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Baird feels attacking Ontario and now Quebec will win votes?

… on the Environment file? Seriously?

Environment Minister John Baird has been all over the place the past weekend claiming that the new Ontario/Quebec environmental pact to set up a cap and trade system is somehow evidence of a plot against his federal government on the environment file:

Environment Minister John Baird told a national news agency that the agreement could undermine Ottawa’s climate change plan.

Well John, you and the federal Conservatives don’t have much of a plan as it is, and the one you do have is worth undermining; everyone else in the country other then in the province of Alberta (and internationally too,  for that matter) knows how little substance you have in that plan, and how you’re not very serious at tackling climate change and that your “plan” is all smoke and mirrors.

That said, I wouldn’t flatter yourself too much: the 2 provinces are simply of the realization as they both mentioned that Conservative Ottawa is foot dragging on this file, and they’re taking matters into their own hands – similar to what some US states are trying to do because of Bush’s refusal to do anything.

What I get a big kick out of is that John Baird is apparently expanding the Conservatives strategy of attacking provinces. Not content to just go after Ontario as Flaherty and Pierre Poilievere have done, he’s now castigating Quebec as well on this file – Quebec, which is probably the greenest of all provinces. As Jim Coyle points out, you have 2 provinces that “account for 75 per cent of Canada’s manufacturing, two-thirds of its population and 60 per cent of Commons seats.” And the Cons. feel attacking them is going to help them win the next election – particulary attacking them on the Environment?

Like others who have written about this, I’m a tad baffled by this strategy. However, I’m not going to criticize Baird or the Cons. for it -  on the contrary, I’m going to encourage him and them to keep it up, and to do it as much as possible all over the media and the talk shows. I’m sure voters in those 2 provinces will appreciate such tactics immeasurably.

Far it from me to attack an internal Conservative strategy that basically helps contribute to the Conservatives own defeat in the next election.  I’m quite content to let them carry on with their bluster and blather – and Baird is probably better at it then Flaherty or even Poilivere.

Blogging members of the climate change equivalent to the Flat Earth Society.

While reading Warren’s newly enabled blog comments section in his one post asking about when the Liberal braintrust would go for an election, I came across this entry by one Jay Currie, who in the midst of his discourse, took a shot at Stephane Dion for being a strong advocate/proponent of the Kyoto Protocol and the fight against climate change/global warming:

The coldest winter in a hundred years makes the whole Mr. Kyoto thing look pathetic – but it always did.

Well, I couldn’t let this bit of flat-earth delusion go by without commenting on it, so I thought I’d comment on it as a separate issue about Jay […]

Baird and Harper: Making fools of themselves – and Canada – at Bali.

Some would have you believe that the only reason we’re criticizing Harper and Baird and the Cons for their environmental stance is because we all in Progressive blogger land (and of course the various Liberal/NDP/Green bloggers in their own specific blogging groups) and the Opposition in general “hate” Harper to the point of derangement.

There sure are a lot of “haters” internationally, too then, apparently. In a news article from CP titled “Canada assailed from all sides for its stance at Bali”, we find out we have all sorts of organizations, groups and countries taking aim at us over our ridiculous position. First we have the UN deciding its going […]

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. […]

Dion will ensure the world knows the majority of Canadians disagree with Steve on climate change.

I’d just like to repeat what I’ve read elsewhere on this topic and say I think it’s absolutely a stroke of brilliance that Dion is going to go to Bali next month – out of his own pocket if necessary – to the United Nations climate change talks to ensure that the rest of the world knows that Stephen Harper does not speak for the majority of Canadians on climate change.

Dion is well known by most of these world delegations from the Montreal climate change meetings, and its generally agreed by observers he was well regarded, so he will certainly have the ability to have more then a few […]

Leading from behind

I saw a great description of the strategy Stephen “I ain’t doing nuthin’ on climate change till everyone else does it too” Harper is following over at Desmogblog, and I thought I’d re-print it here:

It’s called leading from behind. See, we can encourage a country like Bangladesh to contribute foreign aid first to set a low standard, and then if we beat that standard we can go on TV and claim to be doing more than our part.

Also over at Desmogblog, they publish the 5 new commandments they expect to be issued from “me-last” Harper any day now, in the spirit of his attitude on climate change. I […]

What real “leadership” on climate change looks like.

