Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Thomas Walkom notes that based on the Cons' Kyoto embarrassment, Canada is now the odd man out on the world stage when it comes to climate change discussions:
(I)n terms of international efforts to curb global warming, Kyoto is the only serious game in town. It is the only effort that all nations except Canada and the U.S. (which never joined) can agree upon.

Its deliberate two-track strategy is the only way to draw newly industrial nations, like China, into a better and more comprehensive climate change treaty.
Kyoto lives. It is what it always was — necessary but not sufficient, a binding if virtually unenforceable first step on the way to a better climate change treaty.

Most other nations recognize its worth. Like Canada, Japan was not prepared to sign onto a second Kyoto round. But unlike Ottawa, Tokyo understands that scrapping the existing treaty can only reduce the world’s ability to negotiate a more comprehensive climate change pact — which is why it too, along with Britain, France and Germany, criticized Canada’s withdrawal.

Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out whether Canada’s Conservative government is venal or merely clueless. At times, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s approach to climate change appears venal: He really doesn’t seem to think global warming merits attention.

But Ottawa’s take on international relations also has a disturbingly feckless quality. Canada, which was determined to squelch Kyoto, misread the international mood. It now finds itself again the odd man out, the only nation in the world planning to withdraw from a treaty that virtually every other country thinks indispensable.
- Ossie Michelin points out that the housing crisis at Attawapiskat can be traced in no small part to exactly the type of dependence on corporate development that the Cons want to push on First Nations across the country.

- John Ivison is right to note that federal health care funding figures to be a major issue in the years to come. But he glosses over a rather important part of the story: most of Canada's provinces may (and by all rights should) push back hard against any plan sets a limit on federal contributions that bears no resemblance to actual anticipated costs, particularly if it directs more of that money where it's least needed.

- Finally, Romeo Saganash implores the Cons to stop their push toward regressive policies on copyright and other technological issues.

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