Thursday, February 26, 2009

Iggy On The Tar Sands

Yes this kind of thing gives me a stomach ache, but the political point of it is clear and difficult to argue with. With grownups arriving in Washington, the environmental issues surrounding the Alberta tar sands have gone global. In a sense, this is a thing to be profoundly wished for: Alberta can't threaten to secede from the United States, and with the proposed pipe-lines out of the area stalled, maybe dead, they only have but the one customer. As Gwyn Dyer argued here, the notion of Calgary employing the "oil weapon" is pathetic, so the Obama administration has both the ability and the motivation to demand serious movement on this file (motivation because, after all, the tar sands are located in a foreign land and attacking them has very little in the way of a domestic downside).

In the end, we get an Alberta that doesn't resemble the ass-side of the moon, and all is well, though as Canadians we get our noses rubbed in the fact that it is probably more useful to lobby the U.S. rather than Canadian gov. over environmental issues.

But this does not mean, as one of Steve's commenters has suggested, that Iggy (or any Canadian politician) should try and get "on the good side" of the issue. By definition, the fact that the development of the tar-sands is largely out of the hands of Canadians means it doesn't matter what side of the issue he's on. So let him pander. Its harmless and might help win a seat or two out West (though not in Alberta). I thought it was 100% puke-worthy when Dalton McGuinty renamed the 401 the "Highway of Heros", but it went down well with the public and he won relection and now in fact he probably qualifies as the "greenest" premier in the land.

Moreover, if the Libs have any smarts, Kinsella's in the back room somewhere teaching Iggy how to eat pork rinds without a fork.

h/t TPB.


A Eliz. said...

I sent an email to Michael's office, near Toronto, and told him how disappointed I was about what he said re: the Tar Sands and his remark about National Geographic. I also mentioned he was acting like Jim Prentice.

Stephen said...

The National Geographic piece Ignatieff dismissed is far more cogent than anything he's written in the pages of Prospect.

And yet he sniffs at it: what would he, the great intellectual, have to learn from National Geographic? He knows all he needs to know. No one can tell him anything.

The signs have been there for a long time that Ignatieff adopts whatever position he thinks will be to his short-term political advantage.

RuralSandi said...

Did it ever occur to you that Iggy could turn this around on the Conservatives? They never took the environment seriously - and why not have a environmental program that helps the environment and the oil sands?

Also, he could turn it around ont he "US" oil companies for their lack of conscience on this.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Until I see a big backlash from rank-and-file Libs, I'm gonna be sorely disappointed.

Prince Igor is thumbing his nose at ol' Mother Earth while he's closing his mind to information about the harm being done to Canadians by this ill-advised rape of the planet.

Michael Ignatieff: The lookout man for earth rapers.

I figger a majority of Canajuns is dang concerned about the planet and know dang well what sorta damage we're doin' with this tar sands business. I figger a majority of Canajuns are against the anti-Earth attitude of the 37% Cons.

Right now, it's hard to tell the difference between Harper and Iggy. Earth rapers. Planet poisoners. Peas in a pollutin' pod.

Sad days, sez I.


Mark Richard Francis said...

Is Iggy just pandering? Or is this what he really thinks?

I vote for #2.

He has a lot of ground to cover before I'll vote Liberal again.

Unknown said...

There is no need to employ oil as a "weapon" because there are plenty of buyers.

"Earth rapers. Planet poisoners. Peas in a pollutin' pod." - JimBobby

-*Snore*- Nothing so tiring as another sanctimonious pretend greenie.

The area of land disturbed by tar sands is extremely small . . . 540 square kms out of 660,000 square kms. Less then 1/10th of a percent.

If Liberals ever want to be relevant as a national party again, there are going to have to make some kind of accommodation with the tarsands.

Lefties unhappy with Iggy's position can parachute over to the the NDP where they probably belong anyways.

Steve Bloom said...

Don't underestimate the wily Western plains-dwellers: First they join, *then* they secede.

Anonymous said...

Ignatieff was chosen to appeal to the center right. He is selling himself to Canadians as a less dogmatic and less adversarial version of "strong leader".