While Stephen Harper leads the world now in foot-dragging on hard targets for Greenhouse Gas emissions, newly victorious Kevin Rudd of Australia shows that he means business on the environmental front:

Australia’s new prime minister, Kevin Rudd, made climate change his top priority on Sunday, seeking advice on ratifying the Kyoto pact and telling Indonesia he will go to December’s UN climate summit in Bali…Rudd …planned talks with officials and advisers about administrative arrangements for ratification of Kyoto as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, while Harper claims that his position on aspirational targets and/or waiting until everyone gets onboard with hard caps is “the strong position” on climate change, other countries […]

One less foot-dragger on climate for Harper to be buddies with.

The people in Australia have spoken, and they have spoken rather emphatically:

Official figures from the Australian Electoral Commission showed Labor well ahead with more than 70 percent of the ballots counted. An Australian Broadcasting Corp. analysis showed that Labor would get at least 81 places in the 150-seat lower house of Parliament — a clear majority.

And what will be the major impact globally? Why, it appears Australia now believes we need more then “aspirational targets” to go at climate change, but meaningful targets: of the biggest changes will be in Australia’s approach to climate change. Rudd has nominated the issue as his top priority, and promises to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions.

This would also probably mean a withdrawal of Australia from the group of countries who reject hard caps on GHG emissions. That also means that Canada is now indeed alone amongst the Commonwealth in opposing such caps, and it means Harper now only has George Dubya Bush as a fellow resister to hard targets amongst the industrialized world. What a lovely couple they make.

I’m sure John Baird will try to spin this somehow as being nothing big, but this is indeed a big blow for the Cons on the world stage as it comes to the environment, and at home domestically.

Canada’s back? More like Canada’s a pariah.

You all remember that slogan that Harper uttered about Canada being “back” in the world, when a lot of us wondered where Canada had ever gone. Maybe Harper means Canada is back to being noticed, and if he means it in that sense, then he’s done quite a sterling job at it at the Commonwealth Summit as being noticed as one of the the lone holdout nations to a resolution calling for international climate-change targets.

Apparently Harper won’t support this resolution unless it calls for binding targets on all nations – which is kind of interesting, since Canada is one of those nations that under Harper publicly opposes binding climate-change […]

It must be sunspots! (How about it must be certain world leaders, including Harper)

Well, the global warming skeptics out there were half-right when they claimed climate change models run on computers can’t accurately predict future climate change. Unfortunately, it appears the models were too conservative in their predictions.

Carbon dioxide emissions were 35 per cent higher in 2006 than in 1990, a much faster growth rate than anticipated, researchers led by Josep G. Canadell, of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, report in Tuesday’s edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

So, we have this study that says Carbon Dioxide is higher then the models predicted, and we’ve had a prior study where Arctic sea ice is melting much faster then predicted. I’m sure the climate-change skeptics like the editorial board at the National Post will find something to explain this away, though the scientists have offered their own theories why CO2 has jumped; basically, we are producing much more carbon dioxide than was factored into the 1990-era predictions, the earth’s seas and forests are much less able to absorb the increase, and the result is that Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are rising much faster than the models predicted.

That leads into the second point; how do we stop it? Thomas Friedman of the New York Times writes in an op-ed titled Save The Planet, Vote Smart, that it’s much more then choosing the energy-efficient light bulb, society must look at the people running their governments and choose the right leaders:

Why? Because leaders write the rules, set the standards and offer the tax incentives that drive market behavior across a whole city, state or country. Whatever any of us does individually matters a tiny bit. But when leaders change the rules, you get scale change across the whole marketplace. And the energy-climate challenge we face today is a huge scale problem. Without scale, all you have is a green hobby…So if you want to be a green college kid or a green adult, don’t fool yourself: You can change lights. You can change cars. But if you don’t change leaders, your actions are nothing more than an expression of, as Dick Cheney would say, “personal virtue.”

This is the point that needs to be made about Stephen Harper and John Baird and the whole “aspirational targets are good enough” lot we have in Canada’s Conservative “North Star” government. If Canadians want real climate change fighting to be done, Harper and Baird and the Conservative Party are not the people to be leading the fight, and that point needs to be hammered over and over again to the public. If people think Canada can do better at fighting GHG, as 2/3 of then said in a recent poll, we must emphasize over and over again to the public that for that to happen, it’s time for the public to elect politicians who will lead in that fight, and not keep ones that try to delay or deny action on global warming.

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