Thursday, January 18, 2007

A little break

Maribo is on hiatus while I'm out doing some field work. It'll be up and running again in a few weeks, with more tales of climate science, coral reefs and the politics of climate change.


Friday, January 05, 2007

A fresh start in Canada?

The new year has provided Canadians with a new Environment Minister, a mea culpa from the Prime Minister on climate change, not to mention a few temperature records and, if you're from the east, a serious case of snow and ice withdrawal. More on that last bit later.

It is hard not to wonder whether the previous Environment Minister, Rona Ambrose, was a sacrificial lamb. Lay aside the lack of qualification and actual performance aside. The Minister had an impossible job: developing a new climate policy that would please her own party required her to state that the Kyoto targets were unachievable (without spending billions on credits overseas), which was bound to enrage the opposition parties and a large portion of the public. Given the stance of the government, this was going to be a disaster no matter who was in charge.

The cabinet shuffle could be seen as a defeat for the sitting government. Or it could have been the plan all along: someone takes the bullet, is then rewarded by moving to a new (and more desirable, in some eyes) cabinet post, and a new minister is appointed that can then assemble a real policy.

Either way, let's hope the new year brings a serious Canadian climate policy with emphasis on both short-term actions and long-term goals.