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Harper goes on his latest Arctic PR tour to show he's really serious about arctic sovereignty.

Your latest attempt by Harper to show how “tough” he and the Conservatives are on the Arctic:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will arrive in Iqaluit on Monday as part of an Arctic trip that will include observing an anti-submarine warfare exercise. The prime minister will board the frigate HMCS Toronto on Wednesday to observe Operation Nanook, a military exercise intended to help demonstrate Canada’s sovereignty in the eastern Arctic near Baffin Island where Russian and American subs have long prowled.

Hopefully, the military folks will point out the distinct lack of ice and icebergs in the area caused by climate change (where Arctic ocean ice is melting toward another dangerously […]

Harper about to show again to the world we’re dinosaurs on climate change.

This isnt surprising at all, but it continues to be embarrassing:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper appears set to clash with European Union leaders over Canada’s climate change efforts at an annual summit.. A draft version of the communiqué to be signed in Prague tomorrow indicates Canada is resisting a push to bring its greenhouse gas fighting efforts into line with those of the vast majority of nations. European Union leaders decided to insist on a summit declaration that recognizes 1990 as the baseline year to measure greenhouse gas emission reductions. That date is the global norm as well as the date recognized by the majority of Canadian provinces and municipalities […]

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 […]

Out of touch on the environment file (but being forced to deal with it).

If you’re Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, you should be able to figure out you’re starting to become rather isolated in the world on the climate change issue when Obama is about to bring in a hard target cap-and trade system, and when even certain Republicans are calling for controls on GHG emissions, and horror of horrors, they’re advocating doing it in a way that sounds like its almost an exact carbon copy (no pun intended) of Stephane Dion’s proposed Green Shift:

Obama has also said that he intends to implement a cap-and-trade system that would include hard caps and aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent […]

Just the facts

I don’t know why this is even necessary to keep saying, but since we have such a right-wing and global warming denalist noise machine out there, I guess we’ll have to; climate change is happening and real, whether its snowing a lot in Victoria and Vancouver or not, and climate change is backed by scientific data:

According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the 2008 meteorological year (December 2007 through November 2008) “was the ninth warmest year in the period of instrumental measurements, which extends back to 1880. The nine warmest years all occur within the eleven-year period 1998-2008.” (GISS further states that “given our estimated error … we […]

Canada sucks at protecting the environment, study shows.

No surprise here, particularly under Harper’s do-nothing approach, that we’re one of the world’s biggest ‘slouches’ when it comes to protecting the environment:

Canada’s environmental record is among the worst in the industrialized world, due in part to its poor performance fighting global warming, according to a report from the Conference Board of Canada on Monday. Canada placed 15th among 17 peers, beating only Australia and the United States. Greenhouse gas emissions, high garbage production, and rampant overuse of fresh water were its biggest environmental problems.

Note that this isn’t some world study berating us, but the Conference Board of Canada. Last I looked, it wasn’t being run by any […]

Canadian music artists join together to defeat Harper, fight climate change.

The press release here. The song they recorded is here. A who’s who of the Canadian musical scene:

The Canadian artists who rallied together for this effort include: K-OS, Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies, Ben Kowalewicz of Billy Talent, Adam Gontier of Three Days Grace, Sarah Harmer, Hawksley Workman, Jason Collett of Broken Social Scene, Darren Dumas of The Salads and the Arts Offstage Choir under the direction of David Reed.

They’ll also be sending this recording to Canadian radio stations and to get it played prior to the October 14th vote.

This is the guy Harper allies himself with on the environment?

Talk about lack of tact:

George Bush surprised world leaders with a joke about his poor record on the environment as he left the G8 summit in Japan… The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.” He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.

Needless to say, I don’t think anyone was that impressed, though they tried to be diplomatic about it:

One official who witnessed the extraordinary scene said afterwards: “Everyone was very surprised that he was making a joke about America’s record on pollution.”

I’m sure Canadian Environment Minister John Baird and Prime Minister Harper thought it a hoot however, since their view of Bush is that he walks on water. I can just picture Baird saying,  “Good one George! Stick it to those other countries who think we in North America are doing a crappy job of trying to combat climate change… that’ll show ’em.. hahahah”.

Between this and his “Yo Harper!” routine, Bush was a regular circus jester at this conference, which I guess happens when you’re a lame-duck president who everyone is waiting on to finally leave so real progress can be made on issues like the environment.

Fortunately, the world has less then a year left that we have to put up with him. If anything can be said about Bush, it verifies the fact that anyone can run to be president of the United States, no matter how much of a buffoon they are, and sometimes, they fool enough of the electorate down there to get elected.

Conflicting signals and shooting at the wrong target.

Since Blogging a Dead Horse was crowing this morning about how Ipsos-Reid shows somehow that Canadians are sceptical about the Green Shift (a notion that Red Tory by the way refutes rather convincingly over at his blog), I thought it only appropriate to mention the Harris-Decima poll talked about in the Star which shows that Canadians want aggressive action on climate change by a wide margin (and no Mr. Harper, being aggressive doesn’t mean agreeing to non-binding targets).

I’d add that I find that its regrettable that the NDP and its partisans continue to charge at the Liberals Green Shift plan rather then go at the Conservatives, who absolutely have no plan at all to combat climate change. Yet, the NDP supporters attack the Green Shift just as hard the Conservatives do in trying to discredit it.

Apparently, the desire to gain seats at the expense of the Liberals left flank is more important to Jack Laytom and the NDP’s partisans rather then pointing out that all other parties,  despite taking different approaches, have concrete plans and committment to combat climate change, while the Cons. don’t.

More examples/evidence of climate change in North America, & why policies like “Green Shift” need to be implemented.

The very term “global warming” is unfortunately used by some sceptics to falsely deny that anything environmentally bad is happening on Earth nowadays; in their minds, if a region of Canada gets record snowfall, or if China gets record cold, that automatically debunks the theory, because that surely shows it isn’t getting warmer. What the reality of the situation is that the overwhelming scientific consensus worldwide is that “global warming” will lead to climate change, which will lead to an increase in extremes and unpredictability of weather conditions.

You can see those extremes just south of the border. Everyone knows about the extreme flooding in the US Midwest – […]

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