|Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper gives his closing remarks at a news conference following the G7 Summit in Garmisch, Germany. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld|
1 Totally end the global oil industry as in a 99% decline.2 Provide two thirds of the population with a plus $300 per month raise in cash income by no longer burying fuel.3 Paid for unlimited home power replacing the grid by simply jacking the installed transformer.
4 A massive drop in the cost of producing food.
It’s a victory for Harper, and a sign that December’s UN meeting in Paris is doomed to fail
Early reactions to the global oil price war were The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, is the global bureaucracy that theoretically helps governments gather and share information, and coordinate policy, on climate.
Inevitably, in their desire to get at the Great Secret Climate Denier, the mainstream media and radical NGOs came at Harper from all sides. Either his participation in the G7 pledge was a major climb down, condemning his beloved oil sands to extinction (albeit after spending 85 years on death row), or it represented culpable procrastination, with an assist from that other Great Power bully, Japan.
Gullible/crusading reporters eagerly regurgitated the line – peddled by anonymous G7 flaks – that Canada and Japan had selfishly ganged up to prevent the stronger commitment that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had so desperately wanted to make. That is, the same kind of commitment that has left the EU’s energy policies a dysfunctional mess, and using more coal. The woman once dubbed “climate chancellor” is looking more and more like the queen of the lemmings.
The G7 did agree to an intermediate goal, emitting 70% less GHGs by 2050, and is still committed to keeping global temperatures from increasing more than 2 degrees Celsius (which should be a lot easier if the current hiatus and temperatures persist in not rising). Then there are all those other shorter-term commitments — “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” — that are due to be served up at the twenty first Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris in December, including Canada’s to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 relative to 2005.
The G7 statement represents a clear victory for Harper’s sensible approach
In fact, this week the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers came up with some good news for climate masochists: low oil prices and a drop in investment mean that Canadian oil output in 2030 is projected to be down more than a million barrels a day compared with last year’s forecast. The bad news – for both warmists and policy credibility — is that output of 5.3 million barrels a day will still be up 43%. Also, those lower prices are rendering alternatives even less viable.
In reality (a condition that rarely crops up in climate world), the G7’s firm commitment to our great great great grandchildren is a clear signal – if any more signals are needed — that December’s COP meeting is doomed to failure: that is, failure to agree to crippling and likely pointless policies. Such failure was also adumbrated by yet another pre-COP draft text-writing bash in Bonn this week, where the G77 and the Alliance of Small Island States bemoaned the lack of progress in shipping them more cash.
The G7 statement represents a clear victory for Harper’s sensible approach. “Nobody’s going to start to shut down their industries or turn off the lights,” he said, adding that decarbonization would only happen via technologies that haven’t been discovered yet. “We’ve simply got to find a way to create lower-carbon emitting sources of energy — and that work is ongoing.”
He did not labour the point that Canada’s emissions are less than 2% of the man-made total, so whatever the country does is climatically pointless. To claim that action is a moral imperative is nonsensical. How is damaging your own economy without helping anybody else (except rent-seeking alternative energy producers and climate bureaucrats) anything but suicidal?
The fretting and strutting by the provinces, with support from the Ecofiscal Commission to let a dozen clashing anti-emissions policies bloom, is little short of insanity. Meanwhile those who imagine that all this interprovincial bureaucratic makework — or even a national carbon tax — will somehow persuade the well-funded attack dogs of the NGO movement to call off their campaigns against Canadian oil are dreaming.
The longer the climate charade continues, the more of an embarrassment it becomes. The G7 devoted a full half hour to discussing the issue, although the official communique confirmed the ridiculousness of climate obsessions while there are so many more immediate problems, such as Greece, the Ukraine, ISIS and Iran.
Harper continued to take a very strong line on Russia’s de facto invasion of the Ukraine, and the whole G7 reaffirmed its support for the former Soviet Republic, but the communique noted “We welcome the intention of the Ukrainian government to reduce energy-related subsidies and invest in energy efficiency programmes.”
This is beyond satire. The Ukraine is fighting for its life and the G7 is concerned about its carbon footprint.
Harper’s European schedule gets truly intriguing on Thursday when he has an audience with the Pope. Francis has become a predictable convert to a cause that claims it is all about concern for the poor (even as it attempts to bar them from using the cheap fossil fuels that are essential to their development).
Harper’s arrival in the Vatican in the wake of the summary report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which recommended a Papal apology, presents fascinating diplomatic opportunities. Indeed, one can think of few other reasons for Mr. Harper going to Rome than to bring back a mea culpa to match the one he delivered on behalf of the Canadian people in 2008.
He certainly isn’t going for — nor does he need — a sermon on climate policy.