Monday, November 28, 2005

Blame where blame is due

It figures that now that climate change is in the headlines due to the Montreal convention, Glen Murray has started pulling punches against PMPM:
The increased warming of our planet as a result of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) poses a huge threat to the delicate ecology of our land and water and creates an unprecedented challenge to Canada's economy. Our commitment under the Kyoto Protocol is to reduce GHG emissions by 6 per cent below their 1990 levels by 2012. We are now 26 per cent above 1990 levels. But the Kyoto targets are just the start — scientific consensus suggests that to avoid a climate crisis, Canadians will have to reduce GHG emissions by approximately 60 per cent by the middle of this century.

Canada will require changes in industrial, environmental, natural resources, finance and foreign affairs policy. Our national response also requires an unprecedented level of intergovernmental co-operation, as energy is a provincial responsibility and municipalities manage transportation systems, land-use policy and landfills, all of which are critical pieces of the solution to reducing GHG emissions...

This is not a criticism of our government, but rather an endorsement of the approach taken by our Prime Minister to integrated policy delivery and the need to extend this approach to this national priority.
Contrast the above web comment against the commentary surrounding the NRTEE's draft report, which rightly pointed fingers at current governments (both federal and provincial) for failing to recognize the importance of the issue or take meaningful action. While Murray's political affiliation makes it obvious why today's comment wasn't quite so scathing, it's unfortunate that he isn't willing to highlight the desperate need for change.

After all, if there is as much to be done as Murray points out, then surely those responsible for a decade's worth of inaction deserve to bear some criticism. And I have to figure that the chair of the national body charged with investigating climate change can tell the difference between the current plan to rely mostly on hope to barely meet Canada's Kyoto commitments, and a plan with a chance of decreasing emissions by 60% in any time frame.

Murray deserves credit for turning attention to some of the necessary solutions on global warming. But any discussion of solutions also has to involve some recognition of the current problems. And whether or not Murray is willing to say so publicly with an election campaign about to start, the Liberals' track record falls squarely into the latter category.

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