If one wants to be uncharacteristically blunt (not a Canadian characteristic), the Kyoto agreement that Canada signed with much fanfare in 1997 has been dead since the day it was signed.
And that's the good news.
For the past 14 years, leftist elements in Canada have trumpeted Kyoto's virtues -- that we've been a leading exponent of it, at the forefront to save the planet from carbon emissions that are warming the planet to the eventual disaster of us all.
That's the mythology.
But Canada never -- not once -- abided by the dictums of Kyoto: the pledge to reduce carbon emission to some 5.2 per cent below what they were in the 1990s. Right now, such emissions are about 30 per cent higher than they were in 1990.
Never mind, for a moment, that the "science" is flawed that insists global warming resulting from climate change, is largely a man-made phenomenon.
Such "science" -- endorsed by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) -- is really a political ploy to encourage re-distribution of wealth, in the form of "have not" countries selling emission credits to "have" countries that don't want to cut back their emissions.
Even if the "science" wasn't phony (evidence increases that it is, as controversy grows), the fact that the world's biggest emission producers reject adhering to the Kyoto Protocols means that it was a failure before it started.
China, whose greenhouse gas emissions have increased the most since the 1990s (up nearly 180 per cent), ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but is not currently obligated to reduce emissions. The U.S. hasn't ratified the Protocol -- and its population tops 100 million.
What's the point of ratifying something that doesn't apply to everyone, especially the world's largest producers of greenhouse gas? Worse, we encourage countries like China and India to catch up with our per capita emissions.
To some, it's human arrogance to suppose that we can affect nature by increasing or decreasing greenhouse gas emissions (which are not pollution). Increasingly, we are realizing that global warming is a natural function of climate change which, itself, is probably cyclical.
Anyway, it's all academic now that the Harper government seems to have decided to bite the bullet by sending Environment Minister Peter Kent to the climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, to administer Canada's coup de grace on Kyoto. In this, we are joined by Russia and Japan, both of whom have come to their senses.
Sure, there'll be yelps from predictable sources -- like the scoundrels at the IPCC, the federal Liberals, the NDP and MP Elizabeth May who is best described as "a political party of one."
What will take the place of Kyoto is as yet unknown. What is known, is that when it comes to fussing over the environment or improving the economy and creating jobs -- the latter takes precedence.
How can it be otherwise? A weak global economy guarantees that green concerns will be put on the back burner of developed countries. The U.S. and Australia realized this from the start -- unlike Canada which, under the Chretien government, was cynical enough to preach emission controls that the country did not practice.
At least we have returned to some honesty and candor.