Canada is about to be roundly shamed at the Copenhagen summit, and it can’t happen swiftly enough or with enough emphasis for me. Our government is showing itself to be a dinosaur when it comes to tackling climate change. Here is Stephen Harper touting a total myth:
“Without the wealth that comes from growth, the environmental threats, the developmental challenges and the peace and security issues facing the world will be exponentially more difficult to deal with,” Harper said in an address to South Korea’s National Assembly.
The truth is actually the other way around, but Harper is so willfully blind to the realities of system thinking, climate science and global consensus that he has chosen to act as a bully and a coward all at the same time.
George Monbiot recently wrote a slamming indictment of our potentially negative contribution to these climate talks coming up. It seems that, doing the bidding of big oil, Canada will try to scuttle the talks by dividing and conquering the conference. The Saudis will be hiding behind our skirts delighted that they don’t have to be the bad guys.
So, rest of the world, you need to know that Harper has never governed in Canada with a majority of Parliamentary votes, nor has his government ever had anything close to a mjority of the popular vote. It is a particular set of regional political anamolies that has resulted in him becoming Prime Minister. Canadians have never wanted him to govern in numbers that would give him a mandate to speak with such surety about what we want as Canadians, or what our role in the world should be. He has refused to govern cautiously as a minority leader, and has refused to even try to build consensus, choosing instead to be a brinkman of the highest order and calling the bluff of the Opposition parties who have ended up supporting his bullying through a fear of their own political hides being hung out to dry.
So knowing this, world, and speaking as a Canadian, I hope you will not hold back in exposing Harper for what he is, and challenging at every turn his right to speak for Canadians. He should be a marginal curiosity at this summit, and he will be if YOU ALL put him there. Please do not accord the Canadian government’s position at this conference with any of the respect that is usually accorded to us. We sometimes are allowed to punch far above our weight, but in this case, call the man’s bluff. He does not speak for most of us.