LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Bob Harwood’s This World of Ours column on COPENHAGEN sets out the various positions and commitments going into the Conference but says nothing about the outcomes when the real decision makers arrived. There was agreement on building a significant fund to aid poor and developing nations adapt to global warming. Agreement was reached between America and China with Obama reiterating his 17% initial reduction commitment from 2005 emission levels and China its commitment to a reduced rate of emissions and the need for some yet to be defined international oversight.
China, India, Brazil and South Africa representing almost half of humanity spoke with a single clear voice. All nations must cast their commitments in more specific language within weeks. America and Canada representing only 5% of humanity, 5% that are profligate emitters, are now clearly under the gun.
And in his idealistic internationalism Harwood seems oblivious to the real world of national politics that await leaders back home. In America, Obama must sort with an increasingly dysfunctional Congress facing a great weight of other unresolved issues and looming mid term elections. Well heeled lobbyists are not going to stop. Senators and Congressmen facing reelection will not jump at curbs impacting their constituencies. At least Obama now has the EPA regulation possibility to prod legislators.
On this issue most of Canada’s Provinces and people are away ahead of Harper who continues to stake everything on the need to be in step with America because of their intertwined economies. But what if in the cut and thrust of American politics Obama turns negative on Alberta tar sands oil to win concessions in another area? Alberta’s emissions have soared more than 50% since 1990 because of those oil sands! Stay tuned as events unfold in the weeks ahead.
From a shamed Canadian,
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