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Harper off to embarrass us on the international stage again on the environmental front.

Here we go again: Harper’s off to the G-8 to try to convince everyone with the Conservatives argument that they tried using in Bali that until everyone in the world agrees to a climate change agreement, none of the world should bother doing anything about climate change. This attitude wasn’t appreciated at Bali by the world, and it won’t likely be appreciated at the G-8, except of course, by Harper’s fellow climate-change feet dragger, the US.

This “all or nothing” approach was nearly what scuttled the Kyoto talks in Montreal back in 2005. It took the leadership of the conference’s chairperson, then-Environment Minister Stephane Dion, to rescue the talks and hammer out an agreement. That leadership on the environment is sorely lacking nowadays.

7 comments to Harper off to embarrass us on the international stage again on the environmental front.

  • I think more people will realize the environment versus the economy is a false dichotomy. A healthy environment makes a healthy economy possible.

    Bad air days prematurely kill 9000 Canadians a year in ON and QC, alone. An exponential number require medical care for cardio and respiratory problems caused by bad air. Bad air days keep employees off work and shoppers out of stores. Bad air costs our economy billions, annually.

    JB

  • Ted

    I think the economy (fuel costs) will overtake the environment in the next election.

  • Iím not sure what world your in, but, down here with the great unwashed its nail biting time, every fuel charge makes it harder and harder,

    I imagine my world isn’t too terribly different from yours. I’ve been self-employed since 1975. I do not currently have any employees but I have had as many as 8 working for me and I know what it means to meet a payroll.

    I don’t know much about your business except that you’ve got 4 vehicles, some employees and you’re costs are rising. Everybody’s costs are rising and they’ve been rising not due to a carbon tax but due to high worldwide oil prices. Why do you refuse to lay any blame on big oil and the current government, under which prices have nearly doubled?

    In the world I live in, there are grandchildren. I want my grandchildren to enjoy the planet as I have been able to do. At the rate we’re destroying it, however, that may not be possible. I want my grandchildren to live a healthy life, free from the chronic respiratory problems that plague so many of our kids today.

    The world I live in includes 3 billion poor bastards trying to survive on $2 a day. A good number of those poor folks are in India and China.

    In my world, I only buy what I need. I live in a modest home. I try to eat locally produced foods and shop at my neighbours’ businesses. Like most self-employed people, I am ineligible for unemployment benefits. I’ve never had a paid vacation. I’ve never had a drug plan, eyeglass plan, dental plan or pension plan.

    I’m probably a lot like you in those regards, BillG. You can decide whether to laugh or cry. As for me, I choose to worry about the future of the planet. I likely won’t be here 20 years from now but I’m willing to make sacrifices now for the sake of those who will be forced to carry on in this polluted cesspool we’ve made of God’s green Earth. It’s simply not fair to the next generations to saddle them with the responsibility of paying for our excesses.

    JB

  • Joseph Angolano

    BillG, great logic there.

    “We should have acted 20 years ago, even 10 years ago! Therefore, let’s do nothing now”.

    Wonderful. If it was right to do it then, it is just as right to do it now.

    The Green Revolution is almost here. Either get on the train before it leaves or your business will be as obsolete as the dodo.

  • billg

    Whoeee Jimbobby…I dont know whether to laugh or cry after reading that better then thou insult to me and every other business owner who have to meet payroll every Friday, because, its you and people like you who KNOW how I can do better and give me instrutions on how to do it. I can limit all the turns and drive thru’s I want…if people stop calling because every penny now matters what the hell difference does it matter? Our economy is about oil addiction, I know it…everyone knows it, and, the addiction has to end…I know it..everyone knows it, my comment was that taxing people to use fossil fuels, when we have no other choice is foolish and irresponsible. I’m not sure what world your in, but, down here with the great unwashed its nail biting time, every fuel charge makes it harder and harder, and now, a Liberal leader wants to me to pay and charge more without any thought as to how I can keep my business afloat. Now your next line is…”as your business dies a smarter business takes your place..a business that knows how to survive in these fossil fuel taxed times”….but that’s my issue, you dont know that…know one knows for sure what will happen in the next 5 years should Mr Dion and the Liberals come to power…its a guess at best, and, what a way to lead a country, hope and pray your idea works out for the best. Mr Dion’s idea puts my business and my employees at risk, it sets no reduction targets and sets no costs, it pits one region of the country against the other, and, it puts at risk a very fragile economy for what….0.00012 percent of the worlds GHG emissions! billg

  • Whooee! Well, BillG, all those price increases happened on Steve Harper’s watch. When asked about high fuel costs, your boy Steve said that Canadians will just have to get used to paying more. Leadership?

