The Commons: Tomorrow’s problem

Climate change can wait

The Scene. Turning to the English portion of her remarks, Nycole Turmel attempted to round on the Prime Minister.

“The Conservatives are turning their backs on the world. The Conservatives are betraying future generations. They have set up bogus homemade targets and are not even a quarter of the way toward meeting this lame attempt at saving face,” she ventured in her particular way. “When will the Prime Minister take climate change seriously?”

This question was almost entirely rhetorical and almost definitely futile, but it was almost surely the query the NDP wanted on the evening news—a furious condemnation wrapped in a plaintive cry.

The Prime Minister was quite happy for the opportunity to stand and speak seriously.

“Mr. Speaker, in terms of climate change, we are pursuing policies domestically, nationally and internationally. We are working for the creation of an international protocol that will include all major emitters,” he declared. “What this government does not favour, what this government has never favoured and has been very clear on is we do not agree with a protocol that only controls a little bit of global emissions, not enough to actually make any difference but enough to transfer Canadian jobs overseas. We will never agree to that.”

Therein surely lies something like the truth of the matter. However much confronting climate change might result in companies relocating their operations elsewhere, it is, in the shorthand of the moment, “jobs” that matter right now. As Michelle Rempel explained to Joyce Murray yesterday, “With regard to the fossil of the year award, the member opposite should know that the real award that counts is that our country sits on top of the G7 with regard to economic growth and job creation.” So there and so true. And so conceivably, just as soon as every working-age individual is in possession of guaranteed employment, income and welfare, and as soon as every nation in the world is committed to an agreement that does not threaten those guarantees, will we be prepared to do something about this matter of climate change.

Until then, there is not much to discuss. And so, setting aside tomorrow’s problems, the House turned to yesteryear’s pronouncements and debates.

“Mr. Speaker,” Bob Rae offered, “when the Prime Minister started his 10-year battle of Kyoto in 2002, he told Canadians that: ‘Scientific evidence on climate change was contested and contradictory.’ ”

Across the way, Minister of State Maxime Bernier applauded.

“Thereby giving credibility to climate change deniers such as the one who just applauded across the way,” Mr. Rae continued.

Across the way, Conservative backbencher Brad Trost applauded Mr. Bernier.

“I would like to ask the Prime Minister,” Mr. Rae continued by way of summation, “is that still the position that the Prime Minister of Canada holds about the issue of climate change?”

Mr. Harper stood and ducked. “Mr. Speaker, I do not pretend to be a scientist on these issues, and I hope neither does the leader of the Liberal Party,” he said.

The Prime Minister wanted instead to talk about another yesterday. “I will say this, what made absolutely no sense for this country was a Liberal government that signed the Kyoto protocols, signed what I quite frankly think were stupid targets and then had no plan after 10 years in office to even implement those,” he snapped. “That was irresponsible, and this government is making sure we have a responsible position for this country.”

Mr. Rae was unimpressed.

“Mr. Speaker, I asked a very simple and very direct question to the Prime Minister of Canada on climate change and scientific evidence in this regard,” he lamented, palms turned upward. “I asked a simple question and the Prime Minister of Canada, our dear country, refused to answer.”

He asked again. Does the Prime Minister accept the scientific evidence of climate change? “Oui ou non?”

Mr. Harper stood again. “Mr. Speaker,” he said, “I have said repeatedly that climate change is a big problem for the world.”

Well, sort of. The Prime Minister actually once ventured that climate change was “perhaps the biggest threat to confront the future of humanity today.” And maybe it still is. But it remains something for tomorrow.

The Stats. The environment, nine questions. Firearms, six questions. Aboriginal affairs, four questions. The economy, health care and ethics, three questions each. Fisheries, democratic representation, foreign investment and military procurement, two questions each. Poland, citizenship and infrastructure, one question each.

Stephen Harper, six answers. Maxime Bernier, five answers. Leona Aglukkaq, Rona Ambrose, Keith Ashfield and Denis Lebel, three answers each. Peter Kent, Christian Paradis, Ted Menzies, Julian Fantino and Tony Clement, two answers each. Joe Oliver, Gary Goodyear, Diane Ablonczy, John Duncan and Jason Kenney, one answer each.

