February 08, 2008

What's the carbon footprint created from burning a heretic at the stake?

This would be hilarious if he wasn't actually quite serious:

David Suzuki has called for political leaders to be thrown in jail for ignoring the science behind climate change.

At a Montreal conference last Thursday, the prominent scientist, broadcaster and Order of Canada recipient exhorted a packed house of 600 to hold politicians legally accountable for what he called an intergenerational crime. Though a spokesman said yesterday the call for imprisonment was not meant to be taken literally, Dr. Suzuki reportedly made similar remarks in an address at the University of Toronto last month.

The proposal has lit up many conservative blogs since it was first reported by the McGill Daily on Monday.

Addressing the McGill Business Conference on Sustainability, hosted by the Faculty of Management, Dr. Suzuki's wide-ranging speech warned against favouring the economy to the detriment of the ecology -- the tarsands in Northern Alberta being his prime example.

"You have lived your entire lives in a completely unsustainable period," he told students and fans. "You all think growth and [climate] change is normal. It's not."

Toward the end of his speech, Dr. Suzuki said that "we can no longer tolerate what's going on in Ottawa and Edmonton" and then encouraged attendees to hold politicians to a greater green standard.

"What I would challenge you to do is to put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there's a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they're doing is a criminal act," said Dr. Suzuki, a former board member of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

"It's an intergenerational crime in the face of all the knowledge and science from over 20 years."

The statement elicited rounds of applause.

"He sounded serious," said McGill Tribune news editor Vincci Tsui, who covered the event. "I think he wanted to send home the message that this is very crucial issue."

When asked for further comment, Dan Maceluch, a spokesman for Dr. Suzuki, said that he did not mean the statement to be taken literally.

"He's not advocating locking people up, but he is pulling his hair out."

How a law concerning climate-change denial could be enforced baffled at least one leading criminal-law expert. "We used to have an offence of spreading false news," said Kent Roach, the Prichard-Wilson Chair of Law and Public Policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

"But that was struck down by the Supreme Court."

Yet there could be a better blueprint for Dr. Suzuki's legal scenario.

The Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, a Liberal-sponsored private member's bill that passed and was given Royal Assent last year, legally requires the Conservative government to abide by the international pact's short-term environmental targets.

In the event that conditions are not met, government officials are held liable.

"Every person who contravenes a regulation made under this Act is guilty of an offence punishable by indictment or on summary conviction, as prescribed by the regulations," the act reads, "and liable to a fine or to imprisonment as prescribed by the regulations."

The act adds that there are further legal measures in the event of subsequent and continuing offences, but does not specify the penalties.

Blasphemy against St. Alban will not be tolerated.

Except how does Apollo fit into the cosmological theology of the Gaia worshipers? Angry male god, anybody?

Posted by Steve-O at February 8, 2008 03:32 PM | TrackBack

You know, it seems that many people have forgotten that the greenhouse effect requires an input of, um, like, light and stuff from the big nuclear plasma ball up in the sky.

And some people seem to think nothing changes on Gaia or in the Gaiaverse if people left it alone.

I think there is a big overlap of the these two groups.

Posted by: OrgleFan at February 8, 2008 03:54 PM

"You all think growth and [climate] change is normal. It's not."

Yup. The earth had the exact same climate for 4.5 billion years, up until the first man made the first fire.

Posted by: rbj at February 8, 2008 04:07 PM

"You all think growth and [climate] change is normal. It's not."


Posted by: stillers at February 9, 2008 03:03 AM

Apollo isn't really the god of the Sun - not to the Romans he wasn't anyway. He is the archer of the gods. (Helios was the sun god.)

You could entitle this "Gratuitous Roman Theology Posting."

Speaking of theology, I am surprised not see something about the dust-up in London over a certain cleric and some remarks about Sharia law in the UK. Certain cleric being of the Anglican persuasion.

Posted by: Zendo Deb at February 9, 2008 09:09 AM