Canada has flat-out rejected the proposals pushed at the United Nations‘ annual global-warming summit in South Africa. This could be the start of a trend of countries dumping environmentalist fashion statements and returning to rational energy policies. If only the United States would do the same.
As the U.N. conference heated up in Durban, Canada poured cold water on attempts to extend the Kyoto Protocol limiting carbon-dioxide emissions before the treaty’s Dec. 31, 2012, expiration date. “Kyoto is the past,” Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent told reporters in Ottawa. On Monday, he clearly stated that his government had no interest in renewing the treaty.
Much has changed since Kyoto took effect in 1997. Escalating energy prices have made Canada’s vast oil reservoirs a valuable resource for a hungry U.S. market. The existing pact obligates countries to cut their carbon-dioxide emissions 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by the end of next year. Canada is 17 percent above this target, partially because of its growing oil industry. Failure to meet treaty requirements would force the country to purchase carbon-dioxide emissions offsets at the cost of billions of dollars. Rather than fill the pockets of the carbon charlatans peddling dubious greenhouse-gas credits, Canadians can save some loonies by opting out.
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It's been said that for many, global warming is the end-time theology of the religion that is secular humanism. However, it appears to be going the way of the notion of a pre-tribulation Rapture. Slick books, motion pictures and media campaigns aside, neither idea has shed its detractors and skeptics. To the contrary, the failure of some dire predictions to materialize has bred all the more skepticism and disbelief. And the more their adherents fret with their end-is-nigh prognostications, the sillier they look when they're shown to be wrong.