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Global Warming, Stephen Harper & the Socialist Plot

With Stephen Harper at the helm, it shouldn't surprise anyone that we are failing to take our international responsibilities seriously.

The following letter describes the real Harper — the Harper who thinks that global warming is a socialist plot, the Harper who has made Canada a pariah at international climate summits. Before he became Prime Minister, Harper sent this letter out to supporters of the Canadian Alliance in 2002 — before the party was reborn as the new Conservative Party in 2003.

We’re gearing up for the biggest struggle our party has faced since you entrusted me with the leadership. I’m talking about the “battle of Kyoto” — our campaign to block the job-killing, economy-destroying Kyoto Accord.
It would take more than one letter to explain what’s wrong with Kyoto, but here are a few facts about this so-called “Accord”:

    • It’s based on tentative and contradictory scientific evidence about climate trends.
    • It focuses on carbon dioxide, which is essential to life, rather than upon pollutants.
    • Canada is the only country in the world required to make significant cuts in emissions. Third World countries are exempt, the Europeans get credit for shutting down inefficient Soviet-era industries, and no country in the Western hemisphere except Canada is signing.
    • Implementing Kyoto will cripple the oil and gas industry, which is essential to the economies of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
    • As the effects trickle through other industries, workers and consumers everywhere in Canada will lose. THERE ARE NO CANADIAN WINNERS UNDER THE KYOTO ACCORD.
    • The only winners will be countries such as Russia, India, and China, from which Canada will have to buy “emissions credits.” Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.
    • On top of all this, Kyoto will not even reduce greenhouse gases. By encouraging transfer of industrial production to Third World countries where emissions standards are more relaxed, it will almost certainly increase emissions on a global scale

Honestly, I find it amazing that a leader of a political party would state so many verifiable falsehoods in a single letter, but our Prime Minister is obviously poorly informed, or he has no qualms about distorting the truth. Either way, that's not good. For the three years he's been in office, Harper has been quietly doing everything he can to ensure that Canada's environmental record will shame us all.

Canada at the G8 Summit in Germany 2007

An international environmental organization has ranked Canada and the U.S. last among the G8 nations when it comes to tackling climate change. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released its semi-annual climate-change scorecard, and said that Canada is "definitely and firmly in the red" when ranked on its scale of environmental bad guys.

"By presenting climate promises without action, the Bush administration [has been undermining] German Chancellor Merkel's effort to secure a meaningful agreement at G8," said Hans Verolme, director of WWF's Global Climate Change Programme. "Canada must break ranks with the U.S. to restore its former reputation as a leader on climate change."

Unfortunately, Canada supported the American view that any climate-change deal struck at this week's G8 summit will require the participation of developing countries like China and India, and no progress was made.

Canada at the Commonwealth Summit 2007

Last November, 51 countries in the British Commonwealth met in Uganda, trying to hammer out a comprehensive international agreement on climate change, in an effort to stave off the worst effects of global warming. But one country stood alone, asking for permission to pollute with impunity. That country was Canada.

Canada at the Bali Summit on Climate Change 2007

Last December, all the world's nations met to hammer out a successor to the Kyoto Accord. Here's what the WWF had to say about the negotiations.

"The US government, aided by a small group of nations including Canada and Japan, has over the last few days thrown up several roadblocks in the negotiations. We are pleased that several large emerging economies, including China, Brazil, and South Africa, are still showing flexibility and creativity in their contributions to the Bali negotiations," added Verolme.

"That is the same spirit one would hope we could expect from the US. With these actions, the US [and its allies have jeopardized] the agreements that have already been reached on deforestation, technology and adaptation."

Canada at the G8 Summit in Japan 2008

According to Oxfam:

“Several governments championed steps to tackle the crucial issues sitting on the G8 agenda, [Canada was not one of them] but in the end this summit did not deliver the breakthroughs that are so urgently needed. The consensus reached was shallow at best, especially on climate.

The G8 endorsed among other things a commitment to halve global carbon emissions by 2050 – but with no agreed baseline year or mid-term targets – and a $6bn pledge to the World Bank for climate investment funds that will come out of existing aid budgets.

Antonio Hill, Oxfam’s climate change policy spokesperson, said: “At this rate, by 2050 the world will be cooked and the G8 leaders will be long forgotten. The G8’s endorsement of a tepid ‘50 by 50’ climate goal leaves us with a 50/50 chance of a climate meltdown. We need 80 percent cuts of 1990 levels by 2050 and emissions to peak and start falling by 2015.

“The G8’s announcement on 2050 is just another stalling tactic that does nothing to lower the risk faced by millions of poor people right now. Taking climate change funds out of aid budgets – with overall aid going down – is patently unfair. Every aid dollar diverted to climate adaptation is one dollar less for medicines and schoolbooks.”

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Campaign # 1: The Red Letter Campaign

The Red Letter Campaign: Let's put Ignatieff on notice | Red Letter Day: Let Environment Canada Scientists Speak

Campaign # 2: Canada's Sorry Environmental Record

Canada: World's Worst Climate Villain | Turning the Corner: Conservative Disaster | Harper and Climate Change |

Campaign #3: Slow the Tar Sands

Alberta Tar Sands (Overview) | Alberta Tar Sands: Modern Parable | Alberta Tar Sands 2 | Alberta Tar Sands 3 | Alberta Tar Sands 4

Campaign # 4: Old King Coal (Coming Soon)

Campaign # 5: One Voice (Coming Soon)

USA: Supporting Obama's Leadership

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Astroturfing & Misinformation | Climate Change Denial Industry | Climate Change Myths