When it comes to global warming, trust Stephen Harper to say whatever suits him at the moment. Even with Canada's worst polluters, his beloved Tar Sands, he won't tolerate any talk about hard caps on emissions. There, the formula is "intensity based" targets. That's a scam. What he means is cleaning up bitumen extraction and processing - a little bit - while increasing overall extraction and processing - quadrupling or even quintupling operations. The net result - an enormous jump in GHG emissions from Big Oil at the Tar Sands.
When it comes to global warming and Stephen Harper - that's what you're dealing with. Fighting climate change will not come at the expense of Tar Sands expansion and that's the bottom line.
In order to make any sense out of what Harper says elsewhere, you need to keep his Tar Sands perspective in mind.
On the weekend, Harpo made Canada the pariah of the Commonwealth (alright, alright - we're still not up there with Zimbabwe or Pakistan, but... ) by scuttling a resolution calling for binding caps on greenhouse gas emissions.
Harper, being the sleazeball he is, wasn't candid enough to admit that he would not tolerate emissions caps because that would screw up his Tar Sands. Steve knows that sort of honesty could cost him big at home. Instead he resorted to the tried and true tactic of all swindlers - distraction.
Steve looked for another way out and found it - in India. He said the rest of the Commonwealth is flat out wrong in wanting developed nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions first. Harpo smugly described his knuckledragging as "the only right position."
"If we are all to believe that climate change is a major problem caused by greenhouse gas emissions then we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the only way we can do that is if all major emitters reduce their emissions. It's that simple, so we are not going to settle for anything less." - Harper
It is indeed "that simple" to a real con man. What's simple about it is that it tells it tells the emerging economies that, henceforth, we intend to preserve our per capita emissions differential. That means that every citizen of Canada is going to be entitled, indefinitely, to generate greenhouse gas emissions five or six times that of every citizen of India. Why? Because we're Canadians, civilized, still mainly white folks - and they're not. Why? Because we're already accustomed to monster SUVs and 4,000 square foot houses with three car garages - and they're not.
Then again, remember, this is a con - a distraction. Stephen Harper is not prepared to tolerate hard caps in any case. It's all about "intensity based" targets for him, so all this business about China signing on to this or India signing on to that is just smoke and mirrors.
That, my friends, is what Stephen Harper is all about - and he's laid it right out at your feet. He wants a return to the British Raj. That's what this is all about - White Man's Burden.