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“Baird disgraced us all”

I point to Impolitic’s blogging column this morning and do a bit of a repeat of it, only if to emphasize this part of the Star editorial as to why he disgraced Canadians:

Right up to the final hours, Baird insisted that Canada would not accept any targets unless they were imposed on poor, developing countries, as well. Seen for what it was a cynical attempt to undermine the chances for real progress at Bali Baird’s ploy invited scorn from all quarters, brought shame on all Canadians, and turned our country from a progressive voice on the world stage on environmental issues into an international pariah.

I also emphasize this part of the editorial:

If Baird fails to come up with a new convincing plan, Canadians should give some thought to the advice Gore gave to delegates at Bali who fear U.S. inflexibility in negotiations could kill any progress that Bali has made. Gore told them not to waste time on U.S. President George W. Bush, but to set their sights on negotiations with the next American president, who will replace Bush in a little more than a year.

In otherwards, if Canadians want to reduce/stop/slow climate change, and Harper and Baird and the Cons. again put forth no credible plan to cut GHG’s to meet the targets they signed onto in Bali, it will be up to Canadians who care about this issue to vote them out of office.

By the way, just as an aside, the fact we’re getting the biggest snowstorm in many years in Eastern Canada doesn’t give you climate-change deniers any ammo into saying this proves its a false problem. Scientists and climatologists will tell you Global Warming involves more then just warming of the planet – it will bring increased periods of extreme weather conditions to certain parts of the globe – and that includes massive snowstorms that don’t usually happen in Eastern North America till at least January/February.

Just thought I’d throw that in there, since I know some quarters will try to laughably claim that a snowstorm in Mid-December proves global warming doesn’t exist.

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Baird/Harper/Bush fails to block Bali agreement.

Well, despite the fact initially it looked like Canada and the US were going to get away with obstruction and blocking any deal on real cuts or set targets to Greenhouse Gases, the world got a deal at Bali – a watered down deal, but one nevertheless. The first part of the deal did remove mentioning specific GHG targets in order to get the USA on board, but a secondary part of this agreement – where 3rd world nations (not unreasonably) asked for better assurances that the developed world would help with providing “green technology” to them – nearly caused the entire conference to collapse. Only concerted and united world pressure caused the US to flip-flop on this:

When the tougher language was added to the agreement, the United States refused to accept the deal sparking a wave of criticism from almost every other nation at the conference. Finally the U.S. flip-flopped and accepted the language, allowing the deal to go ahead….Conference delegates openly jeered the United States when it tried to oppose the promises sought by the developing nations. Then speaker after speaker demanded that the U.S. must not be allowed to kill the deal single-handedly.

The later part of the agreement is where Canada found itself to be the bad boy of the world:

After a failed attempt to block an agreement, Canada found itself isolated at the Bali conference Saturday and grudgingly accepted a new accord to set a target of 25 to 40 per cent for cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions by wealthy countries by the end of the next decade….The second agreement, later in the day, set targets for deep cuts in emissions but it applied only to the 38 wealthy countries that have ratified the Kyoto accord, the 1997 agreement that set moderate targets for emission cuts by the wealthy nations. The United States has not ratified Kyoto, so it was not represented in negotiations on this agreement although environmentalists said Canada was doing the bidding of the U.S. by opposing the deal.

The best part of all of this is, there’s no way Baird and Harper and the Cons. can frame this is as some great victory for Canada or showing how “really committed” they are to stopping GHG. Oh, they’ll try of course, but already we see indications that isn’t going to work. The Globe and Mail, the same Globe which has been deplorably supporting Harper and Baird’s stance on GHG, had this as a title , describing what happened:

Isolated Canada grudgingly accepts Bali deal.

So, the framing of this is being seen already as Canada, led by Harper and Baird, trying to block and/or obstructing an agreement and failing. To be sure, they did help the US in watering down the first part of the agreement, but the second part of the agreement involving Kyoto Protocol signers are set targets, and its plain for all to see that the Cons. current “Green Plan”, with its emphasis on intensity targets, will increase, not decrease GHG emissions. It won’t come nowhere close to those numbers, (many experts are already saying it won’t even come close to the modest targets to what the Conservatives are saying it will meet).

The Cons face a choice: they must either change their plan and impose mandatory caps, or if they refuse, Bali will get them eaten alive at the next election for a party or combination of parties willing to make the necessary deep cuts in GHG emissions. The Cons. and Harper and Baird sought to neutralize the Environment as an issue, and they failed miserably – much to the relief of the rest of the world (and to the world’s general environmental benefit).

[email protected]:45pm: I love Darren’s picture of Baird in his blogpost. I don’t doubt he had a similar look after he realized he had failed Harper’s bidding to block any Bali deals with tangible target cuts in GHG.

Update [email protected]:28 pm: Dave over at Galloping Beaver highlights from an observer the unprecedented booing and jeering of the American delegation that shamed it into agreeing to drop its opposition.

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