Change your leaders: Take II

Wed, 2008-10-15 09:44Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Change your leaders: Take II

Congratulations today to Stephen Harper, who has convinced a critical plurality of Canadians that he is more capable of leading the country through difficult economic times than Liberal leader Stephane Dion would have been.

Returning to belligerent reality, however, it's clear that Canadians who care about climate change have their work cut out for them. In his excellent new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman says:

“It is much more important to change your leaders than your lightbulbs.”

Having passed up this opportunity to change our leaders, the only option now is for Canadians to get those leaders to change.

Previous Comments

I’ve been out of touch for a few days, taking a break from the trolls & such, but unable to escape the election. And here we are, exactly where I knew we would be the day Harper called it. Millions down the drain for an election that moved him some pitiful number of seats closer to a majority, but not quite making it.

Let’s not think too hard about how that money might have been better spent. Not unless you have your Atenolol & Norvasc at hand …

I guess we just have to face the fact that in Canada, at any rate, we are going to have to do the job without the support of our government. A friend of mine who travels the world representing Canada in the field of agriculture lamented to me a couple of weeks ago that for the first time, when she goes to international conferences and workshops, she is embarrassed to be Canadian. I share her grief.

It’s going to be a huge challenge to offset the spin that the “New Government” will put on environmental issues, although I am hopeful that Steve will find a new portfolio for Tasmanian devil John Baird. Maybe he will put Ferret-Face Pierre Poilievre into the Environment portfolio? (Sorry – that was personal, but he IS my MP) He has done dogsbody service to Baird long enough to qualify for a perk or two.

So set the goalposts, folks, and let the games begin. In one of the most progressive, innovative and intelligent countries on the planet, we have a government that prefers a flat earth. How did this happen?

You can, perhaps, detect my despair.

Fern Mackenzie

Add the seats of the Liberals and NDP and they don’t match the Tories. No one is going to buddy up to the Bloc, well, maybe the Liberals will as they have no principles. But since no one wants an election then Harper has a clear ability to govern as he sees fit with no chance of being defeated. I suspect we will last at least 2 maybe 4 years. The Liberals are in real bad shape monitarily.

As for the wasted money. The Liberals would have brought the government down in November anyway. Best to have an election in good weather.

How did this happen? It’s called democracy. Live with it.

For a long time now I have been getting more and more embarrassed about being a Canadian.
As we sink ever farther toward the cesspool of Socialism and our politicians waste ever more resources on the scam that is AGW, it is hard to pretend that we have any intelligent life here.
At least the Harper government won’t jump completely off the cliff like so many other lemmings have already done.
And in the mean time, he is slowly making progress at cleaning up some of the mess that decades of bleeding hearts have created.
It is indeed a dismal situation.

The election may not have changed our political landscape much but at least Canadians were spared Borat’s nutty carbon tax. For that I am thankful.

Actually it changed a lot. The Liberals will be in total disarray, especially if Dion stubbonly tries to keep his leadership. If he does watch out for the internal war heat up big time.

Besides, Garth Turner is gone!! Yeah Hooo!!! The election was worth just that.

Libs are in money trouble and now they have to run a leadership race and another election is always possible in a minority gov situation. Maybe they should do a merger with the NDP and the Greens. It’s the only hope.

(1) EU CLIMATE GOALS UNLIKELY TO SURVIVE AFTER VETO THREATS
AFP, 16 October 2008

(2) EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, ITALY CHALLENGE EU CLIMATE GOALS
Jonathan Stearns, Bloomberg, 16 October 2008

(3) ITALY TO VETO EU CLIMATE PACT OVER ECONOMIC FEARS
Agence France-Presse, 15 October 2008

(4) POLAND THREATENS VETO OF EU CLIMATE DEAL DEADLINE
Reuters, 15 October 2008

(5) THE GREAT CLIMATE REBELLION: NATIONS CHALLENGE EU CLIMATE PLAN
BBC News, 15 October 2008

(6) CAN EUROPE QUELL THE GREAT CLIMATE REBELLION?
EurActiv, 16 October 2008

(7) WSJ: CLIMATE EFFORT COULD BE STALLED BY CREDIT CRISIS
S Power & L Abboud, The Wall Street Journal, 16 October 2008

“So set the goalposts, folks, and let the games begin. In one of the most progressive, innovative and intelligent countries on the planet, we have a government that prefers a flat earth. How did this happen?

You can, perhaps, detect my despair.

Fern Mackenzie”

Ummm Fern…. We had an election. Despite the best efforts of the blog O smog’s best efforts the country chose a different direction. Better luck next time.

