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The Sydney nudge: How green is my Harper

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

It takes some getting used to hearing Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the world stage claiming that Canada must be a “world leader” in combatting climate change ...Read the full article

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  1. W M from Canada writes: Correction: Harpers conversion can only be welcomed, if it is real and I see no indication of that. I always felt that the Liberals deserved less credit for taming the deficit than the got, because once they became the government there was little opposition to the required measures, whereas they provided the opposition while the Conservatives were in power. Similarly, while the last Liberal government was in power, even their pathetic efforts to reign in greenhouse gas emissions were attacked by the Conservatives as economic suicide based on "junk science". And, also similarly, the Conservatives could move agressively on reducing emissions with no opposition. However, instead, Harper's first instinct was to try to do even less than the Liberals and even no he provides only the rhetoric and, as the Jaccard study shows, none of the substance of doing something real about climate change. And, as recently as the last G8 summit and this APEC conference, his primary objective still remains to give cover to the Bush Admin attempts to stave off real action. In other words, Harper has, under duress, given up on his preferred strategy pretending that the science was junk and trying to roll back even the paltry efforts of the Liberals to his new strategy of admitting that the science is valid, but still doing as little as possible about it for as long as possible. Note: His admission that the science is valid means one of two things: either he knew it was valid all along and was lying or he stubbornly refused to look at the evidence until public opinion left him know other choice. In other words, as on the invasion of Iraq, Stephen Harper, a man whose intellectaul arrogance rivals that of Pierre Trudeau, managed to take far longer to figure things out than the great mass of the Canadian public (... or he was lying).
  2. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Mr. Simpson: Has it ever happened in your life experience that you possessed a long time belief, yet when presented with new information, you took a step back, analysed, and changed your mind? If not, then I bow to you.

    What is also important is that actions speak louder than words. There is no need to review the useless rhetoric of past Canadian governments and political actors who did nothing with a limp Kyoto protocol. That is well documented and we cannot change the past.

    Having China and the US sign and acknowlege that there is actually a problem is a step in the right direction-they were not Kyoto players and represent almost 50% of the worlds's GHG's.

    Whether they act is out of our hands-what we do at home IS in our hands. We must also acknowlege the sensitive balance of GHG emmissions and the effect on the economy.

    Perhaps a better start, or in conjunction with a reduction of emissions, would be a comprehensive and tough plan concerning air and water pollution.

    It troubles me great to know you and my Ontario friends are stuck in smog most of the summer and others suffer needlessly with respiratory problems because of this. Then the water problems..
  3. Out of Toronto, finally from Montréal, Canada writes: Mr. Simpson should be more positive here. Harper pushed hard and it was a major achievement of his leadership that countries agreed on NON-binding targets to be reached by 2025. At this time, none of those politicians will be in office and I am sure that their successors will feel very much committed by this agreement. This is truely a novel and innovative approach to climate change! I should try that for my mortgage and tell my bank to give me a loan that I may or may not pay back over 25 years. That sure will impress them!
  4. Kim Huynh from Montreal, Canada writes: I agree with R. Carriere that actions count. However, I also understand Harper's reluctance to join Al Gore club. Bringing China and Russia to the game fighing global warming is just a window dressing effort at best, a pipe dream at worse. I agree that the climate change can be catastrophic but I still dispute the scope of how much we as human can influence such a powerful force of nature. The planet has gone through many warm and cool cycles and if we are still here today debating, it means given time, things will be fine. If the NorthWest passage is clear of ice, it could be good for some who takes advantage of the new change, it could be bad for others. To me, APEC is just another window dressing event where politicians around the globe gather to fan their fustration at home and score a few political points on the world stage.
  5. Ken DeLuca from Arnprior, Canada writes: Tory analysis has always been coloured by the need to maximize profits in the energy sector while keeping corporate taxes low. Harper's current rhetoric speaks of high goals but only achieved by voluntary regulation ( sic) some time way, way in the furure.. possibly when pigs fly.

    A Tory future? What lies ahead? ( pun intended )
  6. G. Veneta from Calgary, Canada writes: This summit was a joke and everyone with a speck of intelligence knows this. Voluntary targets for 2050 when the polar bears are already dead! This man seems to be a pathological liar and is the king of double speak. I can't believe he doesn't choke on the words that come out of his mouth. I'm sure his evangelical fundamentalist beliefs insulate him from the science as he likely believes this is all part of the rapture and God's plan. Dump the chump. Stop punishing Canada. Save the polar bears!
  7. spicydoc reinvigorated from Canada writes:

    Mr. Simpson--

    You should read more than your own headlines.

    Harper actually said that all nations, including Canada, were guilty of 'all talk and no action' re GHG control.

    This is true.

    It isn't true that he 'blasted' the LPC, as your paper contends.

    The most that can be inferred is that he took a swipe at the libs and all other governments of the last ten years. Hardly news, or necessarily inappropriate.

    In re learning and moving forward:

    If Harper can learn about global warming, maybe there's hope that Dion can learn English--anything is possible.

    (now THAT was an attack--see the difference?)
  8. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:
    spicydoc reinvigorated: Is this an attack??

    Fact ; Canada signs Kyoto Protocol on April 29, 1998

    Fact: Liberal Government pledged to decrease CO2 level by 6% under 1990 levels

    Fact: On December 17, 2002, Canada ratifies Kyoto Treaty

    Fact: By 2004 CO2 emmissions had risen 27% over 1990 levels

    Fact: In March 2006, the CPC takes over the Liberal Titanic environment portfolio where they left the CPC with 35% GHG's of over 1990 COMMITTED limits.

    Fact: The last 18 months of the liberal Party reign saw Stephane Dion as its Environment Minister who did nothing!

    Fact: In January 2007 LPC convention, even Michael Ignatieff calls out Dion sayin, "You just didn't get it done"

    Fact: Liberal Party had 8 years,most in a majority situation, to do something and saw increases of over 35% of GHG. Instead of acknowledging disaster, inaction, and utter failure and lieing to the Canadian public, they go on the offensive against a young minority government always deflecting their own incompitence! Blocking any action or initiative would have pointed out the total ineptness of their own government sinse 1998!
  9. Kim Huynh from Montreal, Canada writes: R. Carriere from Maritimes...
    If you criticise the Grits of inaction, you should as well critisize Harper for switching position and yet doing not much compared to the US. So far, the US even opposed to Kyoto, did a better job than that of Canada Grits or Tories for that matter. Look at the gkobal view and forget the loval bipartisant politics.
  10. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Kim Huynh from Montreal,: Good evening Kim Huynh:

    Please know I am critical of both sides. On other forums I have clearly stated, "We are all in this together," and now we need action vs rhetoric and granstanding! There is a government in place and they must act!

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