Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Party like it's 1984

Let's have a look at what some Conservative cabinet ministers have been saying about the environment these days:

Under the former Liberal government we could have seen up to $600 per Canadian family in taxpayer money shipped overseas to countries like Russia and China with no accountability to the environment here at home.
-- Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment, May 8th Question Period
The Liberals were going to buy billions of dollars in international credits from Russia and China when we have our own air and water pollution problems right here at home.
-- Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment, June 8th Question Period
Not only does the old Liberal Party want to spend billions of dollars buying hot air credits in Russia, to add insult to injury it wants to impose a new carbon tax on Canadians to pay for Russia's hot air.
-- Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, June 12th Question Period
First off, let's clear up one thing: this "shipping money overseas" thing that our esteemed ministers are so hot under the collar about is nothing more and nothing less than an acknowledgement that our environment doesn't stop at our national borders. Each country that signed the Kyoto agreement has promised to limit their country's emissions to the levels described in the protocol. Realizing that countries don't always manage to keep their promises, though, the agreement also has a provision for those countries, like Canada, who screw up: they can buy "credits" from countries that managed to keep their word. The Conservatives don't like this idea. They'd rather demarcate the air over our heads along our land borders and claim responsibility for keeping only that portion of the atmosphere clean. It's a good thing we've got border guards up in the sky, working hard at keeping the riff-raff pollution out.

Now, the text of these statements is merely a bit lacking in the logic department, but the subtext is downright retro. Most developed countries have managed to meet their Kyoto targets, so there are plenty of other places that could have been held up as examples of who could buy Canada's emissions credits. The United Kingdom, for example, has already surpassed its target by 12.5%. Germany and France have overshot their targets as well, as have Iceland and New Zealand. Sweden has not only easily met its targets, but has committed itself to being entirely free of fossil fuels by 2020. Poorer countries that have managed to meet their targets include Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and the Ukraine.

Why not mention any one of those countries, instead of always demonizing China and Russia? Apparently the Conservatives not only want Canada to horde its own air, but they'd also like to take us back to the good old days of the Cold War.


ChinaLawBlog said...

I'm not saying we should be demonizing China, but China uses fuel so inefficiently that even relatively minor and inexpensive changes there could have a profound effect.

Loony in LotusLand said...

IP ask yourself this question: how did Canada get suckered into targets so extreme that even the dimmest amongst us knew would be impossible to reach? Chretien provided the pathetic "they will count our trees for credit" excuse and many people bought it. Our European friends, having signed on to achievable targets for themselves must have been laughing at us. Why then sign on at these levels? Let us follow the money.

IP the scientists, the environmental crusaders, the fund raisers, and the hangers on are just part of the "jobs for the boys" patronage group and the dollars involved are but chump change. There is nothing new here. No the monster is in the hot air credits to be paid to developing nations. Mo Strong, the man who created both CIDA and Kyoto and who has been residing in China since his involvement with the oil for food scandal popped up, has his finger prints all over this one. Here is the scam. The liberals were about to allocate ten billion dollars for the Kyoto agreement commitments, which the Conservatives have cancelled by the way. Next the money is funneled into CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) which up until the Federal Accountability Act was beyond the oversight of the Auditor General. Contracts are then awarded to loyal Canadian corporations in a fair competition ( are buying this so far, right?) to build windmills in the Gobi dessert to offset our domestic CO2 emissions. It doesn't matter if anyone even sees the windmills let alone demonstrate that they are functional but the money has been paid to the higher purpose and all Canadians will "feel warm" for meeting our Kyoto targets. Folks this is a win win for everyone. Besides the bribes needed to pay off foreign officials the bulk of the money stays right here in Canada, with Liberal friendly firms, and Canadians get to appear holier than though on the international stage.

running42k said...

This is an excellent post that should be required reading for everyone in Canada.

KevinG said...

Great post IP. For some reason, many people have not challenged the Rona Ambrose nonsense that 'no one else' will meet there targets and the targets are impossible to meet.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Actually, the funniest thing is that Rona and the CPC are now IN FAVOUR of emissions trading (LINK)

Emmissions Trading under the Tories: Terrible if it allows Canada to meet its Kyoto targets without doing anything, GRRRREAT if it allows private companies to meet their emissions targets without doing anything!

The mind reels.