Yep, so much for the ABC campaign. Seems awfully quiet from the promoters of ABC here. They are like Dion, hiding their heads afraid to come out.

I get awfully tired of listening to the same old BS, but to suggest that I’m afraid to join this debate is amusing. Believe me, you’re flattering yourself!

You might not think that the ABC campaign was successful, and I would agree. But I was interviewed by two major news organizations, and had more than 75,000 visitors to my web site over five weeks, so I tried my best. With a little bit of support from other environmental organizations fighting the same fight, I expect that I could have done much better.

But you’re right, the election didn’t turn out well. Atlantic Canada did it’s part (well, except for NB), and I suspect that if the strategic voting sites had done a more thorough job selecting the person most likely to win in eastern Canada, the Tories might have left the region with fewer seats than they did.

But I’m not going anywhere. Over the next few weeks, Anything BUT Conservative is going to transition into One Blue Marble (at www.one-blue-marble.com), and I’m just starting to fight. My first project will be to convince Canadians that we’re not making a good-faith effort on the road to Copenhagen. Given that the US under Obama is about to make CO2 a pollutant, Canada will soon be isolated and alone, and people are going to start talking about Canada’s position. My second project will be to slow development of the Alberta Tar Sands (this is a big issue in Europe).

I’m an award-winning writer, so I plan to do a lot of writing. My niece is working on the project with me; she’s a well-known graphic designer in the Big Apple (with clients that include HBO and Nikon), so I’ll soon have T-Shirts, bumper stickers, coffee mugs, posters, and the like. And that money will go to support and expand the web site.

I’m discouraged that Harper is still our Prime Minister. But I’m equally certain that Harper is discouraged by the election. I’m certain that he sees this as a big loss. He doesn’t have a majority, and when word leaks out that Canada is in recession and running a deficit, and he loses the Cadman lawsuit, and a dozen other things come to light over the next six months, I think his days are numbered.

If nothing else, it should be fun to watch your futile little campaingn in light of the Global Cooling Crisis!

Interesting note about Oboma!
Is he really prepared to lie outright?
Calling CO2 a polutant is in fact a clear lie.

Also, I thought you lived in Canada. But you refer to the Big Apple as home. Surly you don’t arogantly refer to the dumpy little town of “The Peoples Republic of Toronto” as the big apple.

Anyway, have fun with your cute little project.

Gary wrote: Anyway, have fun with your cute little project.

Thanks, I will!

And I live in Lunenburg, NSUNESCO World Heritage Site. Only 2500 of us.

My niece lives in NY. Yet we can still work together. Ain’t technology grand! Wait until you see what she’s working on!

About Obama:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=email_en&refer=&sid=a2RHIj_6hvV0

His plan will transform the US economy, and bring in sweeping changes. Canada will be left on the outside, stuck with a 20th century economy in a modern world. It’s such a sad time to be an inactivist. http://climateprogress.org/2008/10/16/obama-to-declare-co2-a-dangerous-pollutant/

Obama transforming the economy, bringing is sweeping changes and I suppose properity? thats a tall order.

I’ll watch his progress with interest, however I think he’s going to get hemmed in with all kinds of problems, economic and otherwise and in the end I suspect he will accomplish very little or nothing at all. If he intends to regulate carbon, it’s a big challenge. (remember when the Canadian Gov decided to regulate guns? much simpler concept and yet red tape made the whole thing a ridiculous and expensive joke)

Wish I could live there.
I took a horse and Buggy tour of town last summer.
Amazing town.

Seriously; good luck with your project.

While I don’t agree on AGW I do agree on promoting alternate energy and cleaning up the general environment.
Promoting not forcing BTW.

Gary wrote: I took a horse and Buggy tour of town last summer.

Then you drove right past me. Our house is on the route… and from our office, right on the street, we see them go by dozens of times per day.

When they tell you to have a look at the crooked door (in the fine old house on the corner with a lovely garden), you’re right in front of our window. We don’t own, we just rent (much cheaper than Halifax). That house is the first photo on this page…

http://smartlikestreetcar.com/?p=92

And more in Lunenburg http://smartlikestreetcar.com/?p=361

The town has done such a great job of preserving our heritage. I visited Lueneburg many times while growing up in the Anappolis vally. My family still lives there.
Back in those days it was not so nice.

Truely somthing to be proud of now though.

I envy you.
I now live in a cold heartless city.

