Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Lights! Camera! Political Posturing!

Lorne Gunter nails it this morning with his editorial "Live from Germany, it's Kyoto theatre".

Canada is being cast as one of the villains in this global charade, with the EU playing the hero. But the object of the Kyoto unreality show is for each leader to appear to be acting for altruistic purposes all the while safeguarding each country's own political and economic interests. Being politicians, they are thusly well-equipped to play the role. Gunter explains:

At a pre-summit get-together with Stephen Harper on Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in the politest terms possible, told our Prime Minister that his goal to reduce Canadian emissions by 60%-70% by 2050, using 2006 as a base year, was good, but not good enough. Germany and the EU backed a reduction of 60%-80% by mid-century using the lower benchmark of 1990 as starting point. (In order to match Germany's and the EU's proposed cuts, Canada would have to reduce its emissions by 80%-85% from current levels, rather than the 60%-70% proposed by the Harper government.)
These numbers, though, (ours as well as theirs) are completely meaningless. They are politically driven one-upmanship: We care more 'cause we can promise to cut more.

Gunter then goes on to explain how some European countries such as Britain, Germany and the EU in general be able to meet their targets with a little "accounting trickery":

The EU as a whole might also slip in under the wire for its Kyoto targets, not because its industry is growing greener all the time, but because it has expanded its membership this decade to include a lot of old Eastern Bloc countries that, like East Germany, have shuttered all sorts of ancient, dirty plants since 1990. The entire EU gets to claim credits for the CO2 those plants have not generated since.
In other words, the bankruptcy of state planning might help Europe meet its Kyoto targets, not European moral superiority or greater concern for the environment.

The Star's Richard Gwyn has reviewed this farce as well, and is unimpressed with the performance of any of the actors:
..Nice, sensitive Europeans, therefore, while everyone else is unimaginative, narrow-minded, greedy.

If you believe all of that, you should take up counting flying pigs for a hobby.

Thus, if the Europeans are really so worked up about global warming, how come they signed an "Open Skies" agreement with the United States that, by increasing the number of transatlantic flights, will dump another 3.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year?

The Europeans do care about fighting global warming. A major reason, though, is that they will come out of the fight as winners.

The EU itself desperately needs some grand self-justifying cause after having had its proposed new constitution rejected by its own citizens.

Also, the trade bloc's new Eastern European members, all upgrading their old, energy-guzzling, Soviet-style industries, can easily make a lot of money out of Kyoto's carbon credits market...

Actually, I'm quite impressed with the objectivity and non-partisanship of Gwyn's review. He pans everyone with equal contempt.

The countries that are dragging their heels are those with red-hot economies: Canada, China, Japan, Australia and the U.S.

China in particular is looking for a pass on emission responsibilities all the while sucking up manufacturing jobs from Canada and flooding our markets with cheap, unregulated goods with suspect additives.

I admire Stephen Harper for telling it like it is. We have to protect our economy, but we can certainly make a concerted effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

However, we need everyone on board to make a difference from a global perspective.

Enough with the fiction. Let's get real.

* * * *

More here from TD Bank vice-president Don Drummond: "...I thought the whole debate is just one giant semantic trap." (H/T Jack's Newswatch).

BTW, which is the bigger threat - Global warming or a Nuclear Winter?

And here's a rare moment when Red Tory and I are on the same page. We're both global warming agnostics.


Mac said...

The fun part is most of the European nations are struggling to make their goals as well BUT they're not willing to admit it. The leftist's creed seems to require deceiving oneself.

wilson said...

BBC (very timely for PMSH) reports today...
''The EU's carbon trading scheme has increased electricity bills, given a windfall to power companies and failed to cut greenhouse gases, it is claimed.
..The EU's Emission Trading Scheme - a key part of the UK Government's drive to combat climate change - began in 2005 and created a trade in carbon allowances.
It is essentially a permit to pollute.''

It seems meeting Kyoto targets trumps reducing GHGs.
PMSH/Ambrose/Baird have taken a beating for the Conservative position , being honest about the failings of Kyoto and the former lib government.
But PMSH may, in the end, after all the bashing, have the REAL solution.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

But PMSH may, in the end, after all the bashing, have the REAL solution.

Oh, wouldn't that be ironic, if Harper comes out of this looking like some environmental hero? That would send poor Steffi off the deep end, I'm sure.

PGP said...

The issue of the Eastern Euro environmental landscape is well documented and was thoroughly reported by opponents to KYOTO in the first discussions. What has transpired since then is that the MSM and the POLITICAL proponents of the accord have effectively declared all dissension to be invalid and have moved on under their assumed position of moral superiority.

Well as things go around so they come around and once more we have the BS being spread thick on the pastures.

While the Euro's a clearly frauds in their assertions and postures they continue to get away with the crap and everyone pays the price for it.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Here's the link to the BBC report:

"essentially a permit to pollute".

Brian in Calgary said...

Oh, wouldn't that be ironic, if Harper comes out of this looking like some environmental hero? That would send poor Steffi off the deep end, I'm sure.

Joanne, my heart would bleed for Monsieur Dion. NOT!

Linuxluver said...

Kyoto always was too little, too late...and the current evidence on global warming makes this more clear everyday. So if countries can't manage T LEAST Kyoto, then they are fooling themselves and we will all pay dearly in the long run. Well....our kids will. Why do we hate our ids so much?

Canada should exceed the Kyoto targets as soon as possible. f we have to impose tariffs on gods from countries that do not also do the same, then lets get that underway.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

f we have to impose tariffs on gods from countries that do not also do the same, then lets get that underway.

Tariffs on Gods from other countries sounds like a great idea!