It’s easy for Canada to look really environmentally savvy. Canada’s got the wild icy north, arboreal and evergreen forests, desert, prairies, lakes, bays, rivers, Pacific and Atlantic coasts and a conspicuously green image. That’s Canada’s ‘thing’: Italy has pizza, America has war-mongering, and Canada has chirping mother birds protecting their eggs whilst a single shaft of late spring sunlight wends its way through the bright green leaves into her nest.
Or something like that.
And of course, Canada, as an ‘eco-nation’ is at the forefront of battling the newest and gravest environmental danger of global warming.
The federal government last week released a plan calling for “Canadian reductions of current greenhouse gas emissions by 150 million tonnes by 2020. Most industries will have to reduce greenhouse gases by 18 per cent by 2010.” according to the CBC.
Well that’s good news. If Canada is to reach the ambitious targets set out in the Kyoto protocol it’s going to have to get busy. There may be plenty of mountaineers struggling to reach the pristine peak of Mount Robson and view the vast Canadian green greatness through steamy breaths, but Canada is still an industrialized nation with plenty of heavy industry. But thanks to the governments plan everything is going to be a-ok: the beaver has slapped his tail rippling the clear waters of the pool, alerting all to the imminent danger…and the government has responded.
Unfortunately the plan sucks. Canadian enviro icon David Suzuki has called the plan ‘disappointing,’ Al Gore, the loudest and most well-known canary in the coalmine went a step further saying “In my opinion, it is a complete and total fraud. It is designed to mislead the Canadian people.”
Even worse than Mr Inconvenient Truths’ harsh condemnation of the plan is the governments response. Environmental Minister John Baird could only muster a “we did more than you” retort. This conveniently ignores the fact that the multiple-award-winning ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ has grossed over $46 million worldwide and has done more than any other effort, singular or combined, to bring the threat of climate change into the public arena. Its science has never been disputed by anyone who understands science and/or knows how to read a thermometer.
The Canadian plan focuses on ‘intensity reduction’ of greenhouse gas emissions. “A reduction in intensity means that big industrial emitters of greenhouse gases will have to reduce emissions for each unit of output, but total output could increase.” So says the CBC.
Mr Gore knows what he’s talking about-the plan looks like a fraud.