Friday, April 20, 2007

Wanted: Straight Talk on Kyoto

I am growing weary of the massive propaganda ploys from both sides of the Kyoto divide. Canadians want the facts; not political spin or self-serving obfuscation from lobby groups with major vested interests.

John Baird's gloomy forecast of what complete Kyoto compliance would actually mean is probably a worst-case scenario. David McGuinty accuses Baird of ignoring the economic benefits of green technology development.

I would really like to see some actual figures from both sides, and have them analyzed by a group of truly objective and non-partisan third parties (if there is such a thing).

Buzz Hargrove may be on the right track with his op-ed in today's Financial Post (Kyoto Impossible). Of course he has a stake in the success of the auto sector, so his bias is obvious. However he does advocate for a cleaner environment, as I expect we all do.

Even the Globe is taking a moderate stand in this controversy in today's editorial, Those Kyoto Costs:

...The opposition MPs, led by the Liberals, have let crass politics trump their policy judgment. The federal government cannot and should not take such drastic action to meet Kyoto goals.

None of this lets Ottawa off the hook. Global warming is real. The Tories have a duty to produce a substantive package of market-based policies that would foster real reductions, albeit at a slower pace. But the federal government cannot destroy Canada to save it.

Deliberate fear-mongering from either side is not acceptable. Canadians want the truth. We deserve nothing less.

* * * *

Update: In case you're interested, there's a parallel discussion going on at Jack's Newswatch.

And at Canadian Blue Lemons, Brian slams the 'deniers of the deniers'. Boy I wish I had thought of that one.

Dr. Roy reports that Buzz calls Harper and Bush too green!

Environment Canada update here.

Mike Duffy Update: David Suzuki is telling us that we Canadians all want action now. Thank you, David. I didn't know that. It's great to have someone from the Nanny State do your thinking and talking for you.

Saturday Update: Andrew Coyne - Listen to Baird: This Wolf may be Real.


Anonymous said...

CBC is in the mind bending move with their own little 'statement' on the environment. Check out SDA.
How long will Bev Oda keep funding this propaganda machine?

Anonymous said...

We definitely need to see the true cost to our economy in terms of money, jobs, investment, etc in order to achieve achieve the Kyoto targets in 5 years.

Since parliament has voted to implement this accord, the Canadian public deserves to know how it will affect their way of life.

Tony (unable to log in)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Tony. Anyone else having trouble logging in? I wonder if it is just this blog or Blogger in general.

Anonymous said...

notice the blog roll is not 'rolling' also.

Kai_Wolf said...

One thing is for sure and that is we never hear Liberals talk about what implementing Kyoto will cost; especially in light of their decade of inactions where we saw GHG rise 27% while they were in power.

The Liberals know what the economic price the nation will be forced to endure and they are not being honest with Canadians by not acknowleding that.

It is all well and good to speak about Baird and his "doom and gloom" scenario, however, that is pretty rich considering that the Liberals have been forecasting "doom and gloom" of their own if we don't immediatley implemfent Kyoto. Yes, pretty rich as the Liberals did NOTHING for years when they were in power. And now they want the Tories to bear the brunt of the Liberal years of dithering?

Nah uh, I don't think so.

Swift said...

Bairds gloomy forecast is just half f another I've seen. Stelco is loosing money big time. Over 2.5 billion dollars in sales. With kyoto the only option is to shutdown and sell carbon credits. Algoma steel won't be far behind. Ipsco and Dofasco will last for a wile, but the steel business is cycliclal and during the next slowdown they will find it much more profitable to follow Stelco and Algoma. And who is going to replace these manufacturers? Steel companies in third world countries who are not as efficient and will produce up to twice the amount of CO2 for every ton of steel.

Many other industrial processes need heat. Chemical reactions often need to take place at high temps. Every one of these industies will be looking at the same thing. Will we make more money producing their product or selling carbon credits. There are a lot more examples that I can think of, and probably many others that I don't know about.

With all these people losing jobs, such things as stores, restaurants, hotels, and all the rest of the service and entertainment businesses will be laying off employees or closing down.

When you start looking at things on a company by company basis, rather thanjust taking a wild guess, there is going to be a disaster. Baird's $51 billion cost does't lpook like a worst case scenario. It looks reasonable at best.

Anonymous said...

i trust John Baird he asked the economic experts from industry
who have the fiberals consulted?
i would never ever trust the fiberals
just my opinion


Anonymous said...

Canadians that don't understand math might advocate the Kyoto scheme, some who do understand math and what the scheme will do to Canada may still advocate it for masochistic/sadistic reasons.

But a cost-benefit analysis reveals all costs, no benefits. If it would 'save the planet' or something then it would be worthwhile, but Kyoto does not do that.

Mac said...

For some reason, the thought of the CAW "educating" students on the economy and environment doesn't appeal to me. Buzzard is talking out of both sides of his mouth (per usual) and should take his own advice: stop playing politics.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

notice the blog roll is not 'rolling' also.

I'm not complaining about that. Mine is stuck near the top. ;)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

But a cost-benefit analysis reveals all costs, no benefits. If it would 'save the planet' or something then it would be worthwhile, but Kyoto does not do that.

That's a very good point. We need to constantly be reminding people that Kyoto does not equal environmental concern. They are two totally separate issues; somewhat like comparing apples to oranges.

It is important to make this distinction when discussing this topic with friends and relatives.

I would really like to see a referendum on Kyoto!!!!

Brian in Calgary said...

I would really like to see a referendum on Kyoto!!!!

