Monday, December 03, 2007

Help please! Update: Jonathan Kay to the rescue!

Evening Update: It appears that Jonathan Kay intends to publish this editorial in tomorrow's Post - Dump Kyoto, Save Lives. (H/T National Newswatch)

It's a direct rebuttal to Byers' Star piece (see below).

...My problem with the Kyoto camp isn’t that it’s peddling “junk science.” It’s that, like Byers, they go straight from the science to the politics without stopping to count the money. What if global warming is real, but Kyoto is still a rip-off — even according to the big-hearted humanitarian logic at the core of the pro-Kyoto camp?

On that note, here’s something that pops out at you when you read Byers’ op-ed: a total absence of numbers. The same is true of most pro-Kyoto articles, and sometimes even whole books. Too often, the argument for fighting climate change is based on vague appeals to cuddly polar bears, our moral debt to mother nature, the “will of the international community” — as well as the usual litany of worst-case (and, often, worse-than-worst-case) disaster scenarios. You rarely see anyone actually crunch the numbers and prove Kyoto’s worth on a cost-benefit basis...

Consider: The global all-in compliance costs of Kyoto amount to about $180-billion per year. Yet all these billions — even paid in perpetuity — would delay the globe’s expected rate of heating over the next century by just 5%. Assuming Kyoto is allowed to expire in 2012, its total effect will have been to delay the pace of global warming by one week. In terms of Canada’s contribution to Kyoto, the effect would be measured in hours. Think about that the next time Dion or David Suzuki lecture you about Canada’s lost opportunity to save the world.

Thank you Jonathan for this refreshing reality check. If only all my wishes were answered so swiftly.

* * * *

I can't let this one go by, but I need some help due to time constraints.

Please read this opinion piece by Michael Byers - Prime Minister Stands out as Small Man of Humanity (Star). If you're a True Blue Conservative, this one's gonna make you see red!

Here's what jumped out at me:

Harper's antipathy to international environmental co-operation is well known. He once dismissed the Kyoto Protocol as "essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations." But his concerns about burden-sharing and free-riding are misplaced. Firefighters don't check tax records before responding to an emergency call.
Now this sounded vaguely familiar, and then I remembered. That analogy was used in a recent Record editorial (which we totally picked apart):

If rich and poor houses on a street were on fire, would Harper wait until everyone paid the same taxes before calling the fire brigade?

So what's up with that? Is this the latest revelation from some kind of Kyoto New Testament or something? I guessed I missed that service. (Oh, yeah. We were snowed in.)

Lots more to challenge in the article.

Have fun.


SouthernOntarioan said...

Its amazing how many people who support Kyoto as the salvation to our world don't realize that even the most optimist of forecasts state that even if Kyoto was fully implemented it would be as significant as a spit in the ocean.

What's more ironic is that Harper is blasted for his targets (50% by 2050) when that's pretty much the guideline now. (Rudd says 50% by 2050 as well - and he's praised for his 'forward thinking)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

S.O, - And isn't Rudd demanding that the other major polluters sign on as well?

Anonymous said...

hi Joanna TB ( off Topic)
i was attracted to your blog because of your integrity and your attempt to attack the lies that the media seem to ignore and to perpetrate
i don't know if you watched Goldhawk on Sunday CPAC i forget the name of his guest but both had a telephone call from a viewer about Robert Thibault's visits with Schreiber
both denied (best way to lie DENY) that they knew anything about this
another topic
Our friend Garth Turner introviewed John Williamson ( Canadian Taxpayers Association)
John Williamson who knows that the November 2005 "MINI-Budget" had not been enacted because of the 2006 election stated Flaherty had increased personal income taxes to 15.5% from ????16% my math is sure different from his as i see this as a decrease in personal Income Tax
quote mini-budget
"The 2005 fiscal update proposes to decrease the lowest personal tax rate to 15%(from16%) retroactive to January 01, 2005."
not enacted not law
I see the Environment issue as more media lies
best Prime Minister Stephen Harper


Gabby in QC said...

"So what's up with that?"

What's up is:
1. Like the Liberal party, Michael Byers and other lobbyists freely "borrow" from other people, repeating the same idiocy over and over.
If one consults other news sites, one can find information contrary to what the opposition has been saying to Canadians. Other countries are NOT all meeting their Kyoto targets.

Mr. Byers and others like him are so full of hatred for conservatives in general and the Conservative government in particular that they will continue to spew their garbage - and increase Canada's CO2 emissions in the process.

