Monday, July 7, 2008

G8 Summit Obstructionists

Once upon a time, Canadians were proud of the independent stance that Canada often took from US positions. With the Bush / Harper entente, there hasn't been much to be proud of lately. Once again, Canada is being embarrassed on the world stage - this time at the G8 Summit in Tokyo, Japan.

G8 leaders face tough test - Toronto Star

Early indications are that Canada, the United States and other G8 countries are shying away from agreements on decisive action on some of today's most pressing problems – improving health in developing nations, aid to Africa, the world food crisis and climate change...

This year's G8 meeting takes place against a backdrop of punishing global oil prices, turmoil in the international banking and credit sector and the worst economic conditions since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.
So the US drags down the world economy, pushes up oil & food prices and then uses that as an excuse to do nothing of substance on the major issues of our day. Charming. At least Bush will have shiny cowboy boots as Harper & Environment Minister John Baird crawl on their hands & knees licking them. "Like that, George?"

From the Toronto Sun:
Environment Minister John Baird told journalists aboard the prime minister's Airbus that he doubts the G8 leaders will leave Japan with firm reduction goals in hand...

Baird said next year's United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, is a more likely venue for setting greenhouse-gas targets...

U.S. President George W. Bush said yesterday it's futile to push forward without the participation of countries like China and India.
Yes, maybe next year we can start discussing targets but it's premature now. What's the problem anyway? First of all, there's no such thing as global warming. Second, even if there was, burning fossil fuels has nothing to do with it. Oh, I forgot. Harper & Bush finally recognize that there's a problem (they didn't want to continue to be offside with all of the world's scientists). There game plan is to do nothing and to keep putting tough decisions off.

This piece from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. points out that tough decisions pay off for citizens of countries willing to try new technologies - like Iceland which is now pretty much independent of carbon-based fuel for electricity & heating.
Iceland was 80 percent dependent on imported coal and oil in the 1970s and was among the poorest economies in Europe. Today, Iceland is 100 percent energy-independent, with 90 percent of the nation’s homes heated by geothermal and its remaining electrical needs met by hydro. The International Monetary Fund now ranks Iceland the fourth most affluent nation on earth. The country, which previously had to beg for corporate investment, now has companies lined up to relocate there to take advantage of its low-cost clean energy.

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