As December's Copenhagen climate change talks appear more and more problematic, desperation is gripping the environment industry.
A new report from the Alberta-based Pembina Institute and the David Suzuki Foundation, commissioned by TD Bank and released this past week, alarmingly lays out the economic impact on Canada of achieving even the modest CO2 reduction targets set by the Canadian government - a 20 per cent reduction on 2006 emissions - with western Canada, and Alberta in particular, targeted to beat the brunt of the devastation. While claiming that Canada could meet these targets and reduce CO2 emissions, the report says nothing about the fact that doing so will have no discernable impact on the climate.
In other signs of desperation. David Suzuki has repeated his suggestion, made when the BC Premier asked Alberta to join his carbon tax initiative, that Alberta Premier Ed and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper should be jailed for their policies on climate change.
British journalist and writer George Monboit also repeated his suggestion that, every time a flood occurs in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be jailed on the grounds that airline emissions are a major cause of warming and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that if Copenhagen fails to produce an agreement then it will be too late for mankind to act to "stop" climate change.
Expect more high volume and bizarre rhetoric between now and December 7th, when the Copenhagen meeting begins.
Green campaigners are, as might be expected, not at all happy. They were looking for a firm commitment by the EU on actual funds and a timetable for the transfer of these funds. They were also looking for agreements on the easy transfer of green technologies between developed and emerging economies. They regard the EU announcement, championed by Prime Minister Brown as a breakthrough, as a "greenwash" and a hollow rhetorical announcement in the lead up to Copenhagen's world summit on climate change, now just five weeks away.Meantime, the planet continues to cool, oceans are not rising any faster this century than they did in the last, ice extent in both the Arctic and Antarctic continue to expand and Polar bears continue to thrive in all but two of the bear communities. Nature is sending its own message. It is unfortunate that most reporting ignore nature and prefers to listen to Al Gore, proving that dog bites man is not as interesting as man bites dog in the news business.
Dr. Stephen Murgatroyd