Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Climate deal reached in Durban! edition)
This week's featured story, which is breaking news, comes from Reuters.Looks like my celebration was premature, as a couple days later, Canada pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol. I'll let Next Media Animation tell the story.
U.N. climate talks seal legal pact on global warming
U.N. climate change talks agreed on a pact on Sunday that for the first time would force all the biggest polluters to take action to slow the pace of global changing.Now, that's a great Holiday present for the environment!
The deal follows years of failed attempts to impose legally-binding, international cuts on emerging giants, such as China and India.
The developed world had already accepted formal targets under a first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, which runs out at the end of next year, although the United States had never ratified its commitment.
After days of emotional debate, the chairwoman of the United Nations climate talks urged delegates to approve four packages, which have legal force.
Canada is withdrawing from the Kyoto Protoco on climate change, Environment Minister Peter Kent said Monday, abandoning its 1997 commitment to cut emissions 6% below 1990 levels by 2102 and cementing the transformation of the country's image as a global leader in the fight against climate change into what critics are calling a "climate renegade."Remember what I wrote in Next Media Animation on the Keystone XL pipeline?
By 2009 Canada's emissions were 17 percent above 1990 levels. Canada faced nearly $14 billion in penalties for failing to reduce greenhouse emissions if it had remained a signatory to the Kyoto accord.
The Kyoto Protocol was signed by the Liberal Party, and Canada's current Conservative government has made it clear since 2006 that it had no intention of honoring the Kyoto pact, in part because it does not cover major emitters of greenhouse gases such as the US and China.
I've decided that protesting the concept of the Keystone XL pipeline is futile to the point of being less than useless, as the Canadians would just sell the oil to the Chinese, something the video points out. Therefore, opposing the pipeline as a way of slowing down the exploitation of one of the most carbon dioxide emitting ways of getting oil out of the ground is a waste of time. It's going to be extracted one way or another and opposing the pipeline means that China will benefit from it instead of the U.S. Meanwhile, the global commons will still suffer.I wrote that before the Canadian decision to abandon Kyoto, which means I shouldn't have been surprised with the decision. What Canada did was perfectly consistent with what I wrote back in November. They're bound and determined to extract the oil out of the Alberta tar sands and to Hell with the rest of the planet.
Speaking of "to Hell with the rest of the planet," Rick Perry chimed in on Keystone XL.
He was at it again Wednesday, talking about the need to build the Keystone Xl pipeline that would link Canada’s oil sands development in Alberta with the U.S. Gulf Coast.A friend of mine posted that quote on his Facebook wall as evidence that Rick Perry is that stupid. I agreed.
“Every barrel of oil that comes out of those sands in Canada is a barrel of oil we don’t have to buy from a foreign source,” Perry told a campaign stop in Clarinda, Iowa.
Does he not know that Canada is a sovereign country?
Not only is Perry dumb, but he's trying to use "foreign" as a dog whistle. Canada may be another country, but it's not "foreign" in the same way that Venezuela, Russia, Nigeria, Indonesia, or Saudi Arabia are.My friend thought that I was giving Perry too much credit. I decided to agree, and left the conversation with a joke, which I later tweeted.
Yeah, Perry really is Bush without the brains.It turns out that's not a completely original joke.
A zombie is walking along the street in Austin, moaning "Brains." It sees Rick Perry and turns around.
However, it is the first time it's been applied to Rick Perry, or the other GOP candidates, as far as Google and I can tell. Hey, I'm an environmentalist, I recycle.