Monday, January 08, 2007

Environmental Double Standard

I am somewhat bemused as to the pressure and bad press that the Harper government is receiving regarding environmental issues. One of the major problems seems to be that left-leaning media pundits and politicians only see the word "Kyoto" as having any significance regarding this file.

Yet, in our local rag I see various articles demonstrating that the McGuinty Liberals are missing in action on such important issues as regulation of auto recycling and salvaging.

In fact former federal Environment Minister Rona Ambrose announced an initiative in Kitchener last month for reducing the number of mercury switches that end up in junkyards. This story was largely overlooked by MSM because it did not have that magic word Kyoto attached to it.

However, consider that "the amount of mercury found in one switch is enough to make the fish in a 24-hectare lake inedible for one year". Since we are all supposed to eat more fish, I find that quite significant.

The whole area seems to be a hodgepodge of by-laws at the regional level, and a lack of standards at the provincial level.

B.C. is introducing some kind of legislation next year and will hopefully thereby level the playing field for recyclers with standard certification requirements.

Let's hope the McGuinty government learns from the B.C. example.

But as Steve Fletcher, head of Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association says,

"I would be shocked if the provincial government would put a licence in place, as much as I know it's the best way to go, and what we've been fighting for," he said. "But the political reality of what's on their agenda is that we're just not that high up."

Now why is the environment such a priority for Canada but not for Ontario?

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UPDATE: Oh my. EU industries now starting to realize that Kyoto may actually affect their bottom line!! H/T Political Staples via Bourque. Quel choc.

See also Dissonance and Disrespect - Jack in the Box.

And on a completely unrelated topic:
Announcement: there is a scheduled outage for old Blogger next Tuesday, January 9th, from 7:45am-9:45am PST. You will not be able to post to old Blogger blogs or access any old Blogger blogs on Blog*Spot during this time.

This affects Joanne's Journey. Joanne should get her act together and upgrade.

* * * *

Reader Gabby has provided a couple of great links. The first is to Lorrie Goldstein's Sun column, The New Pornographers.

The other is related: Media Attacked for 'Climate Porn' from BBC News of all places!

Both are worth reading. Your feedback is invited in comments.


Anonymous said...

In general the Leftstream Media likes to make a lot of noise about environmental issues. The reality is that "environment" makes a good platform for people to promote their own agenda while paying lip service to the problems.

Among the Left...actually doing something not popular.

Will the Conservatives enact laws that mean something and enforce them?

Wait and see.............

Gabby in QC said...

Mark Twain's observation "Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it" seems very appropriate here, as well as this other quote found at:
"It is your human environment that makes climate.'

Also, a couple of interesting articles. I heard one of your favourites, Joanne, Lorrie Goldstein talking to Charles Adler about "climate porn."

Here's an excerpt from The Sun column:
«Hyping the threat of global warming is now termed 'climate porn'
Recently, a left-leaning think tank in Great Britain came up with a good way to describe the hysterical rhetoric used by many environmentalists, media and politicians to hype the threat of global warming.»

And here's more on "climate porn."
«Media attacked for 'climate porn'
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website
Apocalyptic visions of climate change used by newspapers, environmental groups and the UK government amount to "climate porn", a think-tank says.

The report from the Labour-leaning Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says over-use of alarming images is a "counsel of despair". ...

Alarm and rhetoric

IPPR's head of climate change Simon Retallack, who commissioned the report from communication specialists Gill Ereaut and Nat Segnit, said: "We were conscious of the fact that the amount of climate change coverage has increased significantly over the last few years, but there had been no analysis of what the coverage amounted to and what impact it might be having."

They analysed 600 newspaper and magazine articles, as well as broadcast news and adverts.»

swift said...

Kyoto is not about the envirement. The earth has two temperature eqilibriums. Twenty two degrees celsius when we are not in an ice age, and twelve degrees during an ice age. During the warm periods the CO2 concentratios have been as high as 7000 ppm and as low as the current 370 ppm. During ice ages the CO2 concentration has ranged from 4400 ppm down to the low of 18000 years ago, 250 ppm.
HOW CAN ANYBODY DEFEND THE CO2 CAUSES GLOBAL WARMING THEOTY WHEN THE SAME TEMPERATURES OCCUR WITH WILDLY DIFFERENT CO2 LEVELS. You can't if you are interested in scietific accuracy. If you are interested in a wealth redistribution scheme, and don't care about the truth, it's easy. Of couse, like the British 95% tax rate on the rich, Kyoto will also lead to disaster. Now you know why Kyoto gets the headlines and enviromental issues get the back pages if anything.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gabby, thanks for that BBC link. I had read Lorrie's column but didn't see the other. Very interesting indeed.

