Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's an award I can live with

"The majority of Canadians are firmly and strongly behind living up to our Kyoto obligations," said John Godfrey, the Liberal environment critic.
Says who?

Where were the Liberals on the environment these past many years --- doing nothing -- nothing that is except chanting 'we are committed to Kyoto' and hoping the mantra would stick. Well, I am firmly and strongly against giving money in the form of credits, to other countries whose environmental records suck more than ours does.

Developing countries, like India and China are exempt from Kyoto -- so while Canada could chose to break its economy for quick compliance to a treaty is supposed to reverse our emissions to the levels of nearly 20 years ago-- these major polluters can continue to spew with impunity -- in fact they can increase their emissions of greenhouse gases without guilt and without censure because they are not subject to penalties or even targets.

How do you like that? These are two vast countries, both with surging economies and populations larger than all of the rest of the world combined. The consumption levels and emissions levels are only likely to grow because there are no restraints in place to control them -- but WE should take steps to potentially devastate the booming economy out west because???

Well, there's the rub -- there is no reason. The most we could do is be a good example to the developing nations, because no matter how much or little we emit or consume, our puny output is not enough to affect world levels of carbon monoxide one way or another -- especially while countries like China and India have no expectations placed on them at all.

Don't get started about the US and all they consume and emit - and their refusal on Kyoto -- the US has enough environmental watchdogs and agencies that at least there are homegrown targets. China and India are kind of lacking in the area of environmental lobbying.

So long as developing countries have no expectation of having to reach a position of compliance with Kyoto and while they are not forced by their own populations to take control of their greenhouse emissions, Canada has no choice balance fiscal concerns with reasonable targets that will actually affect the air we breathe.

If they want to call us fossils for our apporach to climate change -- I can live with that. Better to be a fossil, than to delude ourselves that Kyoto is doable or can make a difference -- and then pay millions for the privilege of the pretense.

canadianna

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kyoto is just a nicey-nice way to get countries such as Canada and the US to pay more money to those 'poor' nations. Since moaning about globalization didn't work well enough, I guess.

vicki said...

The talking heads at CTV are so thrilled about this award...and think Ambrose and Canada should be embarrassed...nothing about the fact that the problems are about 13 years of nothing from the Libs.

carmanahtree said...

The partisan politics being displayed internationally by the liberals and NDP are embarrassing to Canada. But with your fundamental argument that Canada should not live up to Kyoto (and all the credits entailed with it), I have to disagree. Our decision to live the way we do imposes effects on others. This is something a Conservative government has to rectify. We don’t want the State interfering in our lives and we shouldn’t be interfering in others lives. The Kyoto Protocol is rooted in Conservative principles and we should take it bake from the do-nothing-liberals.

carmanahtree said...

The partisan politics being displayed internationally by the liberals and NDP are embarrassing to Canada. But with your fundamental argument that Canada should not live up to Kyoto (and all the credits entailed with it), I have to disagree. Our decision to live the way we do imposes effects on others. This is something a Conservative government has to rectify. We don’t want the State interfering in our lives and we shouldn’t be interfering in others lives. The Kyoto Protocol is rooted in Conservative principles and we should take it bake from the do-nothing-liberals.

Miles Lunn said...

Fair or not fair, Canadians prefer parties that have good intentions and do nothing over ones that try to sabotage agreements they support. The Liberals may have not done a lot, but at least they managed the PR strategy well, while the Tories have totally botched it. This is an issue that could have worked in their favour if they actually had a reasonable plan that did something, instead I believe this is the issue that will cost them the next election along with Afghanistan, and don't get me started about how the Liberals started these, politics is about perception and the Tories took pride in both those being their ideas while the Liberals keep quiet, so they botched the whole PR strategy.

Besides I disagree rich countries cannot meet their Kyoto targets. Almost all EU countries will meet their Kyoto targets. In fact 31 of the 34 countries with targets will meet them.

Canadi-anna said...

carmanahtree Our decision to live the way we do imposes effects on others.

No, it really doesn't.

Our democracy, our rights and freedoms, our sense of fairplay, our culture of basic decency -- none of these have rubbed off on China or India or Saudi Arabia -- how is our adhering to Kyoto going effect change in the behaviours of others?

Don't get me wrong -- I believe things need to be done to protect the environment and I think government needs to play a role -- I just don't think Kyoto is the answer.

The problem with Kyoto is that the largest greenhouse gas producers are 'developing nations' so they are exempt from targets.

They have no incentive to get on board, and first world nations are obligated by the accord to assist them financially or with infrastructure to address their environmental concerns.

