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Followers, not leaders.

In the Toronto Star today, we have an article on how Harper and his Conservative government are probably going to be dragged kicking and screaming by Obama’s new administration into actually having a credible climate change fighting plan on the environment. In the midst of that article there is an excerpt which shows not only have the Conservatives been laggards on fighting Greenhouse Gas emissions, but they’ve barely bothered to fund alternative fuels research, and Canada will probably pay economically and competitively against the US (and probably other countries) because of it:

Compare the scope and ambition of Washington and Ottawa’s respective plans: Obama has promised $150 billion over 10 years to push the private sector toward clean technologies like solar and wind power and clean coal; the Conservatives pledged $700 million over three years in last year’s budget to turn Canada, in its words, from an energy superpower to a ‘clean-energy superpower.’

The U.S. is going to lean on clean technology and they are about to make it an economic issue and a fiscal stimulus issue, and they are about to clean our clocks competitively in those sectors,” said one Ottawa lobbyist.

It seems to me that Ottawa under Harper and the Conservatives did not wish to fund these initiatives too strongly, either because they didn’t really believe in the technology, or else funding them too much would imply that Ottawa acknowledged that the current oil and gas industry is dirty, and climate change was a serious problem because of it. Because of their short-sightedness and ideological opposition to the entire concept of climate-change, we’re now going to be in a competitive hole. Another “brilliant” move by the so-called brilliant strategist and economist that is our current Prime Minister. He’s been so concerned with preserving his tar-sand baby, that he completely ignored and overlooked the clean technologies that will be at the forefront in the next decade.

One other thing; I see that the Conservatives and some of their fans still hold out hope that Obama will somehow overlook the dirty tar-sands in any climate change agreement in exchange for guaranteed supply. Here’s an article at the environmental website DeSmogBlog on why that might be unlikely from Obama. In the meantime, major environmental groups in Canada and the US are trying to counter the “supply seduction” Harper and Prentice will try on Obama by lobbying the new US Administration on why exempting the tarsands from any climate change agreement between Canada and the US would be counter-productive to fighting climate change; as mentioned at Desmogblog, they’ve sent a letter to the Obama administration urging them to reject any tarsands exemption.

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1 comment to Followers, not leaders.

  • Rolltide

    No need to suck up to the Americans on this issue. What we need is a policy that is in the best interest of Canadians

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