A quote from the Suzuki Foundation
"Clearly the government must recognize that there are significant impacts on Canada associated with climate change. We note that, while this is obviously an international environmental problem, Canada makes a significant contribution since our per capita fossil fuel consumption is the second highest in the world. Current global fossil fuel consumption results in an additional 6.5 billion tonnes of carbon being added to the atmosphere every year(2). In 1997 Canada's annual greenhouse gas emissions were equal to 186 million tonnes of carbon. In other words the world average is one tonne of carbon per person per year, while the Canadian average is 6 tonnes per person per year. "
Bold and underline are mine.
My problem is that these people only look at one side of the carbon ledger. That is like you only adding up your expenses. There is of course the other side, in your case it's income form all sources. When you consider both sides, the picture improves a lot. I the case of Canada and Dr. Suzuki, the other side also makes it look better. The side he is missing is the amount of carbon we sequester (remove from the atmosphere). There are three major things that capture atmospheric carbon dioxide. These are water (lakes, oceans, puddles etc.), algae, and growing things. When it comes to water, Canada has it all, coastline on three of the worlds largest oceans, The largest fresh water lakes, Hudson's Bay and James Bay, and limitless puddles on the tundra. The best thing is that the colder the water, the more CO2 it dissolves and holds. Canada's waters are as cold as it gets. Canada produces enormous quantities of algae as well. But in reality, we sequester more CO2 in the daily operation of our economy than we produce burning fuels. If we combine just the forestry industry and grain farming, we are net negative CO2 emitters.
|Lumber hardwood (cubic metres)||1,641,900||1,717,100||1,815,800|
|Lumber softwood (cubic metres)||79,228,300||81,172,000||82,773,800|
|Printing and writing paper (tonnes)||6,114,000||6,706,000||7,020,000|
|Structural panels (cubic metres)||12,358,000||12,216,929||12,168,260|
|Wood pulp (tonnes)||23,461,325||25,310,287||26,238,429|
Al Wong, Arbokem Inc., Vancouver, Canada
ABSTRACT. The development of an agri-pulp newsprint have several important economic, ecological and social benefits. With diminishing wood fibre supply and practical limitation of paper recycling, fibre from agricultural cropping residues is the largest single type of uncommitted supply available for papermaking purposes in North America. At present, over 200 million tonnes are available annually. No expansion of agricultural land or new agricultural practices would be needed. On the social side, sale of agricultural cropping residues to an agri-pulp newsprint industry could provide an incremental income of 20 to 30% to the cereal grain farmers. There would be less demand on government subsidies for agriculture. (AK13533B)
Paper presented at the Newspaper Association of America Conference, Tysons Corner, Virginia, USA, October 30, 1995.
Assuming the density of wood is less than but close to 1 tonne per cubic meter this gives us around 300 million tonnes of high carbon content product produced per annum. That is based on government and industry statistics (note, not a hypothetical computer model). Dr. Suzuki's number of 186 million tonnes is more than offset. When you add all the other growing things in Canada along with the sinking effects of all that cold water, it establishes that Canada is one of the worlds greatest protectors of the atmosphere.
Now the only question that seems to remain is why a country most likely to benefit from warming and doing its part already for the worldwide atmosphere should bear disproportionate financial and social burdens to reduce even further our already favourable CO2 balance.