Canadians have always scoffed at American consumerism. After all, it's not as though we fight over towels at a Wal Mart on Black Friday. But when it comes to gas guzzling and shopping extravaganzas, we are just as bad as our friends down South.
We might be only about 10 per cent the population of the United States, but per capita (as in each one of us) we leave a carbon footprint roughly the same size.
We are even worse than America when it comes to how we are seen at international climate negotiations. Talks get underway today in Doha, Qatar, where government officials from around the world will meet to discuss how, as a global community, we can work together to curb global warming pollution and adapt to the impacts of the climate disruption we're already seeing.
Canada will be there and like all climate treaty meetings since Stephen Harper became Prime Minister, get ready for another round of international shaming of the Great White (for now) North.
So the question for these talks in Doha is: WWHD? What Will Harper Do? I for one am not holding my breath. I will bet a twoonie that Prime Minister Harper and the Conservatives will do nothing but embarrass us again.
Politically speaking, Harper has never seen a reason to be strong on climate change policy. A year after completely embarrassing Canada at the Copenhagen climate summit, Harper went on to win a majority of the seats in the Canadian Parliament.
And as for doing what is right, appealing to Harper's sense of morality?
Well considering Harper's love affair with the darlings of the tar sands industry, the chances of seeing Canada's Prime Minister lead on moral grounds are about as good as seeing Stephan Dion make a comeback as the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
So don't expect much from our country in these United Nations climate talks in Doha. Instead, look fondly back on our history as a nation that used to be so loved that Americans would wear Canadian flags on their backpacks overseas.
Maybe next year we can plan a big Black Friday towel fight at Wal Mart.
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