The Commons: Tomorrow’s problem

  1. “it is, in the shorthand of the moment, “jobs” that matter right now.”

    Is this the new thing?  I’m seeing it frequently today.  The concept of “jobs”, to Liberals,  is evidently some risible plebeian whinge necessitating scare quotes.

    • 1.5 million unemployed Canadians say it every day.

  2. Extending Kyoto, besides costing $14 Billion,
    also would have meant 5 more years of badgering the government about paying up to meet Kyoto obligations (carbon tax on everything and take a run at Alberta’s Heritage Fund)

    Perhaps the billionaire enviro groups and opposition should not have tried to bully PMSH into a corner, they forced the choice on Kyoto

    • Rubbish….Harper has been calling it a socialist scheme for years.

      Meanwhile, he’s keen to put military bases in the unfrozen north, and charge admission to the passage.

      • “Meanwhile, he’s keen to put military bases in the unfrozen north..”

        Beside the concentration camps, and after he outlaws abortion and statistics, but before legislating mandatory sweater vest-leggings outfits (or “sweggings”) for strippers and subcutaneous chip implants of the Book of Esther for newborns.

        • I don’t know what YOU are blathering on about, but Harper long since announced military bases in the north….please try to keep up.

      • “charge admission to the passage”  Russia is doing it – keep up yourself.
         
         
        “This year’s season on the Northern Sea Route was special in many ways. Not only was the route accessible about one month longer than usual, but is also had the highest number ever of vessels in transit from Murmansk to another country.” http://www.barentsobserver.com/index.php?id=4991248&xxforceredir=1&noredir=1 

        • Which has nothing to do with Harper, or the NW Passage, but you’re getting warmer.

          So is the Arctic

      • You may want to send taxpayer money over to lesser developed countries which will not help us in any way but I sure as hell don’t. Give your head a shake and get in touch with reality.

        • Ya know, if you stopped clutching your….um…pearls all the time, and actually paid attention to what’s going on, you wouldn’t embarrass yourself in public like this.

          • Get some new talking points Emily. You are getting mighty tiresome.

          • No, you are insisting on remaining dumb.

            Willful ignorance

          • That’s telling them, Em. They’ll think twice about sassing you next time.

        • Much  better to spend it on re-enacting the War of 1812.  Go Canada!

          • At least the money will stay in Canada and create tourist and economic activity. Get real Jan.

          • That’s hilarious…you think those little lines on a map are real!

          • Have you been fitted for your costume yet?

          • JanBC
            Have you been fitted for your costume yet?

            LOL…he’s going as the loose cannon.

      • You mean the refulling station at Nanisivik? Thats the only base besides Alert that is north of 70.

      • Umm Emily it is a socialist scheme! 
        What Harper has done is lifted Canada away from carbon targets that are impossible for our country to meet without sending us into a 3rd world country tailspin. Since you already live in a cave with no electricity this probably won’t affect you. But for the rest of Canadians the idea of living in a cave doesn’t sit well. To meet the Kyoto targets would mean to take every car in Canada off the road tomorrow for good. That’s ridiculous considering that China will put the same amount of cars on the road tomorrow. Canada has 33 million people and contribute diddly sqat in carbon in compared to the US, China or India. So why is it that this so called climate change is all Canada’s fault? Anyway enough with arguing with the girl from Tenegra time for Jean Luc to beam me up!

        • Oh don’t be absurd.  It’s science and nothing to do with your misplaced partisan nonsense.

          And if you know I’m quoting from Star Trek, you could have figured out I’m not big on caves.

          Your brain: Engage!

          • The best part is, when you include Canadas enormous forests in our carbon calculations we are actually net consumers of carbon.

            But lets not go there, it might upset Tasha Yars engaged eco-nazi brain.

            cheers.

          • Trees are all full, bright eyes.

  3. Harper government is doing great jobs. May God help you to do greater that these. Amen!

    • Say what?

