According to a new survey a sizable majority (~80%) in many countries now believe that human activity is causing global warming and climate change.
This is very good, very hopeful news, if a bit late in coming. One can wish more people had taken this issue seriously a decade or more ago, but we are where we are now and hopefully we’re not too late to reverse what could be catastrophic damage to our planet.
However, look at some of our leaders and you’d never know the pendulum has swung against them.
Yeah, I’m looking at you Stephen Harper.
This morning, at a UN conference on climate change no less, our Prime Minister (though I didn’t vote for him) announced that while Canada will be reneging on its commitment to the Kyoto Protocols we will happily be joining the Asia-Pacific Partnership–a rival plan to curb emissions that many environmentalists have called the “anti-Kyoto”.
The Asia-Pacific Partnership is a less-filling-tastes-great plan which has no mandatory pollution-reduction targets to fight climate change despite its members producing more than half the world’s emissions.
So who’s in the new club we just joined?
Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and the United States. Oh good. Now Harper and George Bush, and John Howard can all hinder real progress together.
Never a fan of Harper’s pseudo-environmentalism to begin with, I began to question not only his (and others’) intelligence but also his sanity recently when Ottawa was all aflutter that the Northwest Passage–dream of explorers and traders for centuries–might, at last, be open for shipping, oil and gas drilling, and diamond mining.
In all the talk of Russia planting flags, Canada asserting its Arctic sovereignty over the Passage, and the Americans asserting (erroneously, I think solely because it would be of economic benefit to them) that of course the Passage is in international waters and should be shared, there was never any cry of terror that THE ARCTIC WILL SOON HAVE NO ICE!
Hey guys–maybe we should look in to that NOT happening, whaddya say?
Here’s what I don’t get: even for those people who outright deny climate change has anything to do with human activity why don’t they support efforts to break us to our addiction to oil (which seems to cause only trouble and strife the world over as nations fight to control these non-renewable resources) and to clean our air by reducing factory and automobile emissions? Even if you think they’re not hurting Mother Nature you won’t find a doctor anywhere who can tell you honestly that sucking on a tailpipe is good for you, right?
I live in a city where in the summer (and last year even in the WINTER) you can SEE and TASTE the man-made pollutants hanging in our air. We have to have daily air quality advisories so that people (like me) who have allergies, asthma, and other breathing problems know that they should avoid exerting themselves outdoors. That stuff in our air gets in our lungs and our eyes, it washes into the water we drink, and we KNOW and can PROVE that it shortens lives.
So given all of that, even if they don’t believe all that “tree hugger” talk about global warming, why don’t we stop these emissions for their own sake (you know–the ones they can actually see with their own eyes) so that we can breathe our air in the summer, and drink our water. And if in ceasing to burn those fossil fuels we stop the emission of carbon dioxide and stop the climate change they don’t believe in, well, wouldn’t that be a nice bonus?
80% of people on the planet = HOPE.
Harper and the rest = DOPE.