You can be sure the Liberals would fight this tooth and nail because Dion sure doesn't seem to believe in grass roots democracy.

Red Tory said...

Careful there, Joanne. You're verging into sensible territory.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I was concerned about that when writing this post, Red.

I may be in danger of losing my Rightwing-nutjob status. Wouldn't want that to happen.

PGP said...

Seems to me that John Baird's figures and facts are being described as gloomy, pessimistic, exaggerated and one sided among other things for only one reason.

This is BECAUSE the proponents of Y2Kyoto have already decided not to listen to facts. They know damned well that their position is based on nothing but blind adherence to the ideology of wealth transfer promoters at the UN. And, they continue to hypocritically shout down anyone who dares to put facts on the table for discussion.

The facts are not secret things. They are public knowledge. So why is anybody claiming to be uninformed?

Or is this simply because so many people are waiting dependently on the CBC or such to "educate" them?
From where I stand the only people who don't know what is going on are people who simply don't want to know!
Is it so hard to use a Google Search with four terms?

Anonymous said...

Who won the Conservative nomination in Kitchener-Waterloo?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Who won the Conservative nomination in Kitchener-Waterloo?

According to my inside source, it was Peter Braid.

Anonymous said...

We know the Liberal's spent over $10 billion and emmissions went up 35%.

I'm not that great at math. Can someone use this formula to figure out how much the Liberal's meeting Kyoto targets would cost.

nomdeblog said...

Suzuki on Thursday blasted the federal report, saying
"First of all, let's stop listening to the goddamn economists".

"Twenty per cent of the economy will disappear. It will cost more than World War I and World War II put together. We'll go into a kind of depression we've never, ever had in all of history

Got that? Suzuki isn’t interested in economists or the truth. Again today on Duffy he said former Finance Department official Don Drummond (who is now TD’s economist ) was wrong with his costing of Kyoto.

But supposing Suzuki and Drummond are both right?

Given that Canada is a tiny population and small part of the World economy, then even if we spend billions and meet our goals, that won’t even make a dint on the World economy which Suzuki says, will cause a world depression. Massive economies and populations in China and India are not going do their share, therefore we’re doomed.

If this scenario has any validity our strategy should be to quit wasting our time and money worrying about the whole world, we can’t isolate ourselves from inevitable climate change. Therefore we should be using our billions to build dikes and come up with a plan to make sure we adapt to the inevitable disaster that Suzuki and Gore and Dion are predicting.

liberal supporter said...

Economics is not really a "hard" science, but as a discipline that tries to analyze and predict human behaviour, it uses the same principle as law does, the "reasonable person". In a law course the instructor read an article which described the reasonable person as a complete dolt, crass, selfish and corrupt.

Hardly a flattering picture of humans, but in the eyes of the law, you are not expected to be a very good person. So if someone gets hit by a car and you just keep on walking, you are not breaking any law. It is a different matter if you choose to help, then you must follow through until you can hand it off to medical help.

The point of this is that an economic analysis of what-ifs will have to make this kind of assumption. So when you do an economic analysis of taxing something, the results are invariably negative. The tax money simply disappears from the economy and therefore there are job losses and lost economic activity, based on formulas used for such things.

Therefore any analysis that assumes a carbon tax, will naturally be negative. No matter what is done with any carbon tax money, any economic projection will have to be negative.

The other thing economics handles poorly is the effect of human ingenuity. You can't predict invention, so economists must discount it. You can expect a certain return on an R&D investment, but since it is never guaranteed there is a risk premium attached.

If we spent billions (I'm thinking $5 billion a year) and met our Kyoto goals, we would have perfected technologies that could then be scaled up and applied around the world. Who makes money off that? We do!

Due to the longevity of CO2 in the atmosphere, we will have global warming whether we do something or not, but the effects will abate over time if our GHG production has stabilized or declined.

One of the concerns is various tipping points. For example, if the permafrost melts, you get a big release of methane which of course is a heat trapping gas. And the loss of reflecting white frost means more heat absorption as weel. Things like that makes it harder for natural variation to eventually put things back as they were.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Nomdeblog has a good point, and one that I was thinking of myself when Suzuki was ranting and raving on Mike Duffy yesterday - How can Canada prevent a world-wide recession? I didn't know we had that much influence.

RGM said...

My take is this: the environment is important, yes, and we all need to come to a working solution. It is not, and should be regarded as, the only pressing issue facing Canadians today. We're in a warzone in Afghanistan, our allies are facing a seemingly intractable problem in Iran, there's a major shortage of doctors and nurses, PSE costs are through the roof, and there's so much more.

The amount of hot air coming out of Canadian politicians is probably warming the globe as much as anything else. It really IS human-caused.

biff said...

The impending calamity is monumental,

but to avert it is easy as pie.

Leftist thinking in its purist form.

Anonymous said...

The emissions from one large Asian city will wipe out any reductions Canada might be able to make.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting tired of the assumption that politicians can 'control' the climate. There is a problem with saying 'climate control' so many times that people aren't thinking about what they are saying. Yes we can affect the environment, but climate...???
c'mon people...give your head a shake.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yes we can affect the environment, but climate...???

Good point, Anon. Especially here in Canada, I doubt that our puny efforts one way or other could possibly have much effect on the global climate.

I'm getting tired of the assumption that politicians can 'control' the climate.

This actually hearkens back to the Kyoto=faith theme. To me it seems as if climate change has replaced religion or perhaps it is the new religion. If we can "control" the climate, then perhaps we don't need God. Savvy?