For the past week delegates from 195 countries have been meeting in Durban, South Africa in an attempt to keep alive the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse emissions. Meanwhile Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada’s conservative government, heard the singing from up on Mt. Crumpet and didn’t like it one bit. “I must stop Kyoto from coming.” he grumped. So he put a set of antlers on environment minister Peter Kent, tethered him to a sleigh laden down with Alberta oil sands, and road down into Whoville, oops, I mean Durban.
But there was no noctural theft of Who hash in this telling. Instead Kent went into the middle of the meeting and brazenly stated that Canada wouldn’t recommit to Kyoto because it wasn’t fair. As Kent’s representative Chris Day stated: “we need a single new climate change pact that covers all major emitters….” In other words, they wouldn’t agree to any pact unless developing nations were held to the same standards. (Incidentally, I admit it is not charitable to compare Kent to the Grinch’s puppy. You see, the puppy is a sympathetic character who has compassion for the Whos.)
It is important to consider how reprehensible this plea for “fairness” is. So consider this illustration. Picture a food truck coming to a starving village to distribute rice. The truck dumps the rice on a large tarp and while soldiers supervise the distribution the villagers scoop the rice into large sacks. The distribution begins at sunrise. However, due to various circumstances villagers arrive at different times.
Finally, at 8 AM the director of the mission takes the bullhorn and declares: “People who arrived at sunrise and now have bulging sacks can take one more scoop. But those who arrived late and only have bags half full can have three more scoops.”
Immediately one of those villagers who arrived at dawn (his own hut was directly next to the distribution site) and who has a bag bursting with food protests: “That’s not fair! We need a single standard that covers all villagers. And until we get it, I’ll keep scooping!”
Right. Keep stuffin’ your bag Mr. Harper. That’s the Christmas spirit.