While you weren’t watching …

Much has happened …

Last week, most American political eyes turned to questioning how Hillary Clinton would handle acknowledgment of not being the Democratic Party nominee …

Last week, a few eyes were turned toward the Senate debate on the extremely weak Lieberman-Warner Climate (in)Security Act
and the Republican obstructionism against even a discussion of what might be the most critical item on the nation’s (the globe’s) 21st century item.

Last week, few eyes were turned to events up north, events worth looking toward.

As the extremely good David Sassoon of Solve Climate highlighted, Canada’s House of Commons passed legislation for an 80 percent cut in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. By the way, these are scientifically guided target: that is a 90% cut in emissions from 1990 (not current) levels.

As David notes:

It’s headline news, and the lack of attention being given to this development is mystifying. (If anyone knows why, please comment.) A search on Google news turns up a story in the Times of India, a Bloomberg wire service piece and a few, short items from the Canadian press. That’s it.

This is the first time that a legislative house has passed a bill fully in accord with what the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calls for. Guess what, that matters …

Even though the Canadian Senate has not acted on it and that the Canadian government acts oblivious to it, this merited more attention than silence so deafening that calling it muted empowers the word “mute” with extraodinary powers.

on a symbolic level it’s deserving of more attention — especially as this week Republicans in the US Senate killed pending climate legislation there.

Jack Layton, of the New Democratic Party, introduced this as a “private member’s bill. It passed 148-116. And, it was a serious bill that passed,

“There is nothing `gradual’ about Jack Layton’s bill — it would require a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020,” Garry Keller, a spokesman for Environment Minister John Baird, said in a statement.

That is putting the reduction at the level called for by the IPCC to avoid catastrophic climate change.

But, to be clear, the Canadian government is competing ferociously to gain a position alongside George W Bush as obstacles to meaningful action on Global Warming. Thus, the statistics and discussion from the Canadian government focuses on distorted (and exaggerated) description of costs without touching benefits. Keller continued,

`According to our officials, this bill could cause a 300 percent increase in electricity, home heating and transportation costs for Canadian families.”

Yes, fear. It is no longer time to deny Global Warming is real, expecially to Canadians facing defrosting permafrost and retreating Artic ice. Instead, let us resort to the next stage of denialism: argue (with false statistics) that it is somehow too expensive to do anything about the threat.

Even so, roadblocks only go so far. As David notes,

It’s not the only significant climate news out of Canada over the last week. The Montreal Stock Exchange opened a carbon exchange, and Quebec and Ontario announced a cap-and-trade agreement.

Premiers Dalton McGuinty and Jean Charest suggested Monday that Canada’s federal government will have no choice but to follow their lead.

So, while Drill and Kill Republicans use Roadblock Republicanism to keep serious discussion of solving problems from disrupting the Senate schedule, Canadian legislators are looking to science and listening …


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