Our tiny effort insignificant: If Canada ruins its economy to cut emissions, will Earth be better off?
Wed 06 Nov 2002
More than 160 countries may be signatories to the Kyoto accord, but the treaty imposes emissions limits on just 38.
The rapidly growing, but dirty economies of India, China and Indonesia, for instance, are parties to the accord in name only. They have promised -- sort of -- to talk about agreeing to limits sometime after 2012.
But at the eighth negotiating session of all the signatories, concluded last Friday in New Delhi, these and other developing countries successfully resisted all efforts by industrialized countries to make them subject to Kyoto.
India argued it wouldn't be fair to impose Western-style limits on developing nations' emissions until they enjoy Western-style wealth.
Long before that day, China and very likely India will surpass the United States as the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world.
Of these 38 countries with codified limits, 13 have been deemed "economies in transition" and essentially exempted from any hard and fast deadlines for meeting their targets.
Another 15 -- the members of the European Union -- are likely to meet their targets through creative accounting.
One of the principal reasons Kyoto uses 1990 as a baseline against which to gauge emissions levels is that that year makes it possible for Europe to achieve its targets without even breaking a sweat. The accord treats Europe as a single unit. Gains made when rusted-out Soviet-era factories were closed following the collapse of Communism are credited to Western European manufacturers and utilities today.
Without making a significant improvement in West German energy consumption, Germany as a whole has witnessed a 16 per cent reduction in emissions since 1990, just from boarding up old East German plants and transferring the production to more modern West German plants.
Early last month, economists at the International Energy Agency conceded that Europe might make its 2012 Kyoto targets, but it likely wouldn't make its 2030 or later projections.
Europe is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels, and once the free-ride from shuttering old Communist factories is over, European emissions will rise every bit as fast as North America's.
Six more nations either have tiny targets that will be easy to meet or, like Monaco, are too tiny themselves to make much difference to Kyoto's implementation.
That leaves four countries -- the United States, Australia, Japan and Canada -- with significant emissions and firm Kyoto emission limits -- just four.
The U.S. announced nearly two years ago it had no intention of ratifying. And the Aussies declared this past June that they would stay out, as well, citing the economic hardship ratification would do them. Intriguingly, the Australian target reduction (about 17 per cent from current emission levels) was much lower than ours is (about 28 or 30 per cent). And the economic study that convinced the Howard government to sidestep Canberra's Kyoto targets projected that Canada would suffer greater harm from Kyoto than an other nation in the world.
The Japanese have, shall we say, "ratified." Kyoto. Two days before the Aussies packed it in, the Japanese parliament voted to "accept" Kyoto. That means they may count themselves full participants in Kyoto, but the limits it imposes on them are not legally binding.
Rather than joining the international crusade against greenhouse warming, we Canadians, should we ratify, will be doing what no other people in the world have chosen to do -- adopting Kyoto despite the great economic pain it will inflict on us.
That may appeal to you. You may be one of those guilt-ridden anti-globalists who feels we, as citizens of a developed nation, have so much more than citizens of the developing and Third Worlds that we should slash our standard of living out of a sense of brotherhood and solidarity. Or perhaps you favour the moral superiority our ratification would give us over other nations.
Great. You might have a case if meeting our Kyoto targets would have any impact at all on climate change, which they won't.
The amount of carbon dioxide we have pledged to cut under Kyoto, while more than large enough to cripple our economy -- especially Alberta's -- comprises less than one per cent of all the manmade CO2 released worldwide in a year. Manmade carbon dioxide makes up less than five per cent of total carbon dioxide released (95 per cent or more is natural). Carbon dioxide is approximately two per cent of total greenhouse emissions (97 per cent is water vapour). And greenhouse gases make up less than one per cent of the total atmosphere.
I am not prepared to think this tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction is worth hobbling our economy over -- especially since none of our trading partners are doing the same -- on the slim chance it will save the world.
Columnist, Edmonton Journal
Editorial Board Member, National Post
Index to some of Lorne Gunter's articles
On global warming
On other issues
At the United Nations, the
Curious Career of Maurice Strong
Fox News, Thursday, February 08, 2007
by Ezra Levant
Ezra Levant, author of the new book Fight Kyoto, transcript by J. L. Jackson,
broadcast December 9, 2002 on the Cat Country Radio show Agritalk with Jim Fisher.
Make sure you do not miss the excerpt that deals
with Maurice Strong, the real power behind Kyoto: "Maurice Strong: A Dr.
Evil-style strategist. Owner of a 200,000-acre New Age Zen colony [in Colorado]. Designer
of a proposal to "consider" requiring licences to have babies. The architect of
the Kyoto Protocol." It is an eye-opener, especially the strong ties to the powers in
Canadian politics. For example: Maurice Strong gave Paul Martin his first job during
university break "and made him and his family unimaginably rich."
At Ezra Levant's website there are more links to articles that are based on
excerpts from his book.
International Man of
Mystery: Who Is Maurice Strong?
The adventures of Maurice Strong & Co. illustrate the fact that nowadays you don't
have to be a household name to wield global power. ...
Maurice Strong: The new guy in your future! By Henry Lamb January, 1997....
Maurice Strong, "Stockholm to Rio: A Journey Down a Generation."
