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Pretending you care

The Mound of Sound asks a good question at his blog:

The intransigence of Washington and Ottawa is so transparent and disingenuous why did Baird and his American counterpart, Harlan Watson, even go to Bali at all?

He then attempts to answer it by suggesting it was to sabotage efforts by the international community to reach an agreement. I don’t doubt that to be the case. Indeed, we see the US has now publicly announced it will come up with its own plan rather then submit to whatever comes out of the Bali talks. That’s one part – but the other more important issue is I think domestic consumption. To not go would be bad public relations for the Cons. and if anything can be said about them, they’re very self-conscious about their image. They’re there to try and put on an appearance of caring what happens to the environment to a Canadian public who are rather skeptical about that, and who want Canada to be leading the way on fighting climate change, according to a recent poll.

Blowhard Baird’s job is to obfuscate and try to fool Canadians into believing that’s happening, when his main goal is to do domestic PR for the Cons, as well as to try and sabotage the Bali talks, which can be seen from the totally contradictory positions Canada is taking at the conference. That also answers Darren’s question to Baird at his blog – they have no plan to convince other countries to meet binding emissions targets; they’re just trying to ensure the Bali conference fails so that they won’t look foolish when the world has set binding emissions targets and Canada is virtually isolated in refusing to go along with those.

Stephane Dion and the environmentalist groups are going to be busy (and in the environmentalists case, have already been busy) in Bali refuting all the nonsense and bull coming from Baird.

3 comments to Pretending you care

  • Whooee! It’s all in the framing. Harper and Baird have been largely successful in framing climate change action as "environment versus economy." "Whaddya want? Polar bears or a roof over your head and food on the table?" As long as a large number of Canadians buy into that erroneous concept, we will see lukewarm support for meaningful action. The Con’s are relying on greed as a motivator and as long as they can keep people believing that GHG reduction will put them into personal financial risk, their reliance on our baser nature will prevail.

    They’re correct in pegging personal financial well-being as a prime motivator. That will not change. They’re quite incorrect and extremely short-sighted when they claim that environmental action will destroy our economy. The opposite is true.

    If we fail Mother Earth, our economy will fail. Katrina-like disasters cost the economy billions. So do brush fires. So Atlanta-style droughts. Climate change is already taking a bite out of western economies but we still won’t admit it or try to stop it. It would cost too much, they say.

    Nicholas Stern’s report seems to be gathering dust. If the Grits wanna make headway on the green file, they need to start selling those megatonnes of money that Dion spoke of last year. They need to demonstrate how Harper’s policies are damaging to both the environment and the economy. Harper and Baird’s Earth-versus-Wealth frameset needs to be broken.

    We are quickly reaching a tipping point wrt GHG’s and climate change remediation. The intransigence of greedy nations may stall things long enough that it won’t matter what we do. Even lifelong idealistic environmental advocates (I’m thinking of myself) are beginning to move from a position of remediation to one of preparation for survivalism. If, as is likely, Baird’s stall tactics are successful, greed will have triumphed and our future generations will despise us for our negligence. Money will continue talking until there’s no longer a breathable atmosphere.


  • Scott:

    Baird made a low key trip to Washington a few weeks ago, to discuss climate change moving forward.  It’s just common sense to think Baird was fully aware of the American’s position, which makes our disingenious stance all the more revealing.

  • quaeitur

    It’s increasingly obvious why Harper was so determined to goad the Liberals into setting a precedent by forcing an election over the Throne Speech on Oct 24.  Even had his ‘war room’ all set and ready to go.  If he had succeeded, the election would have been held about the end of Oct. or early Nov., a month before Bali; and it would have been about Harper’s ‘leadership’ tactic, not about the very real issue of climate change. 
    Even with another Harper minority, the opposition would be unable now to force another election over his  stand at the Bali talks. 
    But because the Liberals didn’t take the bait, the date of the next election will be decided by them, not Harper, and will be about climate change, not ‘leadership’. 
    I just don’t think voters are as dumb as Harper thinks they are. 
    Harper – not so much the ‘brilliant strategist’ as the too-clever-by-half dictator hoisted by his own petard.

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