Harper's Conservative government is reluctant to hurt Canada's booming oil sands sector, which is the country's fastest growing source of greenhouse gases and a reason it has reneged on its Kyoto commitments.
"To meet the targets under Kyoto for 2012 would be the equivalent of either removing every car, truck, ATV, tractor, ambulance, police car and vehicle of every kind from Canadian roads or closing down the entire farming and agriculture sector and cutting heat to every home, office, hospital, factory and building in Canada," Kent said.
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[In 2009] The Pembina Institute and the David Suzuki Foundation ... commissioned an in-depth study of federal and provincial government policies that would allow Canada to meet a "2°C target" to reduce GHG emissions to 25 per cent below the 1990 level by 2020, based on the science outlined above, as well as the federal government's current target.
The analysis shows that with strong federal and provincial government policies, Canada can meet the 2°C emissions target in 2020 and still have a strong growing economy, a quality of life higher than Canadians enjoy today and continued steady job creation across the country.
Rapa Nui, as Polynesians call the place, was settled during the 5th century AD by migrants from the Marquesas or the Gambiers arriving in big catamarans stocked with their usual range of crops and animals: Dogs, chickens, edible rats, sugar cane, bananas, sweet potatoes, and mulberry for making bark cloth. Easter Island proved too cold for breadfruit and coconut palm, but was rich in seafood: fish, seals porpoises, turtles and nesting sea birds. Within five or six centuries the settlers multiplied to about 10,000 people - a lot for 64 square miles. They built villages with good houses on stone footings, and cleared all the best land for fields. Socially, they split into clans and ranks: nobles, priests, commoners. And their may have been a paramount chief or king.
Like Polynesians on some other islands each clan began to honour its ancestry with impressive stone images. These were hewn from the yielding volcanic tuff of a crater and set up on platforms by the shore. As time went on the statue cult became increasingly rivalrous and extravagant, reaching its apogee during Europe's high middle ages while the Plantagenet kings ruled England.
Each generation of images grew bigger than the last. Demanding more timber rope and manpower for hauling to the 'ahu' or alters. trees were cut faster than they could grow, a problem worsened by the settlers rats, who ate the seeds and saplings. By AD 1400 no more tree pollen is found in the annual layers of the crater lakes. The woods had been utterly destroyed by both the largest and the smallest mammals on the island.
We might think that in such a limited place, were from the height of Terevaca islanders could survey their whole world at a glance, steps would have been taken to halt the cutting, to protect the saplings, to replant. We might think that as trees became scarce the erection of statues might have been curtailed and timber reserved for essential purposes such as boat building and roofing. But that is not what happened. The people who felled the last tree could see it was the last, could know with complete certainty that there would never be another, and they felled it anyway.
All shade vanished from the land, except the hard edged shadows cast by the petrified ancestors, whom the people loved all the more because they made them feel less alone. For a generation or so there was enough old lumber to haul the great stones and still keep a few canoes sea worthy for deep water. But the day came when the last good boat was gone. The people then knew there would be little seafood, and worse, no way of escape. The word for wood 'rakau' became the dearest in their language. Wars broke out over ancient planks and worm eaten bits of jetsam. They ate all their dogs and nearly all the nesting birds and the unbearable stillness of the place deepened with animal silences.
There was nothing left now but the moai, the stone giants who had devoured the land, and still these promised the return of plenty if only the people would keep faith and honour them with increase. "But how will we take you to the alters" asked the carvers. And the Moai answered that when the time came they would walk there on their own.
So the sound of hammering still rang from the quarries and the crater walls came alive with hundreds of new giants, growing even bigger now that they had no need of human transport. The tallest ever set on an alter is over 30' high and weighs 80 tons. The tallest ever carved is 65' long and more than 200 tons. Comparable to the greatest stones worked by the Incas or the Egyptians, except of course that it never budged an inch. By the end there were more than one thousand Moai. One for every ten islanders in their heyday. But the good days were gone. Gone with the good earth which had been carried away on the endless wind and washed by flash floods into the sea. The people had been seduced by a kind of progress that becomes a mania, an ideological pathology as some anthropologists call it.
When Europeans arrived in the 18th century the worst was over. They found only one or two living soles per statue. "A sorry remnant" in Cooke's words "small lean, timid and miserable." The Europeans heard tales of how the warrior class had taken power. How the island had convulsed with burning villages, gory battles, and cannibal feasts. Daggers and spearheads became the commonest tools on the island, horded in pits like the grenades and assault rifles kept by modern day survivalists. Even this was not quite the nadir.
Between the Dutch visit of 1722 and Cooke's 50 years later the people again made war on each other, and for the first time on the ancestors as well. Cooke found moai toppled from their platforms, cracked and beheaded, the ruins littered with human bone. We do not know exactly what promises had been made from the demanding moai to the people. But it seems likely that the arrival of an outside world in floating castles of unimaginable wealth and menace might have exposed certain illusions of the statue cult. Replacing compulsive beliefs with equally compulsive disenchantment.
Whatever its animus the destruction on Rapa Nui raged for at least 70 years, each foreign ship saw fewer upright statues, until not one giant was left standing on it's alter. The work of demolition must have been extremely arduous for the few descendants of the builders. Its thoroughness and deliberation speak of something deeper than clan warfare, of a people angry at their reckless fathers, of a revolt against the dead.
... Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away
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