So it seems to be about selling either newspapers, or possibly election platforms, as PGP suggested. Just like porn, it's sexy and it sells. No substance. Just glitz.


Swift - Boy, you've got me convinced!

liberal supporter said...

swift: Perhaps some links would be in order? I'd prefer the graphic "CO2 is just a gas and Kyoto is just a city" porn, please.

Red Tory said...

Ignore the problem and it will go away. Terrific logic there.

Might I suggest that Swift don his skates and head off to the Rideau Canal. (You might want to take a lifejacket.)

liberal supporter said...

Recall how everyone howled and complained about the election last winter.

This will probably be the first time in history that a government is likely going to wait for wintry weather before calling an election.

Anonymous said...

Yep you can shut down your oil industry, kill the economy and force what's left of our industry to relocate into 3rd world shitholes where no one is ever going to give a shit about polution.....there will be no jobs and no future for any of you brainwashed products of Trudeaupia...when you show up at a farm begging for food the farmer who has been forced into subsistence will pull out the shotgun he refused to register and blow your head off .......and it will still be just as warm as it's going to be anyway...........Stupid Liberals!

liberal supporter said...

All or nothing eh?

I'll just remember not to give the farmer any bullets. I'll go to the local CPC riding headquarters, and there I will find so many straw men that I can throw them at the farmer indefinitely until he runs out of ammo.

Cherniak_WTF said...

All or nothing eh?

Well, I think he does go off half-cocked...

He's a half wit and but a full twit...

Gabby in QC said...

That there's something screwy going on with the climate is undeniable. However, what some people just cannot understand is that Kyoto is not the magic formula it is purported to be. As stated in the article you referenced via Political Staples:

«Instead of battling pollution, he argued, the measures [policies to cap emissions] were encouraging "less production in Europe and more imports from places with fewer environmental regulations" — a result that Wurth deemed "absolutely ridiculous."»

Canadians are supposedly extremely concerned about the environment, yet I see no evidence of it in MY immediate environment.

On my walks to my local shopping centre, I see trucks & cars idling for more than the three minutes allowed by a municipal by-law. Insignificant? Multiply that by hundreds, if not thousands, doing the same thing, and you've got a real problem.

Once I arrive at the shopping centre, I am met by a blast of hot air. The temperature in the shopping centre must be close to 28-30°C, so the thermostats have not been lowered, despite the mild temperature we've been experiencing in Montreal.

Last year, when we were in the midst of a "normal" winter, I suggested to the building's administrators that we change our 20-yr old patio doors for more energy efficient ones, but the proposal was turned down because it was "too expensive."

And those are just 3 minor examples.

If we are really concerned about climate change, each & every citizen must do his/her part.

Red Tory said...

If we are really concerned about climate change, each & every citizen must do his/her part.

Gee, I think that was the intent of the "One Tonne Challenge" but then the Conservatives killed that program. Nothing to worry about, nothing to see here, move along folks...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Red what did the "One Tonne Challenge" do other than make Rick Mercer richer?

The biggest challenge of that crock of crap was to actually sit through the whole commercial without flipping the channel on the one tonne of garbage spewing out of his mouth at the rate of the Chicken Cannon on speed.

(And that is all to be read with a Newfoundland accent).

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gabby - Last year, when we were in the midst of a "normal" winter, I suggested to the building's administrators that we change our 20-yr old patio doors for more energy efficient ones, but the proposal was turned down because it was "too expensive."

There must be a horrendous amount of energy wasted in apartment buildings and condos across this country. I've never been in an apartment that wasn't sweltering hot at the top. Most people have to keep a window open even in the winter to be able to stand the heat. Surely there must be a way to deal with this.

It's interesting though that even in Quebec, the supposed environmentally-conscious sein of the country, we have examples of such flagrant waste.

My guess is that the majority would like to pay lip-service to the idea of being environmentally responsible, but if it costs them money or effort - quelle horreur!

Therefore they all bow to this word "Kyoto" which they have no idea what it means other than the Nanny State is taking care of their collective guilt.

Swift said...