    Most of the G8 countries are working towards a low-carbon economy. The countries that ignore this shift away from unrestricted dumping of pollutants and GHG’s into our shared atmosphere will suffer, economically. When a new president takes over in the USA, there will be a change in climate change policy. Both McCain and Obama have vowed to do more than Harper’s American Idol.

    When the US takes action to reduce GHG output, you can bet your 4 trucks that there will be a carbon tariff on imports to the US. Carbon tariffs are typically applied on goods originating from countries that do not have domestic carbon taxes or cap’n’trade carbon reduction strategies. Unless we are proactive, Canada can expect to be penalized by protectionist US lawmakers.

    Using less fuel saves money. I’m sure, BillG, that with a fleet of 4 trucks on the road, you’ve been looking into how to minimize your costs. UPS has lots of trucks, too. They recently introduced a policy of no left turns. Drivers make only right turns and they save megamoney on fuel. You probably read about it.

    I’m sure you already have policies that forbid your employees from idling the trucks while they’re doing brief errands or so they can keep the heat or AC running. You’ve, no doubt, enacted policies that forbid your trucks from Timmie’s drive-thrus. You spend a few minutes each morning organizing and combining the trips your fleet needs to make with an eye to minimizing both miles traveled and employee hours logged in unproductive traffic.

    Just who do you think is profiting from your current problem of high fuel costs? Is it the treehuggers? The Greens? Stephane Dion? The Liberals?

    Are those the ones who created this problem for you? Are they the ones who presided over astronomical price increases?

    Big oil continues to receive an annual handout of $1.4 billion from you and me, the Canadian taxpayer. We pay them their grossly inflated price for fuel and we watch them post record-breaking profit figures, time and again. And, we keep electing governments that have doled out $40 billion to tar sands developers over the past 30 years.

    There are villains and profiteers preying on your business but don’t confuse those who are encouraging a withdrawal from oil addiction with the pushers who are only too happy to amorally profit from such dependence.

    JB

  • billg

    As I sit and read your comment a smile came over my face, because, on my desk are 4 different cover pages from 4 different suppliers of mine informing me of fuel charge increases..(again), added to this are my fuel costs for 4 service vehicles, customers that I did business with a year ago are shocked at my price increase’s. One employee was layed off after Christmas, and, it looks like one more will go soon, also, I will not even consider an apprentice this year because of the fine line between profit and loss. I didnt invent the fossil fuel economy, nor did I invent the service truck that runs on fossil fuels, and I sure as hell didnt invent the manufacturing plants that run on fossil fuels that supply me and keep my business running and employee’s employed.
    Leadership??…thats what we needed 20 years ago, hell even 10 years ago!! We are in full damage control now before this gets very ugly. What you and yours dont understand is that I pay tax’s, my business pays tax’s, the laid off employee pays tax’s…social program tax’s..welfare tax’s. You want a sped up clean GHG free Canada…your getting it sooner then you think..at the cost of people’s jobs and lives, but what the hell eh, you sleep well. I can probably steer my company through this, I’ll do what I’ve done the last couple of downturns and work alot of Saturdays and evenings..but keeping trucks off the road to reduce GHG emissions is not an option. Leadership??…ya we needed that 10 years ago and your guys failed me and millions of other Canadians. Sorry, Leadership is not about tinkering with an already fragile economy so you can pound your chest and tell the world that although we have made no GHG emission reduction dent in the world, look at how green we are. Thats not Leadership, thats irresponsible. billg

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