Monday, February 26, 2007

Kyoto - Less Than Useless

I've been listening to the continuing discussion about the whole global warming debate and, I've got to say, the whole thing is kind of sickening. The Canadian scene has its clowns in the Liberal party who admit that they never intended to fulfil their commitments when they signed on to the Kyoto Accord, and yet pushed through a bill in parliament, along with the NDP and the Bloc, to try to force the Conservatives to do just that. Sheer hypocrisy!

In the U.S. you've got the grandstanding Al Gore, making political hay out of the issue with his movie/documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," while living the life of luxury in a greenhouse gas producing mansion. One of a few he owns. I'm just waiting for his announcement that he's running for President again. He was treated like a rock start during his recent speech in Toronto, with $20 tickets going for up to $750. One young ecofan breathlessly declared that she would be willing to give all she had for the privilege of hearing him speak.

I think my new hero is Lorrie Goldstein, a columnist I've admired for years. He's been going against the grain on this issue for quite some time, not concerned about how many enemies he makes.

Let's cut to the chase, though, on global warming, or, even better, pollution and the care of the environment. Is there a problem? Yes, there are many problems. We have been happily polluting our planet for generations and we need to change. We need to adapt our lifestyle so that we are not contributing to the problem. We need to find and take advantage of alternate forms of energy. We need to invest in scientific means of reversing the damage caused. We also need to calm down and stop being foolish.

As I stated in an earlier blog, immediate drastic action would not result in any improvement in greenhouse gases for a hundred years. It would, however, devastate our economy and likely produce a fallout which would inevitably hurt the poor in our societies more than anyone.

I agree with Goldstein that "We should withdraw from Kyoto and set our own course. Yes, let's address greenhouse gases but, even more important, smog, which really is killing us right now, end multi-billion dollar tax subsidies to Big Oil and Big Auto and use that money to help average Canadians retrofit their homes for maximum energy efficiency."

We need to stop jumping on bandwagons and think. The Kyoto Accord is a disaster, designed merely to give publicity to the problem. Fine - now we see the problem. Kyoto is not the solution. How can we expect to fix it when the worst offenders are not required to lower greenhouse gas emissions? It's unfair and stupid for Canada to be expected to meet its requirements when the real offenders are making the problem worse. It's like plugging a small leak while blowing a big hole in the other side of the boat. Let's use tax incentives to encourage individuals and businesses to lessen emissions and to find scientific solutions to the problem. But first of all, let's stop lying to the public - the Kyoto targets were never going to be met, and the signers knew it.