Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Harper's Hot Air on Climate Change

If there's one lesson Harper has learned from his Big Brother in the White House, it's that talk is cheap. He's also learned the value of saying anything and doing something else.

Jeffrey Simpson points out in the Globe & Mail that Harper's performance at the G8 summit was just another load of Harper horseshit:

"Some time in mid-2009, the Americans will be ready to talk seriously inside the United Nations negotiations format. The talks are supposed to culminate in an international agreement at a conference in Copenhagen that December, but no one will be surprised if that date slips into 2010.

...This is just as well for Canada, whose federal government has advanced a position in the international arena that cannot be achieved, as everyone in that arena following climate change knows. Extra time will be needed for Canada to bring some credibility to its incoherent position. Otherwise, it will be accurately labelled as a climate-change miscreant, just as it was in the years after it ratified Kyoto, when it compiled the worst climate-change record of any signatory.

Canada's problem is that the Harper government's target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cannot be achieved. It is arithmetically impossible for Canada to reduce its emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, as the government proposes, while Alberta's emissions are set to rise by 20 per cent. Nor will it be possible to achieve a 50-per-cent reduction target by 2050, as Mr. Harper pretends, if Alberta remains wedded to a policy calling for a mere 14-per-cent reduction by then.

The Harper government knows this. So do other countries' negotiators. They can see through the veneer of Canada's position. But the government is unwilling to publicly state this self-evident proposition in case it irritates people in Alberta, its political base.

Mr. Harper can claim that the G8 summit inched toward a stronger common commitment to attack global warming. But if pressed by knowledgeable people, he could not plausibly claim that Canada is inching toward a common federal-provincial position to allow this country to meet Mr. Harper's own target."

We've seen this before from Harper. For example, when he pushed through the extension of Canada's military mission to Afghanistan until 2011, he did absolutely nothing to make it remotely possible for us to leave by that deadline. That would have required negotiating with NATO and Washington - exchanging the extension for a binding commitment from Brussels and Washington to come up with a replacement force to take our place when the mandate expires.

Harper assures Canadians that 2011 is it while he knows that the very measures needed to allow us to leave will not be taken, certainly not by him and, therefore, not by NATO or the US either.

So there's no reason to be surprised that Harper would crow about the G8 agreement as a "breakthrough" in the fight against global warming. It's a crock and he knows it.


Anonymous said...

Your just discovering this now? Liberals and Conservatice have the same policy...say alot and accomplish little. Its part of being a Canadian government. Poverty, Child Poverty, Drug Addicton, Health Care, Natives, Immigration. All these issues have had billions thrown at them and they still seem to get bigger every year, but, from Trudeau on, there isnt a PM around that wont pose for a photo op and claim that we are on the right track, so, why would you think this wouldnt be same old same old. billg

Anonymous said...

You Libs had 12 years to do something...anything...and you did nothing but posture. And now you criticize the Conservatives? Geeeeeeeez.

Hypocrites, thy name is Liberal.

The Mound of Sound said...

Why are you rightjobs so afraid of discussing the problem, what needs to be done, and, especially, the government of the day. 12-years ago, global warming wasn't on my radar or yours - if you can be honest enough to admit it. There was no international awareness of it either. The data, as anyone not too busy throwing up smokescreens will know, has only gelled in the past few years. Remember our Furious Leader hisself, old Lard Arse, derided the whole business as a "socialist scheme" just a few years back. You knuckledraggers will dig in your heels and piss down your boots before you'll ever come square on this one. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

MOS.....David Suzuki is known for his mid 70's radio and CBC TV "The Nature of Things"...issues regarding the environment then. I used to read "Organic Gardening" magazine from 1971 which had many articles about the same topics we are still talking about today. That's thirty-seven years ago. The government also knew about enviromental problems then as well. So please don't insinuate people have only become aware of the enviroment and its problems in the past 12 years. It may have acquired the title "global warming" in the past twelve years but it has the same smell since the seventies and before that in Europe. And yes, you are correct when you say, we cannot go back to the past but need to begin from today which Mr. Harper has no intention of doing. So what do we need to do? We need to forget whether we are Liberal or Conservative or nothing. This problem is everyones and arguing about who did what to whom does not address the issue. We need to get off our duff and protest this government on this issue. A. Morris

The Mound of Sound said...

Good points, AM. Unfortunately there wasn't the scientific or political consensus on AGW necessary to take it seriously until just prior to the creation of the IPCC. Even their early findings were less than clear, a result of the denial community and the consensus nature of the panel.

Be that as it may, we do need to get past politics on this. No question. In Canada, as in other nations, there is an enormous amount at stake on this issue and those affected move to protect their direct interests, not society's, not mankind's. Hence all the stonewalling and the enormous disinformation campaign being waged by Big Oil, Big Coal and others. The Fossil Fuelers don't give a tinker's dam for the deaths and suffering they're causing the Third World. Sure they're fighting a rearguard action but every day they block effective remedial measures can be directly seen in their balance sheets.

LeDaro said...

Your heading this post is very appropriate. It is nothing more than hot air and some bull manure.