Friday, February 16, 2007

Harper flip-flops again

This time in a sensible direction although it remains to be seen if he's serious. I doubt it, given how often he has changed his position in the recent past.

The Conservative government said yesterday [Feb 15, 2007] it would produce a plan to comply with Kyoto if forced to, a dramatic shift from the previous day when it dismissed legislation passed by opposition MPs that would require Canada to meet the protocol's targets for reducing greenhouse gases.

The legislation, introduced by a Liberal MP, calls on the government to present a plan to Parliament within 60 days outlining how Canada will meet its Kyoto targets. It must still be approved by the Liberal-dominated Senate.

"If and when that becomes law, the government would respect it," Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the House of Commons. "I would point out that the bill has no plan of action in it. The bill gives the government no authority to spend any money to actually have a plan of action." ...

The Prime Minister's change in tone drew cautious praise from NDP Leader Jack Layton. ...

"We'll have to see in the budget. We'll have to see in the actions that he takes whether he's serious," he said. ...

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe said Quebec is now on track to meet Kyoto and the costs for the rest of the country should be borne by industry. ...

"I think the oil companies, as an example, have enough money to pay for what they are responsible for," he said.

"I think the question is more importantly how much it will cost if we don't face Kyoto. That would be the question." ...

See this page for the whole article and the strategies of the major parties to address climate change.

Chantal Hébert thinks there's more than meets the eye at first glance:

... Other parties have Dion exactly where they want him, stripped of his environmental edge in the lead-up to a possible election.

Nothing now distinguishes the Liberal bottom line on climate change from that of the NDP, the Bloc Québécois and the Green party.

Dion is as saddled to the moribund Kyoto battlehorse as Gilles Duceppe, Jack Layton and Elizabeth May. More so than any of them though, he could be crushed under its weight in the next election. ...

Bill C-288 ensures that the lacklustre Liberal performance on Kyoto will be as much a part of the picture of the next campaign as the Conservatives' belated conversion to a greener agenda. ...

By backing Kyoto to the hilt, Dion may have tilted the balance of credibility to Harper's advantage. The Conservatives could be one environmental package away from wrestling the upper hand from the Liberals. Such a package is expected to come at the end of March. ...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Mr Baird your green tie means nothing

The Tories have no plan to share with Canadians.

Is it because they don't know where they are going?

Baird displayed his ignorance again by referring to Russia with respect to the trading of UN approved emission trading projects. (Please, scroll down to the 5th paragraph at the previous link.) Of 163 UN-approved projects listed, not one is in Russia.

So why are you referring to Russia, again and again, Mr. Baird?

Mr Baird, you know nothing about the portfolio you were appointed to. Or worse, you know and you don't care.

It seems obvious why Harper appointed Baird Environment Minister and it is not because of any qualifications or knowledge he has, it would appear. He is known for his aggressive behaviour and he just gave another good example of it in Parliament yesterday.

Mr Baird, the problem of global warming is not going away by displays of aggressive behaviour, telling stupid little stories, no policy ideas and the wearing of a green tie.

Please keep in mind that as Minister of the Crown you have responsibilities for all Canadians, not just shareholders in oil companies.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Harper does not want to honour Canada's commitment

This speaks for itself:

Under the Kyoto accord, negotiated and ratified by the Liberals over Tory opposition, Canada is committed to a six per cent cut in greenhouse emissions from 1990 levels by 2012.

Experts say the target is likely not achievable through domestic action alone, but could be met through purchasing credits in UN-approved emissions-cutting projects abroad.

By some estimates this could cost about $10 billion by 2012. Harper has rejected the idea of international emissions trading, suggesting the money sent abroad would be wasted.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Mr Baird please stop fiddling

I find it very tiresome to listen to politicians telling us at every opportunity that the Liberals did nothing about fighting climate change. David Suzuki rightfully called it a disgrace that MPs of all parties are seemingly doing nothing but name calling and holding one another repsonsible for Canadian inaction with respect to fullfilling our treaty obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.

The fact is the treaty was signed by the Canadian government and thus is part of the law of this land. We - as represented by our elected representatives - must try to honour obligations we undertook voluntarily.

Please Mr Baird take note that it is exasperating to listen to you talk about the past with nothing much to say about what you and your "not-so-new-government" intend to do in concrete terms (other than the minor, mainly cosmetic, measures announced earlier).

It is appalling to listen to you spread disinformation about spending billions on emission credits bought from Russia, for instance. (Question Period CTV Feb 4, 2007) Have you not had the time to actually inform yourself about your portfolio? Or is it a deliberate political manouevre on your part to misinform Canadians?

About a year ago about 87 percent of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) went to just 4 countries – China, Brazil and South Korea. Russia is not even mentioned specifically. As I stated elsewhere on this blog, I have some misgivings about buying CDM credits but if it's the only way we can honour a treaty we signed, so be it. Above all, lets stick to the facts as far as possible.

Mr. Baird is it ignorance or deliberate misinformation?

Either scenario wouldn't be surprising in view of the fact that Mr Harper had this to say about climate change in 2002:

“Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations,” says the letter, signed by Harper.

“Implementing Kyoto will cripple the oil and gas industry, which is essential to the economies of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia . . .

“Workers and consumers everywhere in Canada will lose. THERE ARE NO CANADIAN WINNERS UNDER THE KYOTO ACCORD.”

He also blasted the treaty for targeting carbon dioxide — which he said is “essential to life” — and played down the science of climate change as “tentative and contradictory.”

Harper went on to promise a “battle of Kyoto” in hope of defeating the Chrétien Liberals’ efforts to implement the treaty legislation in the House of Commons."

The Prime Minister should also tell us what made him change his mind and when did that happen assuming that this is thhe case.

Friday, February 02, 2007

UN Report: Climate Change 2007

``Clearly we are endangering all species on earth, we are endangering the future of the human race,'' IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri said in an interview. ``We are probably beyond the stage where we could have called it urgent. I would say it is immediate,'' he said, referring to the need for governments to reduce emissions....

...``Climate Change 2007: the Physical Science Basis,'' is the first in a four-volume survey that involves more than 2,500 scientists from over 130 countries. ...

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Summary for Policy Makers. The full report will be published later this year.

The evidence is unequivocal

The clock is ticking

Rising sea levels

In the meantime our "new government" continues to fiddle.

"... Canadian environment minister John Baird said on Friday he could not guarantee Canada would meet its Kyoto emission targets. Canada is one of 35 rich nations which have accepted binding greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Kyoto Protocol but it is way off a target which Prime Minister Stephen Harper says is unachievable. ...

Baird told journalists the report, which predicted more warming at higher latitudes, showed Canada would be affected worse than most.

"We're seeing global warming happening at a greater rate in the northern hemisphere," he said. "We (in Canada) are going to feel a disproportionate burden."

... Canada's emissions are 33 percent higher than the target level it agreed to meet under Kyoto by 2012, and they are widely projected to rise further in the next few years.

He appeared to pour cold water on the prospect of Canada participating in carbon trading, whereby rich countries partly meet their Kyoto targets by funding emissions cuts in poor nations.

"We want to make these investments in Canada, not spend $5 billion (Canadian) in carbon credits on the other side of the world."

A day later John Baird said: "We are going to lead by example"

If it was only so.

Canada signed a treaty.

It should try to meet the targets in whatever way possible. I would also rather see wind generators built in Canada instead of India but if the latter is the only way we can meet our obligations, so be it.