but the current meeting in Bali has shown just how complicit our current PM is in the battle to encourage global warming.
Representative Henry Waxman has chaired a committee that's just released their report. From the intro:
"This report presents the findings of the Committee’s investigation. The evidence before the Committee leads to one inescapable conclusion: the Bush Administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming."
The EU is pretty pissed at the heel-dragging going on in North America. So is Al Gore:
"Gore said the U.S. is "principally responsible" for the stalemate at the Bali talks over emission controls. He also heaped scorn on the idea that the world can only have an effective climate treaty if the U.S. signs on — the exact position articulated by Canada"(from The Guardian Online). John Baird, our environment minister, is also taking some heat in Bali. Not just Canada:
"There is a wrecking crew here in Bali led by the Bush administration and its minions," [Jennifer Morgan of the Climate Action Network ] told CBC News. "Those minions continue to be the governments of Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia and others." (cbc.ca)
But yes, we're a "minion" now. But why? Well, look at Harper's home riding, and where the Reform Party started and drew so much of it's strength--Amerikan owned and operated Alberta. From the CBC:
"Canada is already the top exporter of oil to the American market, exporting the equivalent of one million barrels a day — the exact amount that the oilsands industry in Alberta currently produces."
Considering that there isn't really much other oil left in Alberta--according to this report (pdf) from the Alberta government there is only about 1.6 billion barrels of conventional oil left in the province, but 173.7 billion in the oil sands--is it any wonder that the Alberta government is doing anything possible to speed production in the tarsands? It's not doing the rest of us any good though--all that production is headed to the US (and under NAFTA, that's pretty much a guarantee for life). Oil production from the sands costs about $36/barrel and is currently fetching close to $100 per, leaving a daily net profit of some 50+ million dollars each and every day of the year. That kind of money makes people insane. And pays for more lobbying than all the environmental groups in the world can afford.
But the real costs are much higher. The oilsands use enough natural gas to heat 300,000 homes to free the bitumen trapped in the sand and clay. And while it may be better than coal, burning natural gas releases plenty of CO2 --as much or more CO2 is released in Fort MacMurray as is released by all the cars in Canada, making it the biggest source of new greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
That million barrels a day in conventional oil is then shipped south of the border to be burned--releasing the rest of the sequestered CO2. And production is slated to ramp up five-fold--to five million barrels a day. This really is nuts--but 250 million dollars per day in profits means that the Harper government will do nothing to stop this. in fact, this government will go out of its way to help--like gutting their own legislation to ensure it won't impact the sands.
There's a lot more at the CBC alone--none of this is being hidden. Just not discussed openly by our ruling "elite" (one of whom is answering questions today about the three one hundred thousand dollar cash payments he took from Karlheinz Schrieber).