2. Re: the High Church of Kyoto, to which Mr. Byers belongs, I just finished posting this at the CTV site:
What is rarely, if ever, mentioned by environmentalists who keep pointing fingers at the Conservative government for not implementing, or according to them reneging on Kyoto, and who keep telling us that other industrialized signatories are meeting THEIR Kyoto targets, is that the European Union has 148 nuclear power plants which provide 31% of its electricity requirements.
Yes, nuclear power, which produces little to no GHGs.
France alone generates almost half (45%) of nuclear-generated electricity in the European Union (@ 25 members).

France itself, whose Environment Minister lectured our then Minister Ambrose during last year's Nairobi conference, boasts 59 nuclear power plants that supply about 80% of its electricity needs, whereas in Canada, nuclear power contributes about 15% of the total electricity supply.

I'm sure environmentally-conscious Canadians who look to Europe as a shining example of compliance with the Kyoto Accord would be overjoyed at the prospect of "going nuclear" to reduce GHG emissions, right?

Oh, BTW, it was those same enlightened environmentalists and/or their parents (see Elizabeth May's mom) who advised against building more nuclear power plants some years ago.

Another fact forgotten in the comparison between the EU's and Canada's GHG emissions: Canada's surface area is almost 3 times that of the EU's (9 984 670 sq. km to the EU's 3'930'000 sq. km).

Is it surprising then that our per capita CO2 production is higher than the average European's, given the greater distances between our cities and theirs?

And an earlier comment at the same site (neither comment has yet been approved for publication):
Folks, just take a look at the picture in the upper left-hand corner accompanying the article [Bali conference]. What do you see?
Row upon row of delegates' seats with reams of paper spread upon desks.

About ten thousand+ delegates are bound for Bali, not to mention assorted activists hoping to embarrass some governments.

From the Nov. 25 ed. of The Sunday Times:
"Calculations suggest flying the 15,000 politicians, civil servants, green campaigners and television crews into Indonesia will generate the equivalent of 100,000 tonnes of extra CO2. That is similar to the entire annual emissions of the African state of Chad."

Is that what concern for the environment is all about?

Anonymous said...

"Last month, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – a body composed of more than 2,500 scientists from 130 countries – warned that the planet faces "abrupt and irreversible" damage unless greenhouse gas emissions are stabilized by 2015, and then reduced dramatically."

Rex Murphy said it best. Apparently its to hard for the Star and this columnist to understand.: ...If global warming is the imminent and catastrophic peril to the earth that everyone from the IPCC to David Suzuki to Al Gore and every socially-conscious celebrity on the planet have been telling us it is, then there can be no serious argument for Canada to make mandatory commitments, while exempting the giant emitters of the world such as China and India. This is like plugging a leak while ignoring a flood...

"British Prime Minister Gordon Brown understands this. So does California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. So too does Australia's new prime minister, Kevin Rudd, who has promised to ratify the Kyoto Protocol."

Apparently he missed the part about Kevin Rudd stating Australia has the same thinking as Harper, that they will only sign onto a new agreement that includes targets for ALL countries.

"Canada's wealth has been developed through decades of heavy consumption of fossil fuels, with the atmosphere being treated as a free trash bin for the resulting emissions."

Actually, Canada accounts for 2% of worldwide emissions. And perhaps it has never dawned on him that most of the oil produced here is burned in other countries, including the U.S. and China.

" We're seeing some of the damage already in Canada's North. The minimal extent of Arctic sea-ice this past summer was a staggering 1.2 million square kilometres less than the previous year. That's an area larger than Ontario."

And reports in recent weeks show that same sea-ice is growing in size and at an earlier date.

And perhaps the Star might want to have a disclaimer when writing such bunk. A little bakgroud info:

It was only when I started to look into Byers' ties to the NDP that I became more upset. According to a piece at AGWN, in the past year and a half, he has donated at least four times to the federal NDP. Terry Glavin tells us that Byers is a "senior adviser to the NDP," an suggestion backed up by the fact that he wrote a defence policy discussion paper for the NDP in the spring of 2005 that was praised by Bill Blaikie, the party's defence critic at that time. Unless there's another Michael Byers involved in the NDP riding association for Vancouver Quadra, he was actually a delegate to the 2006 NDP convention in Quebec (pdf)!

Byers himself has apparently bragged about his deep roots within the party:

Byers closed the night with an anecdote. His friend, Dawn Black, an NDP Member of Parliament, was recently named by NDP leader, Jack Layton, as the party’s defense critic. Apparently, Dawn knows nothing about defense but was named just because she is the smartest cookie in the NDP caucus. So Dawn phones up her pal, Professor Michael Byers, to ask him what she needs to know. “All I know is that peace is good and war is bad” says Dawn. Byers fawningly replies: “Dawn, you’ll be just fine.”


