Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sheila Copps On Kyoto Implementation

Her opinion echoes my own:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's vaunted political antennae must have been turned off last week when his party got trapped in the Liberal private member's bill on Kyoto.

[...]

What we witnessed last week was a government that's given up trying. Instead of embracing the Kyoto timelines and focusing on achieving them, the government seems committed to fight Kyoto tooth and nail.

As I've repeated on several occasions, C-288 (the Kyoto Implementation Act) is all about making a good faith effort.

And it fails as a handy early election trigger for the Tories because 1) its path through the Senate can be as long and winding, or as swift, as the Lib majority deigns appropriate, and 2) it gives the government 60 days to produce a plan: it would look awful were they to throw up their hands, planless, before the 60 days is up. So if the idea (as rumor has it) is to drop the writ within the next couple of weeks this cannot be justified with reference to C-288.

Hence those immortal words of abject surrender from Stephen Harper: "I will obey this law."

Nevertheless, the bill is not entirely toothless, because it is or shall become the law of the land. The Libs (and, more generally, all three opposition parties) can hold it over the head of Harper et al in order to put some teeth into the Clean Air Act, or cudgel him with it if the Clean Air Act turns out to be nothing but piffle.

25 comments:

Olaf said...

BCL,

As I've repeated on several occasions, C-288 (the Kyoto Implementation Act) is all about making a good faith effort.

I couldn't disagree more. The bill mandates that the government produce a plan that will meet the Kyoto targets, not "try" to meet the targets. It really couldn't be clearer. That's not mandating that the government make a good faith effort, that's saying "if you can't do in 3 years what we failed to do in 10, then you're breaking the law". How this has anything to do with a good faith effort is beyond me.

Dion overplayed his hand - he's given Harper the opportunity to show exactly what kind of economic impacts would be foisted on the electorate and the economy if these targets are to be met in the next 2 or 3 years. Watch the at issue panel. I'll take Hebert and Coyne over Sheila Copps any day.

paul said...

Well, let's go with the Conservative plan and do nothing.

Anonymous said...

Holy greenhouse effect Batman I’m confused.

How so Boywonder?

Well, aren't these climate scientists who tell us we should carbon tax our economies so we can give the money to the Russians to pay for these Kyoto credit things while the Chinese build a coal fired plant a week the same as those NOAA scientist guys from the 70s who said the world was going to become an ice box?

No Robin, that was their parents, the kids make their money telling us the opposite is going to happen.

Golly capped crusader, but what would have happened if we had listened to the parents?

Well Boywonder, according to that 1975 Newsweek article we would have covered the ice caps with soot to melt them.

Holy Gotham under water Batman but aren't today’s scientists smarter and isn't their equipment better than in the dark ages of the 70s and doesn't that mean they have all the right answers?

Yes, of course it does Boywonder, and their parents said the same thirty years ago.

Holy climate flip flop Batman they can’t both be right, can they?

Yes they can Boywonder, they are scientists.

But Batman I thought the Riddler was dead?

Me too Robin but he has morphed into Al Gore, a one time tobacco farmer who claims to have invented the internet.

Golly Batman, but back to these scientists who are never wrong, how can that be?

Well Boywonder, they have these computer models which are built upon thousands of assumptions and millions of variables and they make these long term climate predictions based on climate history.

How much history Batman?

Well Robin about 150 years of reasonably accurate human measurements.

Whoa Batman that’s not much to base predictions on given billions of years of earth’s climate history, is it?

Right Robin and that’s why the scientists can never be wrong; they just keep updating the models with the latest climate trends so the predictions neatly match up with the recent trends.

Holy extrapolation Batman I get it now.

EARTH FIRST - we'll log the other planets later said...

someone said . . .





Mister Speaker, I rise today to announce measures that my government must take to comply with Bill C288, otherwise known as the “Pablo Rodriguez Law of Unintended Consequences”.



In order to comply with the Bill and Kyoto, it is necessary to take some drastic measures to either reduce emissions ort buy credits from other signatory nations of the Kyoto Protocol who do not need to reduce their emission but get to sell these credits.



