Sunday, March 18, 2007

Even lower in facts

As a follow-up to this post, here's what John Baird wants to claim (against all available evidence) as new developments from the G8 climate summit:
Baird said the most important developments from the Potsdam meetings were a new consensus that climate change exists and must be dealt with, and an agreement that technology will be a vital tool in helping developing nations reduce emissions.
It's somewhat disturbing that Baird is being allowed to represent Canada in public if he's actually unaware that every single state involved in the summit has already signed and ratified the Rio Convention, under which they recognized the problem of climate change and agreed to deal with it. Of course, I'd tend to chalk that particular omission up to the Cons' trademark strategy of "making things up" rather than any lack of knowledge.

And the concept that "technology is a vital tool"? Let's check the Rio Convention in a bit more detail, starting with Article 4:
1. All Parties, taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and their specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and circumstances, shall:...

(c) Promote and cooperate in the development, application and diffusion, including transfer, of technologies, practices and processes that control, reduce or prevent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol in all relevant sectors, including the energy, transport, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste management sectors;
Now, Baird's line was limited to developing countries. But that doesn't make his claim any more plausible - and indeed one doesn't even have to get past the preamble to the Rio Convention to find a specific reference to the role of technology in developing countries:
Recognizing that all countries, especially developing countries, need access to resources required to achieve sustainable social and economic development and that, in order for developing countries to progress towards that goal, their energy consumption will need to grow taking into account the possibilities for achieving greater energy efficiency and for controlling greenhouse gas emissions in general, including through the application of new technologies on terms which make such an application economically and socially beneficial...
So once again, the point which Baird seeks to claim as current progress was in fact agreed to 15 years ago. What's more, on this one Baird doesn't even have the excuse that his party-mates did their utmost to undermine any agreement in the meantime. And there's surely not much reason to think there was a never-reported Luddite delegation to meetings in between which insisted on dealing with climate change without technology being involved.

In sum, while Baird may be louder than his predecessor on the environment file, he apparently isn't any more interested in dealing with facts rather than fabrications. And it'll only be a continued embarrassment to Canada if he and his party remain in a position to represent Canada while so clearly showing their contempt for reality.

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