Calgary Junkie said...

Byers is way over the top in this article.

This is just another part of the concerted effort by the left to make Harper look bad.

Toronto is probably a write-off for us in the next campaign, if this is the kind of stuff that sells papers there.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Joanne about misspelling of your name i hit the wrong key and didn't notice
great posts

best blog


Anonymous said...

Michael Byers is peeved against the Conservatives because when they were elected his federal funding dried up. All you need to do is check his CV on the web, check the large grants he received from the Liberals and you'll see what I mean.

Byers is the guy who filed a complaint in an international court against then defence Minister O'Connor and Hillier accusing them of war crimes.

IMO his writings and actions are nothing but a vendetta against the Conservatives.

Louise M.

OMMAG said...

Michael Byers is a research chair and tenured prof in the Political Science department at UBC!
This isn't the first inflamatory and unoriginal rant that he's had published.

First off a Poli Sci grad is an expert on nothing but opinion and most that you hear from these days like Byers are prone to spouting partisan rhetoric as if it's fact. Byers proves this in his little essay.

The piece is rife with opinions, falsehoods,misrepresentation,hyperbole and adhominem. In an academic environment work like this would or should get nothing but failing marks. I guess in the view of the publications like the Star what he has to say may pass for knowledgable and informative writing but in the company of adults who choose facts over fantasy and are capable of forming their own opinions ... more like the rantings of the rabble kids.
Now that's pretty much where his sympathies lie and in that apparent sympathetic harmony the language of Byers is pretty well the equivalent of Troofers and other conspiracy whacks.
That it comes from someone tenured at UBC and holding a position of Chair is nothing short of disgraceful. But not really a surprise coming from UBC.

Now does that make anyone wonder what kids are being subjected to at university these days?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Florence, thanks so much and no worries about "Joanna". I have a Portuguese neighbour who calls me that. ;)

pwerry said...

Holy smokes I remember Byers when he wasn't tenured. He was my political philosophy prof. During his classes he would spew his leftist rantings much to the glee of my former classmates. It's always amazing how when someone gains tenure they see it as a license to blind arrogance. Disgusting.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

During his classes he would spew his leftist rantings much to the glee of my former classmates.

Wow. Thanks for commenting here. So what exactly is the axe he's grinding? Anti-conservative?

Gabby in QC said...

Mr. Byers writes this about Mr. Van Loans’ portrayal of Dalton McGuinty as the "small man" of Confederation:
“The comment was excessive.”

But then, notice the kind of language he uses to make his point:
• “ sense of **urgency**”
• “consequences of inaction could be truly **cataclysmic**”
• “**mass extinctions, and hundreds of millions of people dead or displaced**”
• "Canada ... **hurting the world's poor**"
• "Canadians ... among the **very worst contributors** ..."
• "Canada's wealth has been developed ... with **the atmosphere being treated as a free trash bin for the resulting emissions**"
• "Harper's **antipathy to international environmental co-operation is well known**"
• “Harper's stance is downright **nasty**”
• ”playing games **while the planet burns**”

So whose comments are excessive?

BTW - for what it's worth, I do believe Mr. Van Loan’s characterization of Mr. McGuinty was inappropriate and inelegant. Van Loan is a very smart man. Surely he could have referred to Ontario's traditional support for a working federation instead ...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gabby, great analysis. I agree with you about Van Loan's comment. It did nothing to further his argument, and diminished himself by doing it.

And you correctly note that Byers' rhetoric is ridiculously excessive.

I guess what is disturbing is that this was published in the Star, thereby giving it some kind of credibility.

I wonder who makes these kinds of decisions.

Gabby in QC said...

Thanks, Joanne.

Let's not forget that this is an op-ed piece, so that the writer is free to disseminate as much misinformation as he/she wants.

There was a glimmer of hope when I read this editorial:
Our commitment to credibility
Toronto Star Jun 16, 2007 04:30 Am

"A newspaper that chooses to employ a public editor makes a strong pledge to its readers of its intent to strive to be faithful to the enduring core values of ethical journalism – accuracy, fairness and balance.

Journalistic credibility has never been more important to media organizations and their readers and viewers. In this digital universe, where anyone with a laptop and an axe to grind can command the privileges once monopolized by the relative few who controlled printing presses and broadcast licences, determining who you can trust to provide you with essential information matters greatly. ..."

