President Obama's Climate Action Plan, amounts to a strong signal that Canada's "business as usual" days are numbered. It looks like the United States is taking serious action on all these fronts, as promised. Our own government has said it would "wait and see" before following suit. The waiting is now over. Game on.
This is a larger, more esoteric blog than merely defending my use of North Korea and Canada in the same sentence. But, okay, I am also defending my use of North Korea and Canada in the same sentence. The analogy is that in one context only -- global environmental treaties -- Canada is acting rogue, and since North Korea is the most shocking example of a rogue state, the analogy is to North Korea. Given the challenges of Twitter, I think saying Canada is the North Korea of environmental treaties captures it very well. Not literally true in any respect. But as an analogy, it explains just how shocking Stephen Harper's actions really are.
With consideration of the Keystone XL pipeline proposal heading into the home stretch, a parade of Canadian politicians have been making the trek to the U.S. to try to convince the Obama Administration of the pipeline's merits.The good news is that the recent visitors -- from Premiers Redford and Wall to federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver -- now acknowledge that Canada's environmental record is crucial to the upcoming U.S. decision.The bad news is that there are some gaping holes in that record.
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. So the question for these talks in Doha is: WWHD? What Will Harper Do?
The spin from the federal government on this year's Canada's Emissions Trends report was that Canada is making "significant progress" towards its emissions targets, and this progress is the "result" of federal climate policies. While there is some good news in the report, the federal government is overstating its own efforts to tackle greenhouse gas pollution and understating the challenge facing federal and provincial governments in reaching our climate commitments.
If the Earth were in distress, say, heating up to dangerous temperatures, the public would band together. We'd all scrutinize the problem to help climate scientists and environment ministers find a solution... wouldn't we? Many people wouldn't. When the issues are really complicated, some would avoid the crisis altogether.