Dear Canada, why do you let me down so?
I can distinctly recall being in grade seven and clipping news articles about the Kyoto Protocol for a science journal. Granted, I was a HUGE geek already and adored the idea of Canada emerging as a world leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving our planet (I am pretty sure the idea involved hearts and rainbows doodled around images of trees in the margins of my notebook) but the simplified version of the protocol that a teacher explained in laymen’s terms seemed easy enough…
I mean, we are a developed country with an above average standard of living and we theoretically should have been able to lower our emissions without severely compromising our growth or citizens’ lifestyles. Oh wait; there are those tar sands that we are exploiting out west- well, if it’s for the sake of progress, yes? Even with our failure at reducing our own national emissions, Canada had the opportunity to take advantage of Clean Development Mechanisms and Emissions Trading with other Annex countries to lower its’ overall ghg count (which in my opinion is kind of like using hack codes to further yourself in video games, but whatever).
Sigh. One has to admit that even though the U.S. did not commit at all, that it sounds better than promising reductions and not delivering. Not to mention the embarrassment of receiving “Fossil of the Year” repetitively at climate talks. We can blame our terrible performance on our southern neighbours, on our exhaustive oil sands or even on our conservative government that did not initiate the protocol but the fact remains: we suck and what are we going to do about it?