Interesting on BNN today experts in the IMF and other organizations said that Canada will not go into recession, nor run a deficit. Besides, your Liberal friendly paper, The Toronto Star said it is fine to run a deficit when times are tough. So did the NDP on Mike Duffy Live yesterday.

What will you then say?

The person whose days are numbered is Dion. I look forward for you to be eating your words in 6 months. I’ll be watching.

Can you read?

I agree that Dion’s days as leader are coming to an end.

But nowhere did I say that Harper will be gone in six months. I just said that over the next six months Harper would be faced with a number of embarrassing revelations, and I’m certain of that point.

I’m OK with running a deficit. Harper isn’t. That will be one of his embarrassing revelations. That he’s taken a $14 billion surplus and turned into a deficit in three years! We ran a deficit through the first four months of 2008… and that was before Harper announced $19 billion in new spending to support his weaker candidates, and word came out that the Afghan war is twice as expensive as expected. Oh, and the economy tanked.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/07/25/fedfinance.html

So Harper’s one perceived strength will be seen as a liability. And if he couldn’t win a majority in 2008 with everything going in his favor, he’ll never win one in 18 months time.

So… I expect that Harper is toast. It’s just going to take a year or two.

“But nowhere did I say that Harper will be gone in six months. I just said that over the next six months Harper would be faced with a number of embarrassing revelations, and I’m certain of that point. ”

But it’s OK for the Liberals to steal $250 million in the adscam, $1.4B in the HRDC boondoggle, and the $1B in the gun registry. There is nothing Harper et al can do wrong that will even come close to those. You’re nit-picking.

“I’m OK with running a deficit. Harper isn’t. That will be one of his embarrassing revelations. That he’s taken a $14 billion surplus and turned into a deficit in three years! We ran a deficit through the first four months of 2008… and that was before Harper announced $19 billion in new spending to support his weaker candidates, and word came out that the Afghan war is twice as expensive as expected. Oh, and the economy tanked.”

Surplus means overtaxation, it had to go. And how do you explain at $9.6B surplus in April that was used to pay down the debt. Since Harper has been in the debt has been reduced by $30B freeing up at least $2B in interest payments. Dopn’t forget the Afgan war is 50% Liberals. And according to the IMF we are in the best economic condition of all the G8. Thanks to actions Harper did 18 months ago. And we are still in surplus. I doubt very much Harper will be “embaressed” to have a short term deficit if it is forced on them due to worsenning conditions. Then you will start to see major cuts into programs that are no essential. Like the arts. What’s your choice? Funding arts or funding programs to create real jobs.

“So… I expect that Harper is toast. It’s just going to take a year or two.” Don’t count on it. Trudeau lasted a lot longer, including a return to power, than many expected. Besides, who will take his place? My bet is either McKay or Prentise. I’ve met and talked to both. Both would do a mighty fine job.

paying down the debt must be of some value

It is. It means less taxes used to pay interest on that debt. Since the debt’s maximum we have paid more in interest payments than the actual debt, that’s some $500 BILLION in interest payments since the beginning of Trudeau’s time. No different than paying down, and paying off your mortgage. Frees up the money for other things including income tax cuts since it’s income tax that is paying the interest.

Correction… I typed 75,000… and meant to type 7,500. With apologies for inflating my own numbers, but I couldn’t get into the Desmog system to change it after I noticed the mistake.

This election – maybe just by luck – was helpful.

It established that the electorate has better policy sense than the carbon tax advocates.

We – well, I voted for the Liberal candidate because he seemed better, but we in general – understand that increasing carbon revenue to the most privileged class of carbon revenue receivers would increase their determination to block non-token substitutes for carbon-releasing energy sources.

G.R.L. Cowan, author of How fire can be tamed http://www.eagle.ca/~gcowan

It’s now radioactive for any political party. Rightly so. Just look at my posts on what is happening in the EU. Carbon taxes are killing their economies and not doing a single thing to drop emissions.

Really? I just looked at(a few) of your posts on the EU. It took quite a bit, because you just copied the URL rather than supplied a link, didn’t summarize, and didn’t point out what you actually wanted us to see. I AM a good reader, and I AM willing to see somebody’s point of view, even if they are behaving in a snotty manner, but JR, you sure don’t make it easy for anyone, do you? How about helping us out here?

“Carbon taxes are killing their economies”

That’ll do as a start. EU economies ARE taking a buffet, yes. But can you actually quantify HOW MUCH of this buffeting is caused by carbon taxes, and HOW MUCH by other sources? If you could come up with some figures, backed up by references, then more people might read what you say rather than just skipping over your posts.

