Friday, February 16, 2007

Stephen Harper Must Support Kyoto

Stephen Harper will not win an election opposing Kyoto, and I think he realizes that [CBC, PM says he will 'respect' Kyoto bill]:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he would respect the passage of a bill that requires the government to meet its commitments to Kyoto, but suggested that there's nothing in the legislation for him to act on.

...

"Of course, if and when that becomes law, the government would respect it," Harper said in the House of Commons during question period Thursday.

"I'll just point out that the bill has no plan of action in it; the bill gives the government no authority to spend any money to actually have a plan of action."

Strategically speaking, the Conservative Party cannot campaign on an anti-Kyoto platform. It won't work - simply put, there aren't enough votes out there to win an anti-Kyoto election. The Clean Air Act was a bust in the public's eye, so any attempt at a New and Improved Made in Canada Clean Air Act will fail too.

If the Conservatives approach the Green Party or the NDP to develop a Kyoto plan, they will win the next election - it will be implied that their previous attempt failed to deliver strong enough measures and they have now realized they should approach one of the parties reputed to be strong on environmental issues (one that they don't normally compete with on votes) to come up with an effective plan.

By doing this, the Conservatives will get the rub on the environment without attempting to look like they are simply "greening" their image.

The Liberals will claim that the Conservatives have "flip-flopped" - but that's okay. It's not bad politics to flip to the right position. No one has ever lost an election because they implemented policy desired by the people.

Implementing the will of Parliament and a strong Kyoto plan would do more damage to the election hopes of the Liberal Party than playing witty commercials attacking the Liberal Party record.

Update: Yes, I know the right answer is he shouldn't implement Kyoto for strategic purposes; he should do it for a deep belief in the fact that Canada can control its greenhouse gas emissions and make a meaningful contribution to the world's effort.

Take it any way you can get it, I say.

4 comments:

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

This is a great strategy if the plan is to "win an election" or "implement Kyoto".

But Kyoto is a bad idea, the environment is not worth 2 seconds of Parliament's time, and any implementation is bad news for actual human beings in the actual country.

doug newton said...

If the consensus amongst climate scientists about the causes of global warming are correct (and I am prepared to accept that they are for now) then
Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions using a variety of initiatives is a good idea.
Installing alternate energy technologies in developing countries is a good idea and getting GHG reduction attaboys for doing it also makes sense.
But if anyone thinks that this is all there is to the Kyoto protocol then I think they should read it again. They should also take a good look at what the Liberal party signed us up to do versus the commitments made by the other signatories all those years back. Even if our targets were achievable at that time they are more than a challenge now.
Adhering to the letter of an agreement made by a couple of political grandstanders is not the only way to deal with the global warming issue but that's what the opposition is trying to commit this country to - if I believed them for one minute.

Anonymous said...

Kyoto is an extremely bad deal for Canada and Canadians which, even if implemented, would be a drop in the ocean of effort required to stop CO2 emissions. To implement it would mean either a drastic drop in living standards (rationed electricity and gas) or a tax increase of 10-20 billion to buy "credits" from foreign offshore "companies". And if we don't, countries can impose trade sanctions against Canada according to WTO rules.

Trade sanctions. Against Canada. We're not making this up.

Meanwhile, China is planning on building 550 new coal plants over the next ten years. India, Brazil, Indonesia, and the USA will gain a huge advantage over Canada.

Even if you believe that the earth is indeed warming due to human activity, to support such a foolish pyramid scheme is to betray Canada and all Canadians. People who support Kyoto have a "hidden agenda" to raise taxes and make people freeze in the dark with no car.

doug newton said...

Anonymous
The Kyoto protocol is considered to be a first step toward global GHG emissions reduction. The primary aim is to transfer enough wealth and technology to developing countries to enable them to reach something closer to the level of economic prosperity that we enjoy and thereafter let them make their own efforts toward emission reductions. Foreign aid on steroids so to speak.