause of global climate change is caused by human activities (and also if the world is round).
Steven Harper is showing some real leadership. He is making decisions for the supposed economic health of Canada by maintaining the status quo. However, a true leader has to make provisions for the future and in this case if here are no measures taken for what could happen, our children will not have a future. The potential long term devastating effects of massive climate change far outweigh the transient economic setbacks a generation or two will have to suffer.
There is a great deal of crying about other countries benefitting economically by not having to follow any targets. China and the USA are not part of the commonwealth, so they are not included in these talks. India is.
The earlier resolution would have committed developed countries to binding targets but not developing countries. Canada argued that the deal was unfair because it excluded India, a Commonwealth member and one of the world’s biggest polluters.
However, to show leadership, one must pave the way not wait to see who takes the lead. As for economic advantage, climate change should be factored into the cost of every good and service. In the current subsidized agriculture, oil, and transportation culture of our times, this does not happen. If there are enough countries that have agreed to meet emissions targets, then there might be enough political power to impose tariffs on those countries who produce without regard to targets to offset the true ecological costs.
The only way for countries to start to curb their emissions is to have definitive goals. Without deadlines and goals things remain in the Neverland of wishing. It is with these guidelines that changes in subsidy structures, and new technologies will be developed to meet stricter guidelines, otherwise there is no economic incentive to change. Unfortunately, when there is ecological incentive, it will likely be to late to change and governments will not have the resources to think about the future having to fight the emergencies that will result(flooding, drought, starvation, etc…)
Canada and Australia had been the lone holdouts against an earlier resolution that would have included such targets — and the Australian government has just been defeated in an election.
SYDNEY, Australia — Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and withdraw Australia’s combat troops from Iraq.
I think it is time that Mr.Harper be given the same dose of reality.Advertisements