Now, that might be cool if we were only talking say . . . Kenya or Nigeria . . . countries that are truly 3rd World and whose industries are in their infancy.
But India and China are fast becoming major trade competitors. India is a democracy. It has nuclear capabilities. It has a growing middle class and a highly educated population -- more so every day. Communist China is hardly that these days in terms of commerce. It produces highly educated people and cheap, accessible goods.
I could be wrong but I think we have a trade deficit with both nations -- but because they've yet to learn to be conscious of their own environmental problems and to take better care of their vulnerable and rural populations --we are expected to 'assist' them in instituting change -- at what cost to them? And if it doesn't cost them -- what incentive do they have to implement change on their own?

Leading by example doesn't mean giving away cash or buying credits. Did you know that we can also earn credits by reforesting another industrialized country -- so we can earn credits for planting trees in Switzerland -- but not for doing the same work at home. How stupid is that????

If other countries follow our lead, I think they will find in the coming generation a desire to think 'green' that has been so ingraned, that young people will be more likely to buy from green companies, and less likely from those with bad environmental reputations.
The market will soon dictate that environmentally-friendly companies flourish. It will be in the best interests of industry to look for ways to decrease emissions on their own.

Those are conservative principles.

Giving money away to other countries for doing nothing borders on socialism. It fosters a sense of entitlement without having earned it. There are no incentives for the 'developing nations' to change their environmental behaviours -- why should they?

DazzlinDino said...

This just can't be.....I thought the ink used to sign the Kyoto Accord was obtained by mythical fairies by the Liberal Party of Canada and would magicaly cure our environment? Isn't that the way it was supposed to work? You mean they were supposed to do something THEMSELVES??? I'm speachless....

Years of environmental neglect has been dumped into the Conservatives lap, unfairly. That being said however, they should have had something a little more sound after all the spouting about the "Made in Canada" plan, and had it out sooner.

I was dissappointed when I read the thing myself. Don't get me wrong, I think Kyoto is a huge waste, but at the moment, the environment is a hot topic, and to fail on this was could be BIG trouble.

Robert W. said...

My huge problem with those Canadians who purportedly support Kyoto is the great hypocrisy in their own lives. I don't see any big rush amongst them to get rid of their large vehicles ... or get rid of their vehicles altogether. Have these same people given up using heat & electricity during the cold months? Have they forsworn cooking and instead adopted an all raw food diet?

I'm deliberately exaggerating but my point is simple: What steps have those who support Kyoto taken? I have absolutely no doubt that most would be zero to none.

What I would love to see is a fair and comprehensively worded Kyoto referendum put to all Canadians. It would spell out:
a. This is how much more in taxes adopting Kyoto would cost you every year.
b. This is how much you would have to cut back your driving.
c. This is how many maximum plane trips per decade you'd be allowed to take.
d. Once we all collectively do this, here's the percentage of greenhouse gases that we'll have helped the world by.

Let's put all the facts in front of the Canadian voters and let them decide what we should do.

Anonymous said...

a. This is how much more in taxes adopting Kyoto would cost you every year.

I would word this slightly differently.

a. This is how many days of the year you'll be working for Communist China upon adopting Kyoto.

TrustOnlyMulder said...

You continue to be one of my favourite bloggers Canadianna. I'm also very glad we are on the same page here.

As many are noticing, it started out as global warming...now it is climate change....soon it will be called "weather"

Hmmm...that last line sounds like the beginnings of a new post.

Adrian MacNair said...

"As many are noticing, it started out as global warming...now it is climate change....soon it will be called "weather"

Global warming and climate change are synonymous for what is happening. Denying the effect humans are having on the warming of the planet is one thing I suppose I'll never convince Conservatives of. Perhaps at least we can agree that Canada needs to clean up it's act when it comes to industry emissions.

Or do you think Hamilton is contributing to a cleaner, more eco-friendly lake Ontario?

Canadi-anna said...

Adrain -- you'll never get any argument with me about needing to clean up the environment.
Even if the science behind climate change/global warming is junk (and I'm not saying it is, I'm just saying 'if') we should be working to reduce all emissions and all pollution because it's the right thing to do.
Regardless of Kyoto, we should be doing it -- but we should be adhering to our own agenda and if we want to assist elsewhere in the world, we should do it because it is right -- not to buy some stupid credits because we couldn't be bothered to clean up our act.

Kyoto gives both industrialized countries and developing countries an out. You don't have to clean up your act if you're willing to pay or because you're too 'poor and backward'. If the point of Kyoto is cleaning up your act, that attitude isn't going to reduce emissions.

I'm with you about any city that allows the contamination of our water or like Toronto, buys a landfill instead of looking into other means of waste disposal -- more has to be done. Kyoto is irrelevant to that.
Most conservatives care as much about the environment as most liberals or socialists -- it's our approach and expectations that differ. Where you think government is the answer, I think business has to take the lead.
See, liberals/socialists think that conservatives only worry about business -- and yet, we don't want to shield them from their responsibilities by placing the onus on government.