    • Just imagine, only a couple of years ago we had a national election and  Stefan Dione, Jack Layton and Lucien Duceppe all lost. But a month later the three pansies attempted to to take control of the country.

      Not wonder Canadians voted for a majority last spring. They probably hated the Tories but voted for them anyway.

  4. I don’t mind that we backed down from a legal arrangement; as previously said, the consequences are minor either way.

    I also don’t mind this means we’re going to keep belching out smog and cut a few years off peak oil. I’m confident we can deal with that as well.

     I even don’t mind it all despite the fact that backing out is meaningless on its own, therefore the bad press and spoiled international relations is the only real consequence. It’s good to be bad sometimes.

    What I do mind, and this irks me to no end, is that to pull out of Kyoto the Government needed no other reason than “We had something more realistic in mind”. Why is it, again, THE LIBERAL’S FAULT! Alright! I get it! The only reason you’re pulling out of Kyoto was that it wasn’t idea… big flipping deal.

    What a bunch of Juvenile Pissants that is leading our country.

    • They don’t even have the brass ones to stand up and say:

      “Yeah, so what we pulled out! It’s what we actually think; so we did it! Sue us!”

      Modern cons[ some of em anyway] are the biggest bunch of cry babies and moral and political cowards i’ve seen in my lifetime. The Liberals had their faults for sure, but they were never in the same league as these paper tigers.

      • CPC = Coward’s Party of Canada.

    • You don’t honestly think that was the true reason they pulled out of Kyoto? I don’t think anyone has a clue the real reasons, but that excuse they told the media is just the story they told the media. Politicians do what they do, they will blame the Liberals because it is their job to do that. Politics can drive anyone crazy, but thats the way it works.

  5. I know it bothers the envirofascists that Harper’s position has not changed since he came into office in 2006.

    He does not believe that adopting the Kyoto targets for Canada would help alleviate the problem of climate change. Without all the major economies of the world agreeing that the problem needs to be addressed and agreeing to binding targets our meeting the targets would have no bearing on the levels of CO2.

    Rae does not want to accept any of the blame for the Liberal party but if the Liberals had implemented the policies necessary to achieve Canada’s Kyoto targets then it is unlikely that Harper would have reversed course.
    The air has gone out of this balloon and Rae, Turmel and the rest of the rah rah Kyoto fans need to move on.

    • Again, you spout slogans without having the slightest idea what’s going on.

      • I am afraid it is you who is too dumb to understand. No wonder they kicked you out of the Reform Party.

        • I have a degree in science….and I left the Reform party in horror at the ignorance of and dislike of science.

          • you might have a degree but you sure don’t have any common sense

          • What you call ‘common sense’ would make you think the earth was flat.

            Science is another matter altogether.

          • I have a degree in science and I left the Liberal party in horror at the mindless blind faith they have in science.

          • Yes, you’re anti-intellectual

          • Ha! Sorry, I’m a science skeptic thank you very much. I work in science, my office is full of intellectuals, its my job to be skeptical.

      • Boy OriginalEmily1 your lack of knowledge is probably up there with the Dion & Chretien group of Liberals.Both embarrassments to Canada.NOTE: only countries backing this scam KYOTO are countries that are too sick lame and lazy to come into the modern world.Who benefits by this Kyoto scam EUROPE,AFRICA,RUSSIA,CHINA,INDIA..am I getting through to you EMILY..Canada has no problem with climate control and we burn enough fuel to heat our homes and survive in one of the coldest countries in the world.We have our own welfare case in Quebec,we do not,,do you hear me EMILY do not need to start subsidizing the bankrupt countries in Europe and especially China ,a country that has probably surpassed the USA in .GDP.Take your GD Liberal head out of your ass hole and get into the world of reality.We in Canada do not want to become like Europe,bankrupt and begging for money.PM Harper is leading us in the right direction and anyone in Canada who cannot see this can freely leave and go join a green GW nation..How about China for you Emily????

        • Such an endearing lot, the current Cons. 

        • Take your meds. You’re babbling.

          Gawd, now I have foam all over my screen.

