14 December 2009

Canadians *Do* Have a Sense of Humour

Want a good laugh?

One hour ago, a spoof press release targeted Canada in order to generate hurtful rumors and mislead the Conference of Parties on Canada's positions on climate change, and to damage Canada's standing with the international business community.

The release, from "press@enviro-canada.ca," alleges Canada's acceptance of unrealistic emissions-reduction targets, as well as a so-called "Climate Debt Mechanism," a bilateral agreement between Canada and Africa to furnish that continent with enormous sums in "reparation" for climate damage and to "offset" adaptation.

Of course, everyone should have known that Canada wouldn't do anything like accept massive emission reduction targets, or agree to reparations. No, this is what it *really* has in mind:

Today as always, Canada's binding responsibility is to supply the world - including its burgeoning developing portion - with those means of transport, health, and sustenance that prosperous markets require. Stopping short of these dictates would violate the very principles upon which our nations were founded, and endanger our very development.

As you will note, there's nothing here about that tiresome need to minimise climate change, it's all about "prosperous markets", yeah. Indeed:

Canada's current energy policy represents an elegant synthesis of the most advanced science, while remaining faithful to Canada's tradition of political pragmatism. Experts note, for example, that the much-decried oil sands of Alberta, contrary to environmentalists' dire assertions, are enabling Canada to meet ambitious emissions goals by providing her, as well as her neighbors, with the energy resources needed to transition to a cleaner energy future.

Cunning, no? Canada notes how using energy from one of the dirtiest sources, the "much-decried oil sands of Alberta", is in fact absolutely fine because it will allow a transition to a "cleaner energy future". Which means that we can justify *any* kind of energy source, no matter how dirty, provided it makes things better at some ill-specified time in the future.

If we have one, of course. (Via Tristan Nitot.)

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Andrew said...

Hmm. This has almost universal application:

"Dieticians note, for example, that the much-decried use of chocolate by obese people, contrary to prohibitionists' dire assertions, is enabling them to meet ambitious weight-loss goals by providing them, as well as their confectioners, with the calories needed to remain alive, and thus transition to a more slender future"


"Experts note, for example, that the much-decried use of slave labour in the Southern US, contrary to prohibitionists' dire assertions, is enabling the US to meet ambitious human rights goals by providing her, as well as her trading partners, with the cotton needed to transition to a servitude-free future".

Glyn Moody said...

@Andrew: you're absolutely right. Apparently, these Canadian politicians are not only humorists, but geniuses too...

Anonymous said...

@andrew: We don't have the energy choices of human consumption for our automobiles. We aren't talking about human rights; we're talking about energy. You cannot draw analogies from dissimilar subjects. Hurting the economy will not help to innovate energy extraction. Only the market can do cause innovation, but the market can only do that if it is transparent. Right now, it is not transparent. If Canada wants to get energy from sands instead of drilling, let them. It will decrease consumption of Saudi oil, which will help to break the monopolies.

Why the hell is oil seen as being so bad anyway? If you don't like it, don't use it (that's what the market is).

The dinosaurs died for us to have a better life.

Glyn Moody said...

Well, yes, except that we don't live in an unconstrained world. The kind of energy we use is important because of its externalities; the externalities of tar sands are appalling.

Unfortunately, trusting to the market isn't really the solution: after all, it's the market that got us into this situation. It's a prisoner's dilemma writ large: what might locally be sensible isn't the optimum solution globally.