Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another open letter to Stephen Harper on his way to Copenhagen

Dec 16, 2008

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

1600 90th Ave. SW
Calgary, Alberta
T2V 5A8

SJ: Canada should be a leader in the Copenhagen UN Climate Summit

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

I am writing to ask you to be a leader in the climate talks in Copenhagen. Recent news reports indicate that your government would like to weaken Canada’s GHG commitments by giving special treatment to the oil and gas industry. This is clearly not realistic - the oil industry can’t opt out of Canada’s greenhouse gas commitments any more than Canada can opt out of the international community. There is one atmosphere, and like it or not, we all share it, regardless of nationality, political party or industry affiliation.

You may think of this as a regionally polarized issue and expect you can motivate your base of support in Alberta through shunning international agreements. This may be true in some cases, but this one is too important to play politics. As for me, I am a third generation Albertan who is also second generation in the oil and gas industry. In my career I had the opportunity to work on several projects in the tar sands and CO2 sequestration at Weyburn - as well as several years working internationally. Unfortunately, the current policy direction of the Alberta PC government brought me to the point where I could no longer work in the industry and keep my integrity. Please bear in mind that even Premiere Peter Lougheed, one of my personal heros, called for a moratorium on future oil sands development back in 2006.

In summary, you have the obligation to represent all Canadians - not just the ones you agree with. If you continue to block progress at Copenhagen, you will damage Canada’s reputation on the world stage and ultimately risk international tariffs and sanctions if the rest of the developed world reaches a positive consensus. You are leading Canada at a critical time - your legacy will be defined by the actions you take at this moment. Please move forward to a sustainable and equitable future rather than attempting to undermine a growing consensus while defending a clearly unsustainable past.


Keith Hirsche
1161 Chapman Road, Cobble Hill BC
V0R 1L7
(250) 929 5586

cc: Jack Layton Leader NDP
Gilles Duceppe Leader BQ
Elizabeth May Leader Green Party
Michael Ignatieff Leader Liberal Party

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