” not doing a single thing to drop emissions.”

Ditto with this one. Denmark’s got figures on this that go back over twenty years- they have very successfully upped their productivity, standard of living, etc, AND substantially reduced their emissions. For other EU countries, the whole carbon tax thing is just so new that nobody seems to be able to quantify anything very much yet. Do you have a reasoned analysis for the whole of the EU which you can give to us? I don’t mean just another bunch of unlinked headlines, but something which actually shows something? Could you put one together yourself? One written in such a way that it doesn’t constitute an attack on other people’s opinions? That doesn’t involve whole strings of sweeping statements of impossible validity? If so, I’d gladly read it.

I don’t post the URLs because when I do I get the “service unavailable” reply from this site and my post does not get through. You can just google the titles.

That’ll do as a start. EU economies ARE taking a buffet, yes. But can you actually quantify HOW MUCH of this buffeting is caused by carbon taxes, and HOW MUCH by other sources? If you could come up with some figures, backed up by references, then more people might read what you say rather than just skipping over your posts.

Start with these, hope they get through:

http://www.euroace.org/reports/R_Caleb2.pdf

Before you think this supports reducing CO2 read carefully. It’s only cost effective over a very long term. Thus it requires a huge upfront cost in a time where money is a serious problem.

Lessons from the French experience with voluntary agreements for greenhouse-gas reduction

Abstract
The paper analyses the French experience with voluntary agreements (VAs) for the reduction of industrial greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. It is based on evidence from two case studies: the VAs signed by the main aluminium producer and by the packaging glass industry association. The analysis suggests that the considerable reductions in specific GHG emissions can hardly be seen as a direct consequence of the VA commitments. Instead they seem to have been triggered by other environmental regulations, and above all, by industry’s heavy investments in technology modernisation and cost reduction efforts. Therefore, the observed reduction in specific emissions appears to correspond to industry’s business-as-usual behaviour, suggesting that VA objectives were poorly ambitious. These results appear consistent with other VA evaluations. In the French GHG-related VAs, the failure to achieve more ambitious goals appears to result from the lack of a well-articulated policy-mix involving the VAs for GHG policy and energy efficiency promotion, as well as from policymakers’ concerns over the potential competitive impact of GHG policy. The question of how to provide incentives for more ambitious GHG reductions without a high impact on firms’ competitiveness remains a challenge for future policy.

Denmark’s got figures on this that go back over twenty years- they have very successfully upped their productivity, standard of living, etc, AND substantially reduced their emissions.

Give your reference for this.

I have a hard time getting on here at all anymore. It’s like I have to sneak in the back door and even then half my comments get deleted. I don’t get it. I’m not even a hard nose denier or skeptic - just an unsure person who wonders aloud about carbon science and somehow I’m like public enemy number 1 around here.

It’s their anti-spam filter.

Finally found the references on Denmark.

http://www.windaction.org/opinions/14632

The Danish experience with carbon taxes is instructive for British Columbians soon to be walloped by carbon taxes of our own.

The B.C. government is expecting to extract $1.8 billion in carbon taxes by 2010, but then - after shuffling through a few bureaucrats hands - miraculously reappear in the form of lower personal and business taxes, coupled with rebates.

“Revenue neutral” claims aside, the Danish experience suggests much higher fuel costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions coming in the wake of manufacturing job losses.

Denmark first imposed carbon taxes on non-business energy consumption in 1991. Those taxes were marketed as “revenue-neutral.”

Between 1994 and 1998, carbon taxes added 30 per cent to government revenues and were initially used to cut corporate income taxes and pay for wind turbine subsidies.

In 1996, Denmark went on to hit industrial producers with a $15 per tonne carbon tax, initially neutralized by cuts in payroll taxes.

What happened?

By 1998, manufacturers started shutting their doors due to high energy prices, and overall Danish carbon tax revenues started to fall along with manufacturing jobs.

At the same time, the cost of government programs rose significantly.
The government’s solution incredibly was to - wait for it - subsidize electricity to select manufacturers and raise income taxes by lowering the income threshold on the country’s top marginal rate.

By 2001, with economic growth hovering at one- seventh-of-one-percent, Danes making over CAD$50,000 paid 59 per cent of their income in taxes and had to cope with record electricity prices. The entire debacle led to a change of government that year, with the incoming government promising a tax freeze, followed by a tax reduction - including those taxes on energy.
Did all this hardship reduce Denmark’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions?

Yes.

Overall, greenhouse gas emissions fell by a whopping 10 per cent between 1990 and 2005.