Canada got hosed at Kyoto. Jean Chretien’s Liberal government signed Canada to a treaty that means we must reduce our standard of living in order to comply. Bill 288 further obligates Canada to reduce its economy in order to comply and because of the way the Bill is worded, our Government must achieve the 2012 targets within 180 days of the Bill being granted Royal Ascent, so we must act NOW.



I am instructing a number of government department and agencies to enact the following emergency measure so that we can comply with the will of Parliament, or at least the Liberal, NDP and Bloc Quebecois parts of parliament.



Immediate shutdown of all coal fired power plants in Canada. We realize that this will hit Ontario very hard – 1/3 of Ontario’s electricity is coal generated, but look on the bright side, the lack of power will also cause the shutdown of thousands of plants and factories, throwing hundreds of thousands out of work. While we are it, we’ll close down all the top ten, as researched by Pollution Probe, listed below:


Rank Company Name Province
1 Ontario Power Generation On
2 Transalta Utilities AB
3 Sask Power SK
4 Alberta Power Corp AB
5 Nova Scotia Power Inc NS
6 Syncrude Canada Ltd. AB
7 Suncor Energy inc. Oil Sands AB
8 EPCOR Generation Inc. AB
9 Petro-Canada AB
10 Dofasco Inc. On



Immediate shutdown of the entire Petroleum industry across Canada – we will need to import our oil but we are only going to import oil from countries that will sell us Kyoto Credits.


Immediately ban all wood burning fireplaces, charcoal and propane BBQ’s and summer campfires. All recreational vehicles and activities are deemed frivolous and will be banned. Sorry Bombardier, no more skidoos and water jet boats. We are investigating how to ban forest fires as well, but that has its challenges.


A 30 cent per liter “GhG Kyoto credit buying Tax. Based on recent data that we use about 45 Billion liters of gasoline every year, this new tax revenue should provide enough money to both buy the $10 billion in foreign credits we need annually and make up for the billions in lost income taxes the Federal and Provincial governments will not collect by the 35% contraction of our economy we need to achieve to be Kyoto compliant.


We will not be able to afford generous EI support for all the laid off workers because the numbers will reach in the millions. Shutting down the oil sands alone will result in huge job losses in Alberta, but also in Quebec and Ontario, where tens of thousands of workers make the pipes, valves, machinery, trucks, tires, computers and other equipment that would have been purchased had we not put these actions in place to meet the requirements of the “Pablo Rodriguez Law of Unintended Consequences”. Shutting down the transportation industry will also be hard on employment, but we haven’t had time yet to count how many truck drivers there are in Canada, but their jobs are all toast.


For the tens of thousands of workers in the Financial sector, we are aware that the mortgage and credit crisis these moves will cause will result in the devastation of your industry as well but we expect that the Barons of Bay street will be able to salvage a few jobs trading in the International Credit Trading Market, or as some have come to call it, the Kyoto Hot Air Credit Socialist Money Sucking Ponzi Scheme. Hopefully you will be one of the few out of the tens of thousands Financial Sector workers who will get one of these new jobs – you might even make megatonnes of money.


Since there will be a huge rise in the number of corporate and personal bankruptcies , our government will be enacting new legislation to simplify the process. Simply nail a sign to your property say “We quit” or for consumer debt, place your cut up credit and bank cards in an envelope. That’s all, no lawyers or courts needed


We will also be reducing the size of the federal government payroll by at least 35% to meet the requirement to keep the budget balanced to the new and much lower levels of government funds. That should be a few hundred thousand at the Federal Level and many, many more at the Provincial level.


We will be reducing the Federal government transfer of dollars to the provinces to meet the new fiscal capabilities of Canada’s Federal government. We will leave it up to individual provinces to decide to close schools or hospitals or whatever. It’s a provincial responsibility, but expect much longer waits for even basic medical service.


Its not all bad news. Canada should be able to save a fortune in Immigration costs. We have a forecast from government experts that Canada will go to last place in the quest for skilled immigrant labour. Somehow they don’t want to come to a country with power shortages, no air conditioning, limited winter heating, no jobs and a devastated economy. Go figure. The USA and Australia will benefit from these immigrants and their skills,



Mr. Speaker, let me close by thanking the Liberals, especially the mega green leader Citoyen Dion, the NDP, under the leadership of Jack “Talban” bin Layton, the Bloc Quebecois and their inspired of Gilles “Hairnet” Duceppe for voting for Bill C288. But especially all Canadians want to thank Liberal Pablo Rodriguez for devastating our economy, depressing our standard of living to upper third world status. As we huddle in the cold and swelter in the summer heat, as we stare at our old car we can’t afford to drive, as we fondly remember how hard it was to get out of bed on a Monday morning to go to the job we used to have, we can take pride in being the best-est, wonderful-est, the most moralist international boy scouts out to help the planet be saved.



