09 September 2009

88 Days - Let's Nip Climate Negotiation Shenanigans in the Bud

The 9th day of the 9th month of 2009. A good day to suggest that we all find out who our national climate negotiators are and what they're planning to take to the negotiating table in Copenhagen, and then start applying a little ... what? "Heat," as they say? Logic? Basic physics? Love and compassion?

I suspect we have some weird — and disingenuous — planning going on behind closed doors. It's time to swing those doors open wide.

A recent newspaper article here in Canada quotes our Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, who has been meeting with provincial leaders across this vast country to work out a "Canadian plan" before the Copenhagen climate talks in December. His words do not bode well for a Kyoto Protocol follow-up agreement that will safeguard the future of this planet:
"I think there is a common position to be found. Before we get to Copenhagen, we want to have all our domestic policies on the table," Prentice said.

There is not yet any decision on how to deal with the Alberta oilsands.

"There is no plan to curtail growth," Prentice said. "Part of the question is how you develop a cap-and-trade regime that can accommodate that growth."
OUCH! Did I read that correctly? No plan to curtail growth? Accommodating tar sands growth in our climate change plan? It would seem our environment minister (in a minority government elected by a minority of Canadians in a so-called democracy that does not allow proportional representation) is wearing too many hats. It sure doesn't sound to me like the hat closest to his heart is the environmental hat.

People like this appear to (a) have no regard for their children's future (b) be completely scientifically and environmentally illiterate, and (c) think that people will be able to eat and drink money — and bitumen — when the climate $#@! hits the fan.

I guess what I'm suggesting is that we all do our best NOW to find out what our respective countries are taking to Copenhagen to put on the negotiating table. And I'm betting it won't be a lovely table cloth and a flowered centrepiece — at least not if you're from a country that can't conceive of a future beyond carbon!

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?