Today's Climate Change Comment-Bait - Macleans.ca
 

Today’s Climate Change Comment-Bait


 

Joe Heath comes down from his ivory tower and writes an op-ed:

The oil needs to stay in the ground… There is only one voting block out there capable of doing it. And it isn’t the fissiparous “left” or “the environmentalists,” who continue to split their votes between three parties. It’s Quebec. Good old hydroelectric, carbon-neutral, redneck-hating Quebec.

Unfortunately, almost half of Quebecers have been boycotting the Canadian federal system for over a decade, choosing to vote along ethnic rather than ideological lines. Like the oil curse in Alberta, the sort of ethnic block voting that sustains the Bloc Québécois is the sort of group behaviour that is toxic in a democracy.


 

Today’s Climate Change Comment-Bait

  1. Heath's perscription is to get those bigots in Quebec hating on western redneck Anglos specifically rather than just on Anglos in general.

    I love when these elite academics step in to "elevate the debate."

  2. Alas, someone didn't vote the right way. Again. Happens every election, darn it.

  3. The oil needs to stay in the ground

    OK, let's follow the good professor in the department of philosophy and the School of Public Policy and Governance advice and try to put the cork back in the bottle. How?

    Development of the oil sands is provincial jurisdiction. Development permits and royalty rates are set in Alberta. So, how do the Feds keep the bitumen in the ground? Synthetic argument.

  4. I was worried at first that Heath was agreeing with Thomas Friedman and his recent rants about 'suboptimal' democracy and how we 'need better citizens' but he did not go that far. So that's something.

    "There are only two ways to solve the problem." – Weakest point of argument because there are more than two options.

    I have no idea how Heath can argue that Quebec is boycotting the Canadian federal system. If only it were so. Quebec receives billions of $$$ in transfer payments and other programs every year from the ROC. And for at least the past twenty years, Canada has been promoting multi-culti ideas so we should not be surprised when ethnics act as a group.

    • Quebec receives billions of $$$ in transfer payments and other programs every year from the ROC.

      Good gawd, is this bit of stupidity ever going to die. Transfer payments transfer a province's own money, not another province's money, back to it. The only differential between the provinces is in how much of their own money a province gets back.

      • "Transfer payments transfer a province's own money, not another province's money, back to it. The only differential between the provinces is in how much of their own money a province gets back."

        If you think those two sentences make a bit of sense than I think you should be more careful in who you call stupid.

        • Nice ad hominem attack. Did you have an actual rebuttal or is simply calling me stupid all you can muster today.

      • Robert, you are aware that Quebec collects its own income taxes, I presume

      • The money is NOT the "province's money", Good gawd, is this bit of stupidity ever going to die.

        The Feds collect GST, corporate and personal taxes.

        • They collect that money from the people of the provinces, Dot. So it is the province's money being returned to the province. This means Quebec is getting money that Quebeckers paid to the federal government back and not the money Albertans paid to the federal government.

          • The Feds collect money from the people and corporations of Canada through rates that are applied universally.

            The Provinical gov'ts collect taxes from the people and corporations that reside in those provinces. If they don't collect enough taxes (either through not taxing at a high enough rate, having excess debt which raws interest payments, or from lack of economic activity) then they may not have enough revenue to be able to provide an acceptable level of social services, equivalent to the rest of Canada based upon an equalization formula.

            Shortcomings in provincial revenue are made up from equalization from Fed coffers. Two different and separate sources of revenue. (As an example for Quebec, if HydroQuebec charged the market rate for electricity then the dividend payed to the province would go up appreciably, reducing equalization – this revenue is from ratepayers, not taxpayers – different class again)

          • Over the last 10 years, Albertans have paid $116 Bilion more than we got back from the feds.

          • That's peanuts compared to what Ontario's "shortfall" has been. Do you really want to get into that pissing contest?

          • True until you look at it on a per capita basis.

          • Most of what Alberta transfered is due to windfall wealth you little dig or pump out of the ground. I know Albertans like to moan about how it isn’t easy to just pull wealth out of the ground, but let’s face it: Alberta won the geological lottery, and it’s wealth has more to do with that than any moral superiority they can hope to claim.

          • ‘little’ should be ‘literally’

          • And that makes it different than Quebecs wealth of Hydro electricity, how? And their moral superiority of all things environmental.

      • Way to frickin' go Robert. You have made me agree wholeheartedly with Jolyon and Dot. It will take me the whole weekend to scrub that from my conscience.

  5. I presume the first 47 hours might be in finding it :)

  6. Who the he11 is Joe Heath, and why would anyone care what he thinks?

    • exactly

    • *music*

      Though they say you're 'round the bend,
      Glad to hear you're on the mend,
      I don't mean to condescend
      But Google, oh, sweet Google, oh, yes, Google is your friend!