A link for the left wingers (and any others who might be interested.)
Google wv fossils. West Virginia plant fossils site should come up first. There is a section
on climate change with lots of information presentrd in a non technical way. The graph of the temperature vcersus CO2 levels for the last 550 million years is in the carbonaceous section not in the climate change section.
A quick question: what gas contributes most to the greenhouse effect?
A. CO2
B. Methane
C. Nitrous oxide
D. Another gas (specify which)
Post your answer and I'll give you a link later with the answer.

Gabby in QC said...

"Gee, I think that was the intent of the "One Tonne Challenge" but then the Conservatives killed that program."

That program was "killed" because it apparently was not delivering value for money. The Conservatives' Clean Air Act would bring in mandatory, not voluntary, regulations on all industry sectors to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases.

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the much maligned oil & gas industry were the originators of the "One Tonne Program." Read on:
"In 1976, the SEEDS Foundation was established in Edmonton, Alberta by members of the oil and gas industry who recognized a need for curriculum materials for students on “energy” issues discussed within the context of societal, economic and environmental concerns."
"SEEDS wants to show Canadian schools and organizations how greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by one tonne per person per year."
"The One Tonne Challenge is a fun way to LEARN about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ACT on what you’ve learned and encourage your family and friends to do the same, and then RECORD your progress so that your actions are added to the actions of millions of other Canadians."

As usual, the Liberals "borrowed" someone else's idea, but managed to convert it into a money losing proposition. Rick Mercer may have been the only one smiling ... all the way to the bank.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Swift - These types of things make my eyes glaze over, but here goes. I pick D - Carbon monoxide. Just a guess.

Gabby - Thanks again for the links.

"Value for money" is a phrase not found in the progressive vocabulary.

Swift said...

Sorry Joanne, try again. where are our climate experts?

Gabby in QC said...

For Swift:
Thanks for that info re: the West Virginia fossils site. I took the global warming test & would urge others to do so as well. Quite instructive.
Thanks again.

You're welcome, Joanne. I hope I'm not clogging up your blog ... I do tend to be long-winded ...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gabby - Please. Don't ever apologize for commenting here. You are always informative and interesting.

I must take that test myself.

Swift said...

You're quite welcome gabby. You now have a little knowledge, it makes you a dangerous person

Gabby in QC said...

Swift said: "You now have a little knowledge, it makes you a dangerous person."

A dangerous person?

I wish it were the opposite - that I'd have a LOT of knowledge and be considered (take your choice): benign, harmless, healthful, innocuous ...

Oh, well, I'll just have to keep plodding along until I reach the desired pinnacle of knowledge.

(all tongue in cheek)

Swift said...

Dangerous to those who count on your ingnorance to imprison you in a web of lies.

Jay said...

UK officials are delivering a report to Harper which shows that the programs provided under the liberals helped Canadians reduce energy use by 1/3 on a daily basis and energuide resulted in a 35% reduction in heating costs.

Or do you not only disbelieve science but statistics too?

Jay said...


CFC's are the worst gas, some of them are worst than others.

Wow, we already got rid of one greenhouse gas!

Then its methane which stays as methane for just 10 years , then it breaks down into:

CO2 which lingers for the next hundred years

Jay said...

with regard to your little your little disinformation propaganda rant:

The earth goes through periods known as hot houses and ice ages.

In a hot house every thing is gigantic, average temperatures are about 30 celsius. We couldn't exist in one of these periods. We are in an ice age which has avergae temperatures just above zero (global average). In each of these you have high points and low points. In our current situation we have had low points (mini ice age which froze europe early the last millenia) and high points. We reached a high point in the last 500 years and were supposed to be dipping back into cooler temperatures but our addition of CO2 has pushed us up higher than we should be.

The Permian greenhouse is the only record we have of the transition from an ice age to an ice-free climate on a vegetated planet. But instead of a smooth shift, the transition occurred in a series of sharp swings between cold and hot conditions, occurring during perhaps a half-million to few million years.

This cannot be directly applied to current global warming. The current rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide is occurring throughout a much shorter timescale, for one thing. But the current work does show that such a major change in climate will likely not proceed in small, gradual steps, but in a series of unstable, dramatic swings. While these cover millions of years, similar events might take place during a much shorter time span.

