Sunday, November 19, 2006

Clueless in Kenya: Kyoto gab-fest avoids the central issue of how to reduce emissions
Last week, the mainstream environmental movement and much of the Canadian media piled on Environment Minister Rona Ambrose during the Kyoto talks in Nairobi. Her high offence? Failing to pay the proper lip service to Kyoto. Nothing is more important to this crowd than talking the talk.


The Minister’s response to these magpies was to throw parochial politics right back in their faces. For this, she’s winning my respect. Mainstream greens’ policy prognostications are, and always have been, basically useless. They’re good at media relations and that’s about it. Realizing this, Ambrose decided to at least try to score some partisan points. What the hell, airtime is airtime.

Ambrose wasn’t really wasting anyone’s time, since the conference was all about hyperbole and media stunts anyway. Totally absent was discussion of any credible plan, whether international or Canada-specific, to reduce emissions. This is odd, considering what I have been saying about the major emission reductions that have occurred in Ontario since this province’s nuclear program was restarted six years ago. (See my October 22 post.)

You might think that someone would mention the central role nuclear energy must play in emission-reduction efforts, especially in view of the International Energy Agency’s recently released report saying exactly that.

But you’d be wrong. A search of the Factiva and Lexis Nexis media databases reveals not a single story coming out of the Nairobi conference that even acknowledges that nuclear energy is at least part of the solution to the Kyoto problem.

This is disappointing proof that the Nairobi conference was all talk and no problem solving. To her credit, Ambrose recognized this and acted accordingly.

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