Monday, November 29, 2010

And The Mendacity Of Harper And Co. Keeps On Going ...

... and going and going and going.

Just like that annoying Energizer bunny.

Case in point (emphasis added):

Canada will establish “equivalent” regulations for major polluters if the Obama administration in the United States goes ahead with a plan to demand greener technology in new industrial plants, Environment Minister John Baird says.

It now appears that efforts to pass a U.S. bill that would create a cap-and-trade system to control greenhouse-gas emissions are doomed, so the Obama administration has taken steps toward regulating polluters with its own executive power, through the Environmental Protection Agency.

In Canada, where the Harper Conservatives have insisted that moving faster than the United States to cut emissions would damage the economy, Mr. Baird said in an interview with The Globe and Mail that federal officials will try to match U.S. steps with equivalent measures, but won’t be able to completely harmonize with state-by-state enforcement of new EPA rules.

Canada, the United States and other nations are convening at an international climate-change conference in Cancun, Mexico, this week, where hope for progress is dim (...)

The EPA measures would require major new industrial plants to use the best available technology to limit emissions as of Jan. 2. But the system is supposed to be implemented by each state when it issues permits for plants, so it is unclear what it will mean in practice. Moreover, there are political and legal challenges to the EPA measures.

Mr. Baird said Canada won’t be able to harmonize its own regulations with that kind of complex system, but will look to impose equivalent regulations.

“As things progress, we’ll be establishing equivalents,” he said. “If the EPA has a plan that can be successful and can actually regulate large final emitters, we have every interest in the world to have equivalencies that go as far or farther than them.”

In areas where the United States adopts a national standard for emissions regulations, Canada can harmonize its regulations, but in others, it will have to hammer out a different but equal measure, Mr. Baird said.

“Obviously, in some areas we can have full-on harmonization, like for automobiles, for light trucks, where we can adopt the same tough standards to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. We’ve done that in those areas. In other areas, we’re going to have to have equivalencies, because the Canadian system and the reality is different.”

The EPA regulations still face a political battle in the U.S. Congress, where some senators want to block them for two years.

Mr. Baird noted that the new regulations apply only to new plants and major expansions. To be effective, regulations will have to require that existing plants start to adapt to the best available technology, he said.

“The U.S. is signalling [that] with new plants they want the best available technology, and that’s something we strongly support for new plants. But let’s underline the fact that we’ve got to tackle the existing large emitters. We can't give them a pass, that would be a huge mistake.

What we have here (of course) is yet more self-serving, hypocritical double-talking on the part of a Harpie Environment Minister (does it really matter at this point whether it's Baird -again- or not?). Here's why:

1) The coyly-delivered mantra of "we're waiting for the US to harmonize with them" is nothing-new-kind-of pure bullshit served as an excuse to do absolutely nothing about fighting climate change - as already well Q.E.D.'ed over and over and over again.

2) The pious, empty claim of being/wanting to be "on top" of big polluters/large emitters constitutes yet more talking the talk but not walking the walk on their part regarding fighting climate change. Such blatant self-promoting, self-aggrandizing bullshit is even more galling when considering the following:
- from day one, the Harpies have never considered fighting climate change a priority issue ... except whenever they feel the need to give it politically-expedient lip-service;
- accordingly, the Harpies have buried damning environmental reports ... more than once;
- additionally, the Harpies have not only strangled slowly environmental/climate change science research by hypocritical, mendacious and willfull attrition, they've finally come around to start cutting off funding altogether;
- not surprisingly, Canadian diplomats (who get their orders from ... the Harper government) have been quietly dealing with Big Oil Corporations (such as Exxon and BP) to help them kill U.S. global-warming policies in order to ensure that Alberta oil keeps on flowing into the U.S. marketplace;
- also not surprisingly, the Harpies have already canceled a program that helped businesses to conduct energy audits to pinpoint areas where they could reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases;
- true to form, the Harpies killed the climate change accountability act (Bill C-311) in the Senate, a heavily modified/downsized/shriveled incarnation of Bill-288 which had been passed more than three years ago by the House of Commons, claiming (as usual) that the bill was flawed, irresponsible, useless, ineffective at cutting anything and ... and .. and ... bad for the economy (what else is new here, exactly?);
- meanwhile, Canada has not only been ranking quite low among industrialized countries in matters of fighting climate change, but furthermore has managed to fall behind the US already in matters of developing clean/renewable energy.
3) In addition to the above, the sheer hypocrisy of the Harpies in the matter of climate change and their claim to want to fight it by harmonizing with the US is all the more revealed when considering the following:
- big polluters/large emitters in the US are already freed from environmental oversight, thanks to President Obama's stimulus package;
- bis repetita: Canadian diplomats (who get their orders from ... the Harper government) have been quietly dealing with Big Oil Corporations (such as Exxon and BP) to help them kill U.S. global-warming policies in order to ensure that Alberta oil keeps on flowing into the U.S. marketplace;
- as Mr. Baird himself admitted, the new EPA regulations put forth by President Obama apply only to vehicles, new plants and/or major expansions of older facilities;
- with the climate change-denialist Republicans back to controlling the Congress, you can not only expect zero progress on fighting climate change from the US for the next two-to-five years at least (especially with the Senate Democrats pissing even more in their pants following the last general elections), but furthermore expect their ignorance- and monetary/lobby-based sheer insanity on the matter to continue full blown without any restraint whatsoever.
So, to summarize: a Harper Minister of the Environment coyly proclaims (again) that Canada is simply - but eagerly - waiting on the US to harmonize greenhouse gases emission regulations, knowing full well that the US ain't gonna do a damn thing about this in the foreseeable future.

Conclusion: Harper and his Harpies keep on finding any excuse to avoid doing anything about climate change, all the while trying to pass themselves off as willing and determined to do something about it.

Funny, but this reminds me of a quote from our Prime Douchebag of some three years ago:
"Canada won't meet its Kyoto targets to lower greenhouse gas emissions, but can be a world leader in battling climate change."
And what magnificent leadership we have provided so far indeed, eh?

Why, the world is in awe of us Canuckleheads!

Yeah ... ri-i-ight ...


(P.S. oh, and by the way: I'm ba-ack!)

4 comments:

  1. Welcome back!

    Nice restart entry Mentarch.

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  2. Thanks BJ - I'm still "rusty", but it all should come back smoothly and quickly enough, eh? ;-)

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  3. Aye let's not forget one thing tough. I prefer Alberta oil then middle eastern oil! Unless the environment is more important then people. i.e. women's rights, funding of terrorism, nuclear threat by Iran, dictatorships, etc... I hope they keep pumping that Alberta oil until we don't neeed anymore oil in the world since I prefere they stop sending blood made oil from the middle east first before we stop sending Alberta's oil. People before the planet please!

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  4. You got that last part backwards - if only because climate change will wipe *us* out while the planet will go on.

    And you copnveniently set aside the fact that oil-based tech is old tech based on a finite and increasingly depleting resource, whereas "green-tech" is high-tech - a definite expanding economic sphere of activity, as it were.

    You want Canada to be left behind economically, then?

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Please feel free to comment on APOV. However, remember to keep in check your tone and respect for all here. Let rational, reasoning, enthousiastic and passionate conversations and discussions rule first and foremost in our participatory democracy, so as to facilitate the free exchange of reality-based facts and ideas. In between, do not forget to have fun and enjoy yourselves ... in other words: keep on rockin'! - Mentarch