Unfortunately, the bit about "accuracy, fairness and balance" seems to mean nothing to Prof. Byers

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Now does that make anyone wonder what kids are being subjected to at university these days?

It makes me wonder how any of them graduate without being totally brainwashed.

Great rebuttal by Jonathan Kay on the update, BTW.

Gabby in QC said...

I wonder if Professor Byers has read this: h/t SDA
"A fifth of UN carbon credits may be bogus -WWF
LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) - One in five carbon credits issued by the United Nations are going to support clean energy projects that may in fact have helped to increase greenhouse gas emissions, environmental group WWF said on Thursday.

The United Nations runs a scheme under the Kyoto Protocol that allows rich nations to invest in clean energy projects in developing countries and in return receive certified emissions reduction credits (CERs) to offset their own emissions.

But WWF said in a report that the credits are being delivered to projects that would have gone ahead anyway, even without the extra incentive provided by U.N. approval under the scheme, called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

The report, prepared by Germany's Oeko Institute for Applied Ecology, said projects lacking this so-called 'additionality' help increase gases blamed for global warming by giving firms a spurious justification for continuing to pollute.

"One out of five emissions reductions credits sold under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) lack environmental integrity," WWF said in a statement. ..."

Or has the Prof. read this?
"EU carbon trading scheme *failing to curb emissions* from big polluters
From Stephen Castle in Brussels
Published: 03 April 2007

Europe's big polluters pumped more climate-changing gases into the atmosphere in 2006 than during the previous year, according to figures that show the *EU's carbon trading system failing to deliver curbs.*

Critics said the data underlined the gap between the *rhetoric* of European leaders, who have promised to cut C02 emissions by one-fifth by 2020, and the reality of delivering reductions. ..."

Or maybe Prof, Byers is right; Mr. Harper shouldn’t have said that Kyoto is a “socialist scheme …” It's a "green goldrush." VIA SDA
"Industry caught in carbon ‘smokescreen’
By Fiona Harvey and Stephen Fidler in London
Published: April 25 2007 22:07 | Last updated: April 25 2007 22:07

Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits.

A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organizations are paying for ***emissions reductions that do not take place.*** (Sound familiar?)

Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway.

The growing political salience of environmental politics has sparked a “green goldrush”, which has seen a dramatic expansion in the number of businesses offering both companies and individuals the chance to go “carbon neutral”, offsetting their own energy use by buying carbon credits that cancel out their contribution to global warming.

The burgeoning regulated market for carbon credits is expected to more than double in size to about $68.2bn by 2010, with the unregulated voluntary sector rising to $4bn in the same period.

The FT investigation found: 
• Widespread instances of people and organizations ***buying worthless credits*** that do not yield any reductions in carbon emissions.
• Industrial ***companies profiting from doing very little*** – or from gaining carbon credits on the basis of efficiency gains from which they have already benefited substantially.
• Brokers providing ***services of questionable or no value.***
• A ***shortage of verification,*** making it difficult for buyers to assess the true value of carbon credits. ..."

Now, where have I heard all those *asterisked* expressions before???

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I don't know, Gabby, but it makes me think of those ionized bracelets they try to sell on TV. 'Oh, it makes me feel so good!'.

The Trusty Tory said...

The bottom line is this: Kyoto is dead, and even when it wasn't, it was trash. That's the end of that.

Gabby in QC said...

" ...those ionized bracelets ..."

Or the copper ones for arthritic pain - are they one and the same?

I wonder how many different bracelets some "delegates" to Bali will come back with.
Will Stephane Dion and Bernard Bigras (Bloc Environment critic who's in real danger of popping a vein every time he gets up to speak) wear theirs?

Geez, I just had a mental picture of those two in a bathing suit - what a fright!
Dion will need a sunscreen with an SPF of 300 ...

Anonymous said...

the students at Ontario's UOIT political science class this semester are getting a very left leaning lesson in politics courtesy of a member of McGuinty's citizen's panel on election reform.
Even wrote the leftist bias into the mid-term. Class average on the mid-term 40%.....that's not a problem with the student....that's more reflective of a problem with the prof.

Left is ripe in education circles.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Or the copper ones for arthritic pain - are they one and the same?

Gabby, that's probably what I was thinking about. They never say what they're actually supposed to do; just that the wearer feels so great.

Kyoto - The placebo for climate change.

liberal supporter said...

The bottom line is this: Kyoto is dead, and even when it wasn't, it was trash. That's the end of that.

You think the Shreiber stuff is a laughable farce. This is way better!