January 6, 2012

No climate victory in Durban

The editorial board of The Edmonton Journal likens the Harper government’s climate position to a game of Texas hold ‘em (see “A climate victory we may regret,” The Edmonton Journal, Dec. 28). From a risk point of view, I liken our government’s position to a game of chicken, wherein two drivers bear down on each other from opposite directions, each daring the other to swerve away. If neither swerves, the result is a collision, potentially deadly.

I wouldn’t be concerned if it was just the life of his government that Harper was risking. But that’s not the case here. What’s at stake are the lives of future generations all over the world. All because Harper refuses to believe that global warming is caused by humans.

The evidence says otherwise.

In its latest report the U.S. Global Change Research Program, a government body initiated by the President and mandated by the Legislature, lists 10 key findings, the first of which states that “Global Warming is unequivocal and primarily human induced.”

The finding supports the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in its 2007 report stated that most of the observed increase in global temperatures since the mid 20th century “is very likely” the result of human activities.

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences supports these findings, as does NASA, the American Geological Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Association of Advancement of Science. The list goes on.

And yet it’s still not enough to prompt our government into action.

If the fossil fuel industry needs a subsidy, support for a pipeline or help with a burdensome regulation, Harper’s there with the money, the pompoms or a regulatory workforce reduction. Whatever's required.

But when it comes to action on climate change—the greatest issue facing the world—Harper’s an obstructionist and has been since he first darkened our political landscape. But he’ll get his comeuppance. Someday when we all come to recognize the criminality of his position justice will prevail.

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