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`Axis of Oil' More Important to Prime Minister than Health of Planet PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Friday, 10 November 2006 01:50

`Axis of Oil' More Important to Prime Minister than Health of Planet


Toronto Star ~ LINDA MCQUAIG  ~ Exxon, the world's richest and mightiest corporation, was the leading force behind a massive 10-year campaign to block the Kyoto accord and ensure the world remains hooked on oil. This was no easy battle, even for Exxon. Lined up against it was the scientific world ? and most of the world community.

with writer permission
www.thestar.com

`Axis of Oil' More Important to Prime Minister than Health of Planet


LINDA MCQUAIG

Exxon, the world's richest and mightiest corporation, was the leading force behind a massive 10-year campaign to block the Kyoto accord and ensure the world remains hooked on oil.

This was no easy battle, even for Exxon. Lined up against it was the scientific world ? and most of the world community.

In the end, not even Exxon was able to block the signing of the historic Kyoto Protocol, as the world came together in 1997 in a far-reaching bid to shake its planet-endangering oil addiction.

But Exxon did score one huge victory when the new administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, close Exxon allies, withdrew U.S. support for Kyoto. The withdrawal of the U.S., which emits roughly one-quarter of the world's greenhouse gases, was a devastating blow. Still, the world community pressed on with Kyoto.

Into this titanic, ongoing struggle between the world community and the Bush-Cheney-Exxon axis of oil, Canada has now definitively entered on the side of the oil interests.

With the release last week of the Harper government's "clean air" bill, Ottawa has signalled its abandonment of Kyoto.

The previous Liberal government certainly shares some of the blame.

While it signed onto Kyoto and renewed that commitment last year, it failed to take meaningful steps to reach Kyoto targets, recklessly allowing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions to continue to rise.

But Harper's "green" plan is the final nail in the coffin for Canada's Kyoto commitment. The plan doesn't even mention Kyoto, instead calls for yet more consultations with industry and sets actual reduction targets an incredible 44 years into the future. By then, presumably even industry will be sick of consulting.

It won't matter much though, since the earth will almost certainly have warmed to the point where the damage will be irreversible.

Even the much more demanding deadlines set out in the Kyoto Protocol are a long shot at reversing the horrendously destructive course we're on, before it's too late. It now seems Canada will be the only nation failing to meet targets it agreed to in signing Kyoto.

This lackadaisical approach to the world's most urgent problem is utterly consistent with Harper's long-time indifference to the global warming crisis.

Like others close to the oil industry, Harper has tried to discredit the scientific conclusion that human actions are causing global warming ? a conclusion which virtually every climate scientist in the world considers about as open-and-shut as the case that smoking causes cancer.

Harper knows the Canadian public, particularly in Quebec, wants action, but that means clamping down on Canada's fastest growing source of greenhouse gases: Alberta's booming oil sands.

And Harper has absolutely no intention of getting tough on the oil industry.

Harper has now clearly shown which side he's on.

But he's hoping we'll be so dazzled by his talk of a "green" plan for "clean air" that we won't notice the Bush-Cheney-Exxon axis lurking in the background.

Linda McQuaig is a Toronto-based author and commentator. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Last Updated on Friday, 10 November 2006 01:50
 

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