Thank you Mr. Speaker

bigcitylib said...

Olaf,

That panel is from the 14th. Things changed two days later when Harper surrendered, and uttered those words "I will obey the law.". Ask yourself why he surrendered if he wanted an election on the issue?

Also, just do the math. Right now the Senate is saying C-288 will probably become law April-June, and they could always rag the puck a bit if they so chose. If Harper wants a March election call, this cannot be the reason for it.

Anonymous said...

Well, to heed the advice of a person who watches and dwells on Batman is a little scary.

Necessity is the mother of invention - we need some new inventions!

Bud said...

This has nothing to do with wanting to curb greenhouse gases. This is just a political game by Liberals. Here are some facts:

1. Canada only makes up abut 2% of the world's emissions. Doing something in Canada will only make us feel good. It will do absolutely nothing for "global" warming.

2. Kyoto targets are financially and technically impossible to achieve. Even if we spent billions and took off the majority of our vehicles off the road, we would still not reach them. Not in 5 years, not in 20 years. So that leaves sending billions to Russia to buy credits. The only thing that happens is a money transfer. Neither Russia nor Canada or for that matter, the world, is any better off.

3. U.S., China and India are the worst polluters. However, they are building hundreds of more coal burning hydroelectric plants. The Kyoto Accord does not affect them one bit.

So getting back to my initial point. Kyoto is clearly just a political ploy to make it look like the government in power is not doing anything and the opposition has all the answers. And since you quoted Tequila Sheila, here is another quote from her article today.

"Why not take a leap of faith and support Kyoto targets? Even if the requisite tonne reduction is not met, politics is about perception."

And finally, you talk about putting some "teeth" into the clean air act. What "teeth" does Kyoto have?
ave?

ottlib said...

Judging by the comments to this post I would say Ms. Copps assertions about the Conservatives and the Kyoto Protocol are bang on.

Olaf:

Bill C-288 calls on the government to produce a plan to meet our Kyoto targets. As Dr. Suzuki pointed out the bill is redundant as the Kyoto Protocol already has the force of international law.

It is interesting that Conservatives are suggesting that Canada walk away from its international commitment and international law. That is what countries like Iran, North Korea do.

Canada has five years to achieve its commitments. The Kyoto Protocol has all sorts of provisions in it that we can use to do so. Provided Canada gets on with it, which of course is the strategy the Conservatives have been following for months. Delay, delay, delay. That is the value of this Bill. It forces the government's hand, one way or another.

As for Mr. Coyne and Ms. Hebert I would point out that Mr. Coyne hates the Liberals and Ms. Hebert hates Mr. Dion. I believe she was calling for a Rae victory. Both of these pundits are well known to spin an issue to fit their own prejudices so I would not take anything either one of them said on Bill 288 too seriously.

bigcitylib said...

Ottlib,

One of the provisions in Kyoto is that you can put any cuts not achieved to 2012 into the beyond-Kyoto phase of the project. That is a bit like cheating but can nevertheless be done.

Also, since Olaf and co. seem to be arguing that we ought to just bail on the treaty, with all the bad consequences that might entail, it seems that he needs to make the case that we can't do that in 2011 or 2012 just as easily. Why admit failure so far in advance? Sounds like Loser talk to me.

Prairie Kid said...

I would like to ask a couple of questions.

1. Can we meet our Kyoto committments in 5 years? And if so, how will this be accomplished.

2. If we meet our committments, what impact will that really have on the rest of the world?

Everyone is so focused on little ole Canada when anything we really do here, I believe, will not even put a small dent into the global problem.

chuckles said...

If the goal is unachievable,

and it is known to be unachievable from the outset,

any efforts are not in "good faith" but is mere posturing.

