Conservatives MPs, November, 2009 (re Copenhagen Conference)

As Canadians we are appalled at the position the Canadian government has taken on the climate crisis. We expect that Canada, with our privileged position, would be giving leadership. Instead it is undermining the efforts of other governments who are addressing conscientiously the greatest challenge we face as inhabitants of Planet Earth.

The Copenhagen Convention is coming up soon. Canadians are concerned. You are failing us.

The excuse that economic considerations, by which you mean entirely short-term ones, overrule taking action on climate change does not hold at all. The International Energy Agency advises that the price of failing to control climate change will be much higher than the costs of acting. The agency warns of the “alarming path” we are on thanks to our current policies.

Are you not concerned with the prospect of a global temperature increase of 6 degrees (Celsius) by the end of the century? A report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007 states that 40-70% of species are at risk of extinction if temperature increases by 3.5 degrees (Celsius.) Economic considerations pale in comparison.

Unpleasant as it is to contemplate such scenarios, is it not time that we faced the fact that our profligate use of fossil fuels, and other anti-climate practices, will cause suffering and death to vast numbers of people, and other species, and that in the not-distant future? As moral beings we must start immediately to make significant changes in how we live, and for this we need solid federal leadership.

Canada should not wait for the United States government to establish targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Of course we should meld programs as appropriate, but delays only postpone reductions which are desperately needed.