Al Gore Spouts Hot Air About Canada

Al Gore is unhappy with Canada’s proposal to cut back on greenhouse-gas emissions. The former Vice President turned filmmaker/activist feels that the country should do better and called the strategy a “complete and total fraud.” His comments are based on the United Nation’s Kyoto Protocol, which seeks to cut world emissions by industrialized nations. The criticism did not set well with John Baird, the Canadian Environment Minister.

Gore claims that the plan does not do enough to reduce hazardous gases. Canadians will spend just under $10 billion (CAD) to regulate various industries and move closer to the reduction goal of 150 megatonnes by the year 2020. The policy also seeks to cut air pollution by the industrial sector in half by 2015. However, Canada admits that the plan will not meet the Kyoto Protocol goals.

The current government also set its sights on the auto industry. Starting in 2011, the fuel efficiency of cars and light trucks will be regulated. In addition, Canada will cleanup indoor air quality and boost efficiency of products that consume energy.

In a rebuttal against the former Vice President’s comments, Minster Baird said, “The fact is our plan is vastly tougher than any measures introduced by the administration of which the former vice president was a member.” He scrutinized Gore’s years in office as a Senator and Vice President claiming that he did little to help the climate other than lip service. Minister Baird pointed out that under the previous liberal-run government, greenhouse gas increased rather than decreased. Mr. Gore was less critical of Canada then.

Minster Baird has a point. During the Clinton Administration, the Senate passed the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98). They recognized a problem with the Kyoto Protocol created by the United Nations. The treaty did not address what measures developing countries would take to reduce their emissions. It only targeted industrialized nations and did nothing to curb emissions from countries such as China, India, and Mexico.

Al Gore has also been the subject of scrutiny after his personal electric bill made front-page news. The Tennessee Center for Policy Research released a report in February 2007 highlighting the electrical use of the Gore mansion in Belle Meade. According to the report, the Nashville Electric Service recorded that the home used more electric in one month than the average American uses in a year. The report also cited that Gore’s natural gas bill averaged $1,080 per month in 2006. After the release of the information, the Center received death threats and other harassing messages.

Nobody doubts that the earth’s inhabitants need to be more mindful of their treatment of the planet. The problem is that few of the outspoken critics have carried their words into their personal lives. The public finds it hard to make sacrifices when public figures waste the very resources they claim to protect. Lawmakers and celebrity activists need to do more to set examples, starting with giving up private jets and limos as their primary means of transportation.

The theory of man’s single-handed destruction of the earth’s climate has been a hotly contested one. Scientists are divided on the issue. Last month, NASA reported that Mars is also experiencing a rapid climate change. Scientists are at odds, once again, over the cause. Some believe that the changes for both planets are due to the sun.

Despite their differences, Minster Baird has extended an offer to meet with Mr. Gore so the two can discuss Canada’s plan. So far, Mr. Gore has not responded. Perhaps the loud buzzing of the electric meters in his home caused him to miss the invitation.

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