      *music

        • Ha! That's very good, thanks!

      • It sounds like he knows as much about economics as Adrienne Clarkson's husband (can't quite recall the name). Whats his solution for the global demand fro oil over the next two decades unless he wants the global depression to continue? Also, does he really want to leave the world dependent on Arab oil?

        • The reviews of his recent book on economics (called "Filthy Lucre") suggest maybe he does know a fair bit about economics.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rebel_Sell

      Heath is a Canadian academic and friends with Potter.

      The only thing I know about Heath is that his parents made him play monopoly board game without money (communist monopoly is how I remember it) when he was young and it has obviously effected his thinking ever since.

      • That's really quite stupid. The lefty criticism of Rebel Sell was that it was a defence of capitalism

        It actually only contained one novel and insightful idea: that "counter culture" as a lifestyle, a trend or a fashion is not a substitute for activism. Indeed it's easily co-opted by business and becomes part of the system it's supposed to be challenging.

    • Feel free not to care who he is. The editors at the Citizen probably chose to publish him because he's a highly accomplished scholar who writes well, but you needn't care about that. Don't worry about who he is. Assume he's just some random writer. Why not focus on whether he's making a useful point or not? Very few commenters here seem interested in doing that — at least not beyond the "OMG Heath's argument is dumb" level.

  7. Since 'hide the decline' with the 'trick' emails have exposed global warming as a science based on deception,
    there is NO WAY the oilsands projects will stop.
    The shame is gone since Climategate hit the news 2 weeks ago,
    gone as sure as Al Gore's oscar for Inconvenient Truth is.

    In fact, all the oilsands expansion projects are poised and publicly declared, to resume.
    And the boat loads of 'international cash' being dropped into oil & gas right now,
    would shock the lefites.
    The world is coming together
    in the Alberta/Sask oilsands.
    Northern BC is is a hot spot for Chinese Oil and Gas businessmen….

    Quebec can carry on with it's superiority complex,
    we Albertans will continue to be the engine that drives Canada into the future.

    • Realistically, I don't think that there is much doubt that the oil sands will continue to be developed in the future. The only real quastion is how much money from the oil sands companies will go to the stockholders in the form of cap appreciation and dividends, and how much will be spent on cleaning up their operations (pollution and CO2 emissions)

      That is the real issue – everything else is pretty much smoke and mirrors.

    • "Quebec can carry on with it's superiority complex,
      we Albertans will continue to be the engine that drives Canada into the future."

      Oh, the irony.

  8. Mr Adrienne Clarkson

  9. Hydro Quebec wants to further develop its hydroelectric resources, and sell carbon credits. Quebec is the biggest benefactor of equalization.
    Alberta wants to further develop its oil sands resource and needs to curtail emissions. Alberta (if you use the AC method of accounting) are the biggest contributors to the equalization pot.

    Simple solution – Alberta oil sands corporations purchase carbon credits from HydroQuebec. HydroQuebec passes the income onto the Quebec gov't in the form of a dividend.

    Equalization is clawed back – dollar for dollar (one dollar of carbon credits Quebec receives results in one dollar less of equalization).

    Alberta taxpayers are happy, Quebec is happy, the Federation lives, E May shuts up, life goes on…

    • Yeah, if you think Ablerta taxpayers will be happy when Alberta provincial governments get through messaging that Alberta companies are required to pay Quebec companies because they don't produce, you haven't met many of them.

      I envy you.

      • Well, if the alternative is getting carpet bombed in the National Geographic, the US Congress, the EU etc, maybe the fatigue will set in.

        I don't see nearly as many new Albertans thumbing their noses on the comment boards (not necessarily here) at the rest of Canada about their economic invincibility since the recession hit there as I did 1-2 yrs ago. Perhaps thinking is maturing and not as provincial as it once was. How many now use the term "I'm a native Calgarian" as their first line of introduction? At one time, that was quite common, as I recall, back in the "bums and creeps" era.

        • Heh.. that's too funny.. because I do. And I usually couple it with "One of the few"

        • I was one of the unemployed bums from the east (closer to the middle, but whatever) who paid heed and gave Calgary a pass on my way west in 1979. No regrets here, and Calgary probably agrees.

  10. CO emission reductions distribution in our federation might be the biggest debate in the next decade, however I will leave it for now. What is stroke me the most is the ethnic vote comment from Mr Heath.

    Apparently, the almost unanimity against Quebec independence in Canada outside Quebec let some people think the could say anything about this debate even if its untrue.

    The Bloc vote represents only a part of Quebec opinion and to use the ethnic unity angle to it is an insult to a majority of Quebecers like myself who do still believe the best place for my own Quebec is within a strong and united Canadian federation.

    This ethnic vote assertion is as dishonest as was the Parizeau one.