Canada—yes, Canada—is threatening the world’s future, according to climate change experts, by emerging as the major obstacle to an agreement at the Copenhagen climate change summit. Canada removed itself from the Kyoto protocol as its greenhouse-gas emissions rose 26 percent between 1990 and 2007—it was to have cut them by 6 percent—and its massive tar-sand oil fields in Alberta have been deemed a global-warming disaster. Is peaceful, liberal Canada really an evil, “criminally negligent” polluter? (Watch a panel discuss Canada's reluctance to join climate change efforts)
Canada is downright villainous: I used to believe the U.S. was doing the most to “sabotage a new climate change agreement,” says George Monbiot in the London Guardian. “I was wrong.” Canada has turned into a “thuggish petro-state,” destroying a “pristine” area the size of England to cash in on the “dirtiest commodity known to man.” We can't let the corrupt "tar barons of Alberta" scupper Copenhagen.
“Canada ... is now to climate what Japan is to whaling”
Canada isn’t evil, just reactionary: Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “wait-and-see-what-the-U.S.-does stance” on climate change, says James McKinnon in Canadian Money Magazine, has helped make Canada a top global “laggard.” But Canada’s domestic policy is “reactionary,” too. Climate change is already changing Canada, and Harper’s “leading from behind” policies will leave us going nowhere fast on melting permafrost roads.
“What are Canada’s intentions at Copenhagen conference on climate change?”
Comparatively, Canada is harmless: Get real—oil sands account for "less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions," says Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach in the Toronto Star. And Alberta’s oil fields have “contributed mightily” to Canada’s prosperity. Besides, if we need a carbon villain, 80 percent of emissions from a barrel of oil “come from the end use—the tailpipe.”
“Oil-sands hysteria only confuses climate debate”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- 13 deliciously garlicky dishes for summer
- The best online movies to watch this weekend
- Four annoying sounds you need to stop making
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 10 things you need to know today: August 23, 2014
- How collaborative innovation led to the experimental serum for Ebola
Subscribe to the Week