News Flash, Dimmy. Too late.
And then when 'Jimmy do nothing' tried to selvage his reputation with photo-ops of his smugness next to his U.S. counterparts, they said no way. I can't imagine any delegates from any other country wanting to have their picture taken with Canada.
We are a laughing stock.
Prankster group Yes Men take credit for Canada climate hoax
Canwest News Service
December 14, 2009
COPENHAGEN -- The federal government was stung on Monday by a sophisticated hoax that made it appear the Canadian delegation had publicly committed to bold emission reduction targets and tens of billions in new aid to help African nations.
An American social advocacy group told media organizations they were responsible for the fake news releases that set Canadians at the Copenhagen climate conference abuzz late on Monday.
Activists calling themselves the Yes Men said they sent out an initial phoney news release, which laid out the supposed new Canadian targets and action plan.
That email was followed by others, one of which appeared to be a government indictment of the first hoax -- which stated Canada's standing with the international business community had been damaged, and the Canadian government would "seek the full measure of legal recourse against these criminals under Danish and international law."
Another hoax news release had the Ugandan delegation at the international climate change talks reacting with elation to Canada's news.
The news releases were posted on a fake Environment Canada website, and the first appeared on real-looking, but bogus, Wall Street Journal and United Nations Conference of the Party sites.
Falsely quoting federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice, the first hoax release said the Canadian government is setting binding emissions reductions targets of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 80% by 2050. The release said that is "in line with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and approaching the levels demanded by the African Group."
The release also committed Canada to eventually spending up to 5% of its Gross Domestic Product to help developing countries adapt to climate change and develop alternative energy sources.
The bogus news release said Canada would send Africa $13-billion in 2010, the first year of the commitment period.
In reality, Canada is still committed to reducing greenhouse gases by 20% below 2006 levels by 2020. And Ottawa has not yet made any firm funding commitment to developing countries.
Every day of the conference, which runs Dec. 7-18, Ottawa has been lambasted for not setting more ambitious targets and failing to meet Kyoto Protocol obligations.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Mr. Prentice dismissed the hoax.
"My focus is the negotiations," the minister said. "Certainly there are many things going on the periphery of those negotiations, and you know, some of them are undesirable. And there are other things that will continue to happen that will be undesirable, including press releases that are a hoax."
The hoax also led to a heated dispute between government spokesman Dimitri Soudas and Equiterre founder Steven Guilbeault, a climate change activist who Mr. Soudas accused of being the source of the hoax.
Mr. Guilbeault maintains he had nothing to do with it.
"I have nothing to hide," he said, adding he has been up front with his view that Canada has weak climate change policies. He has demanded an apology from the government.
Soudas responded to the hoax in an e-mail, saying "more time should be dedicated to playing a constructive role instead of childish pranks."
Gerald Butts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada, said the hoax is not a tactic he would endorse, but it's one that made him laugh.
"It's going to be pretty effective in pointing out what a gap there is between what the government is putting on the table and what people want," Mr. Butts said.
Speaking later in the day, Mr. Guilbeault said he is also offended because the Canadian government accused him of being unpatriotic, due to his criticism of its policies.
"It's scandalous," said Guilbeault. "It seems like we've lost freedom of speech in Canada."