Posted by: Tony Carson | 23 October, 2009

Prentice: Canada’s Balloon Boy

Talk about a lot of hot air and no content.

Canada’s Environment Minister Jim Prentice has warned the world: don’t expect anything from Canada at Copenhagen because Canada is too big, it’s growing too fast and it has an energy-intense industrial structure.

Screw the planet.

“The Canadian approach has to reflect the diversity of the country and the sheer size of the country, and the very different economic characteristics and industrial structure across the country,” he said in a telephone interview to the Globe and Mail.

Prentice, who, like Prime Minister Harper, is from the oil patch of Calgary, Alberta, represents a government that un-signed Kyoto after the previous government signed it (and did nothing to comply) and has been dragging its knuckles ever since.

Canada has its head buried in the (tar) sands. It pretends to care about global warming but refuses to take any leadership role in doing anything about it.

Put simply, Canada is waiting to see what it will be forced to do to change its reckless and myopic behaviour.

And Canada has a problem. The David Suzuki Foundation reports:

  • Canada is one of the greatest consumers of energy per capita, burning the equivalent of roughly 7,700 litres of oil per person each year. This is roughly 50 times the consumption rate of Bangladesh, a country that stands to be largely eliminated by climate change-induced sea level rise.
  • Canadians use more energy than all of the 760 million inhabitants of Africa.
  • Canada makes up less than one half of one percent of the world’s population, but is the world’s eighth largest producer of carbon dioxide.
  • Canadians spend about $75 billion annually – 10 percent of our GDP – on energy to heat homes and offices, and to operate cars, factories and appliances. This is equivalent to $2,500 per person.

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions are increasing. Energy consumption grew about 18 per cent between 1992 and 2002, while emissions rose at a rate of 1.9 per cent annually, 22 per cent since 1990. Rising emissions trigger more rapid climate change and worsen air pollution – with serious health consequences.

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