And I bet Canadians love the notion of spending billions of our tax dollars for useless posturing.

The Libs are certainly showing their true colours on this one aren't they.

chuckles said...

Layoffs as a result of "corporate greed", lead to a wide variety of social ills.

Layoffs as a result of Liberal boondoggles,

leads to happy people with more spare time on their hands.

Vote Liberal. Vote for happy unemployed people.

Holly Stick said...

Rich countries like Canada and the US use a lot more energy and produce a lot more GHGs per person than poor countries. We cannot tell developing nations like China and India that they must clean up their act unles we first clean up our act. The US is the worst emitter, the filthiest country on earth, and we are proportionately just as bad as them. Not something to be proud of. We should have cleaned up our act long ago, instead of being so stupid, lazy, selfish, and greedy.

Remember kindergarten lessons, guys? You clean up your own mess? So we rich Canadians need to improve our own behaviour; this includes developing technology that uses energy more efficiently and reduces emission; which we can then sell to China, India, etc., in order to help them clean up.

But we have the moral duty to do it first.

Anonymous said...

"Rich countries like Canada and the US use a lot more energy and produce a lot more GHGs per person than poor countries"

we also use up way more per capita in health care, but no screaming socialists are satying close our hospitals . . .

Go figure eh

decoin said...

Kyoto targets can readily be achieved. Canada must reduce its GDP by 20% for 3 consecutive years and then we are around the bases on Kyoto. Will there be economic pain? - of course - profound suffering and dislocation across the country - but we must suffer profoundly to achieve Kyoto. I believe Canadians will in the soon to be called federal election vote overwhelmingly for dramatic economic decline in Canada to achieve Kyoto.

Anonymous said...

For all you climate change skeptics:

“There are ominous signs that the earth’s weather patters have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production-with serious political implications for just about every nation on earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only ten years from now…The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.”
- Newsweek, April 28, 1975
denisdutton.com/
newsweek_coolingworld.pdf

Ti-Guy said...

I believe Canadians will in the soon to be called federal election vote overwhelmingly for dramatic economic decline in Canada to achieve Kyoto.

I don't think you're fooling anyone. This comment, coupled with your coment that Albertans must be punished for being greedy and the Liberals are the only ones who can punish them, which you uttered over at Red Tory's seems to indicate you're trying to act as an agent provocateur. Which would be fine by me if for the fact that you weren't so artless at it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should just give away green flags.

Anonymous said...

http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Goldstein_Lorrie/2007/02/18/3642612-sun.html

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Columnists/Leishman_Rory/2007/02/17/3639977.html

There is NO way we can meet Kyoto. Only a fool would tell you that. And only a bigger fool would believe it. Ideology? No, it's called reality. Do the math. It's not possible.

Ti-Guy said...

Do the math? Are you serious? No...you do the math Right here. Show your work.

alfred said...

This isn't shoot out at the OK coral ti-guy. Normal scientific/economic discourse requires those who propose the action, in this case the implementation of Kyoto, provide the scientific and economic analysis of how this will be done, and not just some fantastic predictions about what might happen if it is not done. The Liberals have never done this; not when they first introduced Kyoto, not when they ratified Kyoto and not most recently when they brought in that implementation bill.

bigcitylib said...

Alfred,

The Libs haven't done it because they're not the government. Providing a plan to comply with international law is the role of the Federal government. As for the "fantastic predictions" thing, it sounds like you're still denying. Your buddy Harper has moved beyond that, at least, to the "anything we do will wreck the economy and cause more wife beating" phase.

alfred said...

"The Libs haven't done it because they're not the government."

They were the government when Kyoto was introduced, past and ratified. Because they didn't do their job then doesn't excuse them now.

Anonymous said...

Canada is 200 megatonnes over our 'limit'. Removing all vehicles from use - cars, trucks, trains, planes, etc. will drop almost 50 MT. Shutting down the entire oilsands project, stops 30 MT. That's 80. We're still 120 short. Next is to shut down some of those coal burners in Ontario. I can live with that.

Anonymous said...

So if we all met the "One Tonne Challenge, that would provide 36 megatonnes, no? Or do we need to make it the "Four Tonne Challenge"?

How does a household of four people drop 16 tonnes? Anybody?