Thursday, December 15, 2011

Domo Arigato, Kyoto, and Sayonara.

From my column in today's Ottawa Citizen:

“On Kyoto, I agree wholeheartedly, as would almost anyone in the scientific community, that it will have zero effect on global warming.” Those are not the words of Lord Monckton, 3rd Viscount of Brenchley and archdruid of the climate-change denial cult. That’s Andrew Weaver talking, back in 2008. Weaver is one of the world’s eminent climate scientists, author of the indispensable and clear-eyed Keeping Our Cool: Canada in a Warming World, and the scourge of cranks and eccentrics who like to pretend that global warming isn’t happening.

There’s no denying that humanity’s contribution to the planet’s surfeit of greenhouse gases has rather a lot to do with the ominous and already observable weirdness affecting the world’s climate. There’s no point in pretending that the consequences of doing nothing about this will not be catastrophic. We should stop pretending about Kyoto, too.

Long before Environment Minister Peter Kent was obliged to subject himself to the degradation ceremony those apprentice raging grannies staged for the cameras in Durban last week, the Kyoto Protocol had failed even in its limited usefulness.

Kyoto could have been an instrument to force technological innovation in the world’s advanced economies in such a way as to clear a path for eventual and meaningful global reductions in greenhouse gases. But it didn’t turn out that way, and since nobody’s being especially parsimonious in the apportionment of blame for this, while we’re at it, there’s no good reason to ignore the pathological unseriousness that routinely attends to environmentalism, either. . . .

Meawhile, closely related, I see my collaboration with Maywa Montenegro, In Defense of Difference, is making the rounds again. It's based largely on some of the research that went into my 2007 book, The Sixth Extinction. I see Andrew Sullivan likes it.


Blogger James O'Hearn said...

I saw that shout-out on Sullivan's Dish.

Personally I am glad Canada is out of Kyoto. I like the reason behind the accord, but I did not like how punitive it was to countries like Canada, to the benefit of nations that would never, in a million years, have complied with the rules or paid the fines for breaking them.

In the wake of the turmoil in the Eurozone, and the increasing economic colonization of Africa by China, Canada would have been spending far too much time having to bend the ear to hypocrites or blowhards.

I don't know if you feel the same, Terry, but the more I see of the world at large, the more I appreciate all that is truly good in Canada.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

I'd say we're on the same page. China is far and away a bigger problem than North America. India I could see cutting some slack. But even so that slack would have to taken up somewhere, and I'd say China should take it up.

Canada is no prize, mind. But if the Europeans are going to penalize us, the least we could do is penalize China.

11:47 PM  

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