Sunday, April 29, 2007

An Environment Plan for the Real World

Canada's Conservative government unveiled its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions Friday and it must be a pretty good one.

I know this because Al Gore, who is now challenging Michael Moore for the title of biggest windbag (both literally and figuratively) on the planet, immediately announced his hatred for the Tories' plan. Since this is Canada and Al Gore is an ex-American vice-president who did dick all for the environment while he had the ear of the most powerful individual on Earth, he can shut his fucking piehole.

At least our current government has an actual plan unlike the previous Liberal government which had a plan much more to Gore's liking - that is, they mouthed endless platitudes about protecting the environment while doing absolutely nothing. This was the same plan that was adopted by the Clinton White House. Our current Liberal leader, Stephane Dion, in fact, was the environment minister who headed the do-nothing plan, so Gore and Dion are two peas in a failed enviropod.

Canada, under the announced moves, will lower its carbon emissions by 20 per cent from today's levels by 2020. It allows for a growth in emissions over the next three years while corporate Canada adjusts to the new restrictions followed by a gradual reduction for the 10 years following that. Under the plan, Canada will reduce its overall emissions by 150 megatonnes by 2020.

I, perhaps optimistically, believe we will do better than that because the technology of today will be improved upon by 2020 and more people - not just corporations - will do more to help the environment.

I'm a big believer in the power of people to do the little things to help and the power of human innovation and scientific progress to affect big changes. Gore, of course, believes only government interference can accomplish anything. That's why he's a nanny state Democrat and I'm an intelligent human being.

What the Tories have arrived at is a plan that has a lot of logic and some silliness involved. There was no way Canada was going to meet its Kyoto commitment because in the 13 years of Liberal rule, the government had taken absolutely no concrete steps to actually reduce anything and the hot air emanating from Ottawa politicians was probably adding to the problem.

The Tories did overreact in some areas - for instance, they'll now ban incandescent lightbulbs, a decision which many people have greeted as draconian and stupid. It is stupid but I think I'll be able to live with it as I already have a few of the new bulbs and they're not the end of the world. Still, it smacks of pandering to the environuts instead of basing decisions on real science.

In the end, though, the Tories figure the plan will only affect Canada's economy by about half-a-per cent while making real progress on emissions. It's upset both the environmentalists and the climate change deniers and, as we used to say when I worked in the newspaper industry: "if you've pissed off both sides, you're probably doing a pretty good job."

Oddly, it did not upset corporate Canada. The oil industry, which was the most fearful of legislation that would require real changes, has reacted by saying it will be expensive but it is doable. Translation: gas prices are going to go up a lot more from the $5 dollars a gallon they are at now in Vancouver. Maybe more people will buy hybrids which will reduce gas use which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions...see, it's all good.

That's not good enough for Gore who will probably continue to leave his carbon footprint all over the planet by jetting around and hosting useless public relations events like rock concerts and star-studded galas but it is good enough for real people living in the real world.


David Jeffery said...

Interesting to see the issues and measures in Canada are very similar to here in Oz - right down to banning incandescent light globes.

southfield_2001 said...

yes, they are David. I spend four to six weeks a year in Australia and you'd be amazed how similar our socio-economic issues are.

Bar Kochba said...

Enviromentalist wack-jobs are seeking some mythical edenic paradise and hate anything affected by man. They don't realize that we should be CONSERVING the environment for man's purpose, not from man.

southfield_2001 said...

Today, bar kochba, the leader of the federal Green Party in Canada announced that the government's environment plan showed more appeasement than Chamberlain did with the nazis...I kid you not.
We have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous to the outright moronic.