Harper, Carbon, and the G8

The CBC site is reporting the following:

As the Group of Eight summit wrapped up in northern Japan on Wednesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said it's a "mathematical certainty" that developing countries will bear the brunt of the work in lowering global greenhouse gas emissions.

His comments to reporters in the resort town of Toyako came as several developing countries reportedly balked at climate change targets proposed by the G8 countries the previous day.

The major industrial countries represented by the G8 set a goal Tuesday to halve emissions that contribute to global warming by 2050, though no international baseline year was set and the plan lacked midterm goals.

Harper said that by 2050, developed nations will likely account for no more than 20 per cent of global carbon emissions.

"So, when we say we need participation by developing countries, this is not a philosophical position. This is a mathematical certainty," he told Canadian reporters at a news conference Wednesday.

"You can't get a 50 per cent cut from 20 per cent of emissions."

1) Developed countries have spent a couple of centuries "developing" while emitting massive amounts of carbon. It's why we have the technology and industry we do today.

As the developing world catches up in terms of technology and industry, how is it that we now get to blame them for the state of the environment?

The ruling class will always try to maintain its status. That's part of what this is about: plain and simple, economic imbalance works for the developed world, and we collectively want to maintain it.

2) Way to shirk your responsibility, Harper. Regardless of what's going on in other nations, it's still incumbent upon Canada to do better. We've made commitments to reducing carbon emissions. If you're short-sighted, you might be focused on the economic undesirability of making such a change.

But, hell, I don't really know about economics. That's not what I do. Sometimes, though, you just have to do the right thing because it's the right thing to do -- not because you see a concrete long-term benefit for yourself, and people like you. I'd like to see a national leader who understands that.

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