There have been a couple of intersecting stories recently relating to how our Federal Government is dealing with the science of Anthropogenic Global Warming.
Cynics say they are doing nothing about it, but I counter they are taking a strong, nuanced, and multi-faceted approach to the issue; one common to theocratic Petro-States the world round.
They are lying to the public, and then making sure no-one on their payroll can call them on the lie.
First the lie part.
You might remember last month when that most Orwellian of federal officials, Minister of “Environment” Peter Kent, suggested that Canada is making real progress, and is already half way to meeting our 2020 Greenhouse Gas targets as set out in Copenhagen Accord in 2009.
The Copenhagen target was based on emissions we put out in 2005. Here is the Government’s own data on GHG emissions (in Million tonnes of CO2 equivalents):
2005 (the date upon which targets are hung): 740 Mt
2010 (the most recent data provided by the government): 692 Mt
2020 (the target): 607 Mt
Now, I’m a geologist, which basically means I’m not so good at math, but I’m pretty sure 692 is NOT half-way between 740 and 607. But it gets worse.
Reading through the Ministry of Environment report, you can see that much of the reduction up to 2010 is a result of the recession that hit in 2008 (which I don’t see the Harper Government taking credit for…). Much of the rest is a result of this little nugget:
“ For the first time, the contribution of the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector to achieving Canada’s target is included in our projections.”
So, they have fudged the numbers going forward to include landuse changes. That may be a valid way to count net GHG impacts, but introducing it halfway through makes it look like something has changed when, in reality, nothing has!
Even with this fudging and the fortunate (in hindsight) global recession, the report does not project that Canada will meet its target of 607 Mt by 2020. See Table ES-1 where it shows emissions since 2010 have been creeping back up after the recession, and we will be putting out 720 Mt per year in 2020. This is a 2.7% decrease from 2005 numbers, but not half-way to 607 Mt. Not even close.
Of course, the problem with telling lies is that someone might call you on it. It is one thing if this is a political opponent (you can dismiss it as partisan bickering, who in Politics “owns” the truth?). It would be something different if those people work for the Government, especially if they are the people who collect this data. So in true theocratic Petro-State style, the Harper government has a three-prong attack against science:
Eventually, the facts hit the memory hole, and there is nothing to stop the buddies who funded your unlikely rise to power from re-writing the laws of the land for a singular, psychotic, self-destructive purpose.
How long can this go on?