Maurice Strong, Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Earth Council
Earth Council Alliance
Maurice F., 1929- . Papers, 1948-2000: Guide
Harvard University Library
... Policy Research. Maurice Strong. Maurice Strong is a senior advisor to United Nations'
Secretary General Kofi Anan.
Charter's Unholy Ark
With today's emphasis on "honoring the past
and imagining the future," many see nothing wrong with redesigning the
"memories" of the past to reflect their vision of the future. Many environmental
visionaries have called for "new stories" that replace the old truths and
redirect our values. The message in this new ark serves the purpose well. It puts new
meaning into old memories and usurps the honor inherent in the original. But that's part
of the UN plan. There is little appreciation for God's law and His treasured covenant (the
binding agreement He made with His people long ago) in our pluralistic, postmodern age.
To fill the vacuum, even staunch Communists such as Mikhail Gorbachev call
for spiritual revival. They envision a union of religions, all molded and conformed to a
global, earth-centered spirituality. The gods, spirits and pantheistic forces of
indigenous religions fit right in. Long a promoter of the Earth Charter and its socialist
regulations, the former Soviet ruler knows well that strategic visual images inspire the
masses and speed transformation. [See The State of the World
according to Gorbachev]
So does Maurice Strong, the powerful founder and leader of the Earth Council. Though
usually hidden behind the scenes, Strong is no minor player in this global contest for the
minds of the masses. He led the UN Environmental Programme, directed the 1972 and 1992 UN
Conferences on the Environment and Development, founded Planetary Citizens, directed the
World Future Society and founded and co-chaired the World Economic Forum. He is a member
of the Club of Rome, trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation and Aspen Institute, a member of
the UN Commission on Global Governance, and Senior Advisor to the World Bank as well as to
UN Secretary General Kofi Anan [See Towards A Rapid Reaction
Capability for the UN].
The Earth Charter and the Ark of the Gaia Covenant. Copyright © Terry Melanson.
"The real goal of the Earth Charter is that it will in fact become like
the Ten Commandments."
Charter displayed at United Nations
In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development
issued a call for creation of a new charter that would set forth fundamental principles
for sustainable development. The drafting of an Earth Charter was part of the unfinished
business of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
In 1994 Maurice Strong, the secretary general of the Earth Summit and chair of the Earth
Council, and Mikhail Gorbachev, president of Green Cross International, launched a new
Earth Charter initiative with support from the Dutch government. An Earth Charter
Commission was formed in 1997 to oversee the project and an Earth Charter Secretariat was
established at the Earth Council in Costa Rica.
Update 2005 06 17:
2. Is the right to water a new concept within human
The right to water is explicitly enshrined in two UN human rights
treaties - the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of
Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the
Child, as well in one regional treaty – the African Charter on the
Rights and Welfare of the Child. The Geneva Conventions guarantee the
protection of this right during armed conflict.
In addition, the right to water is an implicit part of the right to an
adequate standard of living and the right to the highest attainable
standard of physical and mental health, both of which are protected by
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
However, some states continue to deny the legitimacy of this right. In
light of this fact and because of the widespread non-compliance of
States with their obligations regarding the right to water, the UN
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights confirmed and
further defined the right to water in its General Comment No. 15.
Adopted on 26 November 2002, this document provides guidelines for
States Parties on the interpretation of this right under two articles
of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- Article 11 (the right to an adequate standard of living) and Article
12 (the right to health). [Source]
It makes one wonder. Do only women and children have
a right to water and to clean water? But then CEDAW is not about
it is about disfranchising men,
and the Conventions on the Rights of the Child are not about the rights
they are about
disfranchising parents, with both of those objectives serving to
international agenda for the planned
destruction of the family, so that out of the resulting rubble of
civilization a global socialist totalitarian state can be constructed.
Canada's Commitment to Earth
Worship at the Roots of Rapid Change to Canadian Law
An exploration of the history of the relationship between
Maurice Strong and Paul Martin.
Maurice Strong gave Paul Martin
his his first job during summer vacation in university, hired him for
Power Corporation Canada Ltd. after Martin finished university, and
offered Martin a sweetheart deal, the purchase of Canada Steamship
Lines, that made the Martin family unbelievably rich.
Importantly, the article identifies Paul Martin's commitment to
support the plan by Maurice Strong, Michael Gorbachev, Kofi Anan and Stephen
Rockefeller to impose a universal religion of Earth worship on the world
population. The new-age religion is to replace all others.
The Canadian government provided millions
of dollars in funding for
the development and goals of Maurice Strong's new-age religion. The Canadian federal
government also provided a
in contracts to Canadian Steamship Lines,
a corporation that has most of its fleet of about 50 ships registered in
Barbados and Liberia and that uses shoddy labour practices.
Maurice Strong was recently appointed as senior advisor to the
Prime Minister's Office. Will he remain in that position during Stephen
*"Last year ,
the federal government insisted it had done only $137,000 in business with
Martin's Canada Steamship Lines in the previous 10 years. This week [end of
Jan. 2004], of course, it was revealed that that $137,000 had actually
been $161 million, including $46 million during Martin's tenure as finance
(Source: "There's rot in the
ship of state", Edmonton Journal, Sunday 1 February 2004, p. A14)
It did work. The Liberal Party of Canada won that federal election.
Canada will be red for a while longer.
Posted 2002 01 05
The White Rose
Thoughts are Free