Friday, June 8, 2007

Environmentalists' Smallness of Thoughts

According to environmentalists and politicians of opposition parties, John Baird, Canada's Environment minister, must resign, because he didn't bother to respect the Kyoto Protocol in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What if Stephen Harper was right about the very usefulness of these people's sacred cow? Respecting the Kyoto Protocol by the book won't be of any help to Canada.

The Kyoto Protocol's weakness lies in its denial of any given country's own domestic particularities. In fact, France, Germany and Great Britain can reduce their emissions of greenhouse gas more easily than Canada because their economy is not mostly built on the exploitation of natural resources (ex: oil and natural gas). In fact, think about the pollution created by the exploitation of oil sands in Alberta.

Do people know what are the protocol's objectives? Apparently not in some cases. Nevertheless, far from me be it to state that climate change is a nonsensical theory! Canada must do everything to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. All in all, this nation's fight against climate change will be done with a slower pace despite the laments of environmentalist clerics like Steven Guilbeault, David Suzuki and Daniel Breton.

In the first place, it was the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) that made Canada adhere to the Kyoto Protocol. As opposed to what Jason Cherniak upholds, the LPC made it impossible for our country to stick to our international engagements nowadays. From 1993 to 2006, the Liberals were upholding that emissions of greenhouse gas must be tackled. However, they never brought forward any environmental regulations.

In 1990, the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions was at 596 million megatonnes (Mt). These emissions' intensity reached a summit of 747 million Mt in 2005 (click on the next graphic to enlarge it), because of the Liberals' inaction according to the latest report from Environment Canada. In short, the lack of formal policies contributed to the increase of emissions of greenhouse gas in Canada from 1993 to 2006.

Given the Liberals' pride for Pablo Rodriguez's Bill C-288, which is "[an] Act to ensure Canada meets its global climate change obligations under the Kyoto Protocol", they try to dump their past mistakes on the Tories. However, one question remains: since Canada's emissions of greenhouse gas were at 747 million Mt in 2005 (which is 32.7% above the Kyoto Protocol's target) how do you make sure that they get to 563 million Mt by 2012 in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol?

Taking radical measures would seriously give no time for industrial polluters to adjust themselves. Moreover, the heart of Canada's economy would be hit. The Bill C-288, which is a radical measure, puts too much pressure on Canada. Indeed, our country would be deprived from the bulk of its revenue provided by natural resources.

Hopefully, on April 26, 2007, John Baird came up with a pragmatic green plan and he understood that "doing nothing (just like the Liberals) was no longer an option." With this plan that could have been better, Baird clearly indicated that industrial sectors must become 18% more energy efficient in 2010. Moreover, by 2015, Canada might save $6.4 billion in health-care expenses, because fewer people will be suffering from pollution-related illness.

Had the Liberals taken action against pollution in 2005 (or before this year), Canada would have certainly been close to the Kyoto Protocol's objectives nowadays. With the actions taken by the Harper government in April, Canada will be able to meet the Kyoto Protocol's objectives by 2020, despite being eight years behind the year indicated in the protocol (2012). In fact, we can't achieve in 5 years, with radical measures, something that we should have striven to do since one decade!

With that being said, even though I'm not a warm supporter of the Tories, I'd like to say that the Liberals should have known back in 1998 that the signature and the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol don't act as a national legislative regulation. Hence, that explains the necessity to promulgate in the House of Commons a set of formal environmental laws so that citizens and industrial sectors can comply.

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