Thursday, December 06, 2007

They can't claim they didn't know

The international community may have as little as a decade to bring greenhouse gases under control or risk catastrophic global warming that places millions of people at risk, warns a group of the world's leading climate scientists.
In a declaration released today in Bali, Indonesia, where representatives from about 180 countries are attending a UN conference on climate change, the scientists say emissions need to peak and then start to decline within the next 10 to 15 years as a first step, and then be cut in half by 2050 from the level prevailing in 1990.
If releases aren't curbed soon, "millions of people will be at risk from extreme events, such as heat waves, drought, floods and storms; our coasts and cities will be threatened by rising sea levels; and many ecosystems, plants and animal species will be in serious danger of extinction," the scientists say in their declaration.
More than 200 leading researchers - many of the world's pre-eminent climate scientists, including seven from Canada - endorsed the statement. Its release was timed to put heat on the negotiators at the Bali climate-change talks.

Add this to the long list of evidence, findings, studies and unequivocal and stark declarations by scientists, and the gang of three at Bali, The US, Japan and of course our own Conservative Canadian government are knowingly committing crimes against humanity with their opposition to real curbs on greenhouse gasses.

There is no real significant dispute among the scientific community, this isn't a long term problem, economic growth is not just as important as greenhouse gas reduction and regardless greenhouse gas reduction will be necessary to reduce massive long term macro-economic costs - see the Stern Report. Intensity reductions are not reductions and the consequences of blocking real action will have these governments remembered in the history books as shortsighted, reckless and corrupt. They will not be able to claim they didn't know the consequences of their actions and in light of the scientific consensus their inaction is criminally irresponsible.

Criticising the former Liberal government's dismal record on climate change (As Harper and his Ministers do at every opportunity) is fair. Not including the context that the Conservatives and their predecessor party The Alliance - the same individuals - in opposition fought tooth and nail every day to keep the Liberals from doing anything on climate change is not. Not providing the context that up until very recently the members of this government were publicly siding with industry owned hacks and incompetent wackos against the overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is real and human caused is based on an insulting assumption that Canadians can't remember their words and deeds of only a few years ago.

Calling out China, India and other developing nations for inaction on global warming is fair. Not providing the context that their significant contributions of greenhouse gasses began decades after the developed world and that their per capita greenhouse gas emissions are still only a fraction of ours is not.

Canadians used to provide leadership, not whine that 'everyone else is getting away with it, so we should too.'

The Conservatives regional fealty to the oil sands at the expense of Canada's international standing and our species long term survival is a shocking and despicable abdication of responsibility.

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