Monday, October 24, 2005

Noxious emissions

The Guardian comments on the Suzuki Foundation's environmental rankings - and shatters Stephane Dion's attempts to criticize them. Dion's criticism focussed on Turkey being at the top of the rankings, and Mexico supposedly ranking higher in water quality. But those critiques don't come close to standing up to the slightest prodding:
Only Belgium and the US ranked lower than Canada in their environmental performance overall. Turkey was the least blameworthy but, the report says, that is because its economy is less developed than other nations in the OECD. The same went for Poland, ranked fourth, and the Slovak Republic, fifth...

Canada's environment minister, Stephane Dion, while conceding the country had room to improve on the environment, was critical of the report when it was released last week.

"Who can give a lot of confidence to a study that said the country that had the best performance regarding the environment is Turkey," he asked. "Mexico is 13th. Mexico! Would you drink Mexico City water from the tap?"

The report considered the consumption of drinking water per capita rather than its quality. Canadians drink double the OECD average; Danes use one-10th the water Canadians consume.
(Emphasis added.)

It would be a plus if Canada's Environment Minister would at least pay attention to basic elements of a report before pretending to be able to debunk it - or at least noticing if the very elements that he criticizes have already been explained. But then, the Liberals have never had much more than pretense on their side when it comes to the environment.

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