But the country’s manufacturing employment dropped by 25 per cent!
The carbon tax did a great job of hurting the economy and making people poorer. It didn’t do as great a job reducing GHG emissions.

If we are honest with ourselves, we have to acknowledge that a good part of the reason so little got done in the last parliament is that the opposition used climate as a weapon to make the Tories look bad – continually insisting on impossible targets, making hundreds of amendments to climate bills etc, etc.

The strategy was to give the Tories something they had to refuse and then pummel them for it.

Climate is too important to put politics above progress. In the next parliament we should insist that the opposition change strategy to give the Tories proposals they cannot refuse.

The Conservative party has been reelected with platform promises:

*to generate 90% of Canada’s energy from non-emitting sources,
*to develop a cap & trade system to cut emissions
*and to invest billions in alternative energy.

Surely everyone can agree that Canada should do at least that much? Let’s hold them to it instead of wasting another several years bickering over targets and positioning for partisan advantage.

Scientists Challenge UK Govt Climate Committee to ‘Drop flawed science and the Climate Change millstone - Save the economy’. CO2 is the Gas Of Life (‘GOL’), it is not a problem

http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1956

Excerpt:
“There is no evidence that Carbon dioxide has ever controlled, is controlling or will ever control world temperatures or climate and I challenge the promoters of this nonsense to produce evidence to justify their policies - or drop them, just as 13 world scientists** have similarly challenged the UN.

Another Dissenter: Chemist declares himself `skeptic’

PDF available here:
http://www.factsandarts.com/articles/global-warming-man-made-or-naturalm/

Excerpt:
According to Rundt, even a doubling of CO2 levels from 317 ppm to 714 ppm “would increase absorption approximately 0.17%. This corresponds to an additional radiative forcing of 0.054 W/m2, substantially below IPCC`s figure of 4 W/m2. An increase of this order would not result in a temperature increase of more than a tenth of a degree centigrade.”

What has changed this week is that the one remaining arrow in your quiver has been disproved.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/10/tropical-tropopshere-iii/ http://climateprogress.org/2008/10/14/yet-another-denier-talking-point-melts-down/

But hardly any challange to anything I have ever posted.
And really not from a very credible source either.

All thay said was that, with a little fudging and a lot of forgiveness, the models and sort of be construed as kinda close in some ways to some real measurements sometimes if you hold your head just right.

If CO2 were actually a problem and actually the root cause of our recent little warming, it might be of more interest.

Eco Terrorism is on the increase in Western Canada.

Is Al Gore complisit in inciting these low life criminals?

That sleeze bag Scam artist is on record as promoting “young people” should lower themselves to common criminal status in the service of his holy jihad.

What do you think?

http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Alberta/2008/10/15/7089726-sun.html

Excerpt:
CALGARY – Eco-terrorism is feared as a possible motive after a bomb exploded on a natural gas pipeline owned by Calgary energy giant EnCana.

More Skeptics Speaking Out Almost Daily
Officials Should Look Deeper At Climate Change

http://icecap.us/images/uploads/More_Skeptics_Speaking_Out_Almost_Daily.pdf

Excerpt:
According to Keen, global warming ranges between a “minor inconvenience that’s overblown” or “nothing – it doesn’t exist” or “a good thing.” “Earth has cooled since 1998,” Keen noted, “in defiance of the predictions by the UN-IPCC.”

Dr. Richard Keen of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) at the University of Colorado has a very interesting set of questions that he has posted with respect to global warming. It can be viewed at: http://atoc.colorado.edu/wxlab/atoc1050/1050%20ppt/Global%20warming%20quiz.ppt

A government leader is playing an important role in order for a country to function accurately. It will lead us and teach us to be more productive individual of the country. Unfortunately, there are some politicians and government leaders who are abusing their power. Some of them are corrupt and making anomalies in the government. Well, that’s the whole truth. Right? But we have the power to change that, by means of electing preferable leaders. That’s why don’t waste that opportunity because that’s the only way in which we can voiced-out our opinion. Anyway, Share advisory companies are probably hurting these days. We are in the middle of beginning recession recovery, but share advisory companies are grasping at whatever straws are available to them, in order to advise their clients that there is some sort of money to be made on stock exchange; they do have to justify the payday loan you almost have to get to subscribe. Whatever company a person chooses to buy stock in, you never know these days – as it seems that panic and the mental stability of a Chihuahua dominates exchanges rather than logic, reason, and something resembling science. Still, it doesn’t take away the debt relief that share advisory companies need these days.