Monday, May 21, 2007

Showtime

The looming G8 summit will finally flush Canada out of the ambiguous brush. Two diametrically opposed trains of thoughts are developing with the climate change communique. One the one hand, we have the Americans rejecting the following:
"We firmly agree that resolute and concerted international action is urgently needed in order to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and sustain our common basis of living."

"To this end we will, in the face of the U.N. Climate Change Conference at the end of this year, send a clear message on the further development of the international regime to combat climate change."

Instead, the Americans prefer this statement:
"Addressing climate change is a long-term issue that will require global participation and a diversity of approaches to take into account differing circumstances."

Those two statements have nothing in common. One, demands urgent action and proposes to come up with a framework by the end of the year. The other is completely benign, "long term", with no structure and "differing circumstances".

We have already heard speculation that our government is lining up with the American position. We also know that Canada has failed to submit proposals for the next phase of climate change negotiations to the United Nations. Now that we see the gigantic chasm that exists between most G8 countries and the Bush administration, where Canada ultimately falls will eliminate any nuance and spin. If Canada decides to back, what amounts to a preposterous dodge by the Americans, then John Baird and company will be exposed as complete frauds. There is nowhere to hide with such stark choices.

10 comments:

Vicky said...

Chaces are the Cons will support the American proposition...

It'll be fun to see how the Harper-Baird duo will spin this...

sassy said...

”There is nowhere to hide with such stark choices.”

Well, how about Afghanistan, which is where he is today? Could this be a coincidence - given the events of the last week or so? (Me having a deepening crisis of trust – yes!)

It will be interesting to see how Canada’s NEW Government (Ottawa branch office of the White House) will try to spin their way out of the environment issue at the summit.

”"Addressing climate change is a *long-term issue that will require global participation and a diversity of approaches to take into account differing circumstances."

*Fiddling while Rome burns (To occupy oneself with unimportant matters and neglect priorities during a crisis).

knb said...

To be honest Steve, I don't think it's that clear.

We know that Baird is claiming his current plan is something it is not. Therefore, he could back the first statement, while having no intention of actually following it, all the while crowing Canada's position.

He's already effectively taken us out Kyoto, showing he has no qualms about not living up to International Agreements and we know that he can lie with the ease of a mythomaniac.

I'm sorry to be so cynical but I simply have no faith that this government will do the right thing, no matter which course they opt for.

knb said...

Sassy, last week in an interview, Ralph Goodale was asked what we can expect from the government this week, while not in the House. He said, "Oh, I think we'll see a surprise visit by the PM to Afghanistan".

I laughed out loud when I heard the news this morning.

sassy said...

knb said...
I laughed out loud when I heard the news this morning.

Me too although I did not hear Ralph Goodale's comment last week. That makes it even funnier :)

Scott Tribe said...

knb:

Do you have a link for that Ralph Goodale interview?

Steve V said...

If Baird backs the first statement, then the shell game continues, but if he actually endorses the Bush line, then the Tories are exposed.

knb said...

Sorry Scott, no. It was on tv and I don't remember which station. He and Libby Davies were being interviewed re' the "play book". It was a question thrown in at the end.

Steve, true enough. Do you think he'll have the nerve?

Steve V said...

"Do you think he'll have the nerve?"

Didn't Baird recently travel to Washington to meet with American counterparts? And, we did hear musings about Canada joining Bush's Asia-Pacific Partnership. The wording of the second statement has a Canadian flavor, with the "take into account differing circumstances", given the energy exporter angle.

knb said...

True enough. It's going to be interesting all right.