One Blue Marble
An activist web site in the war to slow climate change
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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”:
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.”
Campaign # 1: The Red Letter Campaign
Campaign # 2: Canada's Sorry Environmental Record
Campaign #3: Slow the Tar Sands
Campaign # 4: Old King Coal (Coming Soon)
Campaign # 5: One Voice (Coming Soon)
The Global Warming Denial Campaign