Wed, 30 Nov 2021 15:49:06 -0600
From: "John W. Warnock" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Montreal Conference on Climate Change
Letters to the Editor
The Leader-Post (Regina)
Every week there are new scientific studies released documenting the disaster
of increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change. Between
November 28 and December 9 over 10,000 people from all around the world are
meeting in Montreal for the 11th Conference of the Parties under the Framework
Convention on Climate Change, initiated by governments at the Rio Earth Summit
in 1992. This is a most important international conference where governments
will set forth the goals for reductions in GHG emissions for the period after
2012. Unfortunately, we will hear little of this, thanks primarily to the
decision by the opposition parties, led by Jack Layton of the NDP, to insist
on an election at this time.
Politicians in Saskatchewan have consistently dismissed the scientific evidence
on climate change. Some will remember in 1997 the three major parties in our
legislature unanimously passed a resolution condemning the conference in Kyoto
and refused to send any delegation. In 2002 the Calvert government, supported
by the main opposition parties, strongly opposed initiatives to require Saskatchewan
to reduce GHG emissions. At every point along the way the Calvert government
has sought to escape any commitment to take action. Some will remember that
in June 2002 the four western premiers, including Lorne Calvert, agreed to
support in principle U.S. President George W. Bush’s call for a new continental
energy pact which would promote more energy exports.
So where are we today? In 1997 the Canadian government agreed that we should
cut our GHG emissions to six percent below the levels that existed in 1990.
This was the average goal set for the 40 industrialized countries. However,
between 1990 and 2003 Canada’s GHG emissions increased by 24%, well ahead
of even the United States, where the Bush Administration rejected the Kyoto
Protocol. Among Canadian provinces, Saskatchewan has had the highest increase
in GHG emissions, up 30% since 1990.
For the major political parties in Saskatchewan, climate change has been a
minor issue. Yet there are numerous scientific studies which all conclude that
in Canada the far north and the prairies will be the hardest hit by climate
change. Water sources are disappearing, as glaciers melt. Warmer temperatures
promise longer and deeper droughts. The boreal forest is threatened by fires
and insects. Weather will become more unstable. Farmers are already seeing
This is one area where the Green Party of Saskatchewan is clearly different
from the three major parties. Greens across Canada endorse the declaration
of the Climate Action Network for the Montreal conference calling for an alternative
strategy on energy:
(1) Strengthen energy conservation and fuel efficiency standards.
(2) Support clean, renewable, non-nuclear energy alternatives.
(3) End government subsidies for oil and coal corporations.
(4) Defend the world’s forests.
(5) Protect the most vulnerable, around the world and in Canada.
(6) Support a just transition for workers, First Nations and other communities
affected by the change to a sustainable energy system.
The major political parties have made it clear that they think the sponsorship
scandal is the key issue in this election. Nonsense. It is time to transcend
the current emphasis on personal greed and think about the future we are leaving
our children and grandchildren. We have a moral obligation to other people
and species who live in those areas of the world most affected by the impact
of climate change. Think again how you are going to vote in this election.
What is really important?
John W. Warnock