If this is being used as an excuse to permit climate change then you would be foolish to believe it. The buildup of CO2 has to be gradual because life on earth currently is adapted to what we have currently. If it inceases to fast then the percentage of oxygen (and other gases)in the air mix we breath will be reduced as CO2 increases. It will mess up blood chemistry. As well when our current plants are exposed to high levels of CO2 they tend to become very woody and inedible and poisonous plants more toxic.

The problem with the reference to the carboniferous period is that the CO2 was not higher, the oxygen was. It was near 35% compared to 21% today. Things would spontaneously catch fire.

This was actually the beginning of an ice age and the reason its is called carboniferous is because the lower water levels allowed for vast swamps capable of storing carbon as bio-mass, So no, the CO2 was not higher. Where was the water you ask? Frozen. Though it was hot in the equatorial region. It was the burial of the carbon that led to such a high oxygen level. Our coal beds came from this. Wood was not able to broken down as lignin was new and bacteria couldn't do anything with it.

The earth did not look the same at this point either. The continents were arranged differently and our sun was stronger.

Its not something I would willingly bring upon myself.

If CO2 levels were supposedly high where did the coal come from?

Where exactly did you copy and paste this little turd?

Swift said...


I have no idea where you get your temperature information. Source after source shows that the last five hundred years was cooler than the previous 500 years, except for the last 100 years of warming. The only exception I know of ids the 3001 IPCC report that shows the temperature being steady for 900 years followed by the latest 100 year warming trend. This study has been completely discredited because of deliberate distortion aimed at showing a false temperature record.

Your estimates of normal and ice age temperatures don't agree with my sources, perhaps you could provide a rference. Your assertion that evereything is large except in ice ages is clearly false. During the period of dinasours, a warm period, all mammals were small.

The statement that the oxygen level was 35% is also in need of some references. The last half of the carboniferous period is the only other time in the last 600 million years that both the temperature and the CO2 levels were at todays values. The first half of the period was not an ice age. The coal deposits are completely different in character due to the climate change between the first half and last half of the period.
Since the maximum CO2 leveL WAS ONLY 7000 PARTS PER MILLION, the removal of all CO2 from the atmosphere would NOT cause the oxygen level to rise appeciably, not even 1% If you assume the oxygen content of the air was the same as the current percentage, the CO2 levels before the removal you talk about, CO2 levels would have been about 40% or 400,000 ppm. This level is fatal to all animal life. If your 35% O2 level were accurate we wouldn't exist.

The rise in CO2 levels that has occured in the last 100 years is about the same as the rise which occurs in each interglacial period. This rise starts at least 100 years after the temperature starts rising. This one hundred or more year difference makes the only example of the result of an action preceeding a cause of that acion. A small problem that global warming theorists deal with by ignoring it. The rise in CO2 levels takes a few hundred years, so that the current rise is somewhat faster than we have record of, but not the huge difference you have implied.

Many peple have stated that the 0.6 degree temperature change is also unprecedented. This is clearly false. The most dramatic climate change that I know of was in Great Britian which went from a temperature warmer than today into an ice age in a century.

Your statement that life on earth is fully adapted to current levels of CO2 and the implication that they cannot handle the rise in CO2 levels that will occur is false. The basic functions of all species on the level that CO2 concentrations affect have remained constant since very early in evolutionary history. They have performed well in the much higher CO2 levels in the past.

Plants in particular are well adapted to higher levels of CO2. Plants react to a shortage of necessary elements by slow growth amongst other changes. Raising the CO2 levels above today's values increases growth. The basic metabollitic processes of plants were developed in a much higher CO2 enviorment and are adapted to that enviorment. I cannot remember seeing that one of the responses to higher CO2 levels is that plants become woody, however there are a number of changes that do occur. Whether we like these changes is not the point, however. The point is that the plants clearly like higher CO2 levels. We have a long a successful history of improving plants from our point of view. Woody plants or other changes is just another scare tactic with no real basis.

I would suggest you take the time to examine any information you find, some of the things written are completely impossible. Several years ago a syndicated late night talk show host in the USA wrote a book about climate change. I saw a copy in Chapters and turned to his section on Canada. He claimed that people in the arctic would be frozen to death when powerful storms brought super frigid air from the statosphere down to ground level. Those who don't know anything about science or meteorolgy, or who don't think about the statement, might not realize his prediction is completely impossible. I didn't need to look any farther to realize that the book was a lot of garbage. Why? Storms are caused by rising air not faalling air.