          • Actually it is you who has been babbling on this board for the last year,lol

          • Well I’ve been talking pretty much science and the future, so I’m not surprised you don’t understand it .

          • Ems a troll. They’re everywhere.

        • Wow, somehow or other that one must have managed to evade Steve’s airtight messaging system.

    • Just reading comments being posted on Kyoto articles at the WSJ, Reuters, ABC and Telegraph – “Bravo Canada, Thank you Canada, Canada has a backbone” 

      Sample:

      Who would have thought the Canadians would lead the way back from the brink of a green chasm? I am overjoyed. This deals yet another bodyblow to the Ecofascists who wish to dissolve all forms of national autonomy, set up a Climate Court, control trade, energy and the economies of SOVEREIGN states.
      Wake up Europe….can you STILL not see the Emperor wears no clothes?Once again…BRAVO CANADA!

      • Speaking as an, uh, ecofascist, the government hasn’t sided with the, uh, non-ecofascists. If the government’s recent statements are to be believed, they’re pulling out of the Kyoto agreement and want to replace it with something else. PMSH even said global warming is ‘still a problem.’
        I still have yet to hear this government say, officially, that the ‘Government of Canada believes AGW is a hoax’. I’m not sure why they’re being given credit for taking that stance, because they haven’t.

        • They’re being given credit for admitting that we won’t reach the Kyoto targets.

          As for this government’s position, I believe it’s been Harper’s position all along that ALL countries should be held to the same standard, rather than ‘rich’ vs ‘developing’ nations. This was always his major beef with Kyoto, and he’s never hid that fact.

          So you’re right when you say that they want to replace it, but the chances of the Tories getting what they want (a global agreement that all countries, including China and India, will sign) are unlikely, at least in the short term.

          • Rightly or wrongly, they’re being given credit for much more than that, Mike. Have a look at some of the comments today on Wherry’s blog posts, and I think you’ll see what I mean.

          • Maybe this comment is more fitting, only the U.S. needs to be included.
             
            “There is no point in signing a treaty that has countries like China and India dumping tons of carbon in the air at the same time you are putting millions of your own people out of work. This treaty will not stop global warming with these kind of loopholes. One standard for all or forget it.”  

          • The Americans of course want their own banking standards – I don’t hear them demanding one standard for all.

      • Yeah, denialists are rife at the WSJ and the Tory Telegraph etc

        Quite happy to permanently damage the climate if it makes them a buck….

          • Well since you’ve dealt yourself out, you no longer have anything to say about it.

          • What a bizarre emotional statement.

            You have a science degree right? Let me guess, social science.

          • Nope, sorry.

            You’re done now….bye.

          • As are you.

            cheers

          • Ahh but I’m still involved, while you’re not.

            Cheers.

          • Oh yea?

      • yeah, but those were all written by holinm. :)

      • The greenie left always wanted Canada to be a leader in fighting climate change, now they have it, we’ve dumped Kyoto because it was too weak and outdated.

        And what do the greenies do? They whine and gripe like the old ladies they are.

        Greenies, oy vey.

      • I agree with you whole heartedly.

        Kyoto was a bad deal, and now were out of it. I’ll bet some other countries will bail on it too.

        Thank you Minister Kent. Thank you Prime Minister Harper.

        Thank God the majority of Canadians voted for you last spring or we would still be stuck in this Kyoto nightmare.

        • Trying for a Christmas bonus? 

          • Already got it thanks.

  6. This just in: the Harper government has re-branded Christmas as “The Feast of Stephen”. Unfortunately, the snow will no longer lay ’round about, deep and crisp and even, due to climate change.

    • He’s having a search and rescue helicopter drop a ton of the fake stuff dumped over 24 Sussex.  Nuts will be roasted on an open fire…

      • Uh-oh…whose?

      • Harper has nuts? Could have fooled me.

  7. I used to believe Kyoto was the right move for Canada years ago, until I read the details. It’s not fair that developing countries – who produce more than 50% of emissions – are exempt from Kyoto, yet Canada (with its 2-3%) would be bound by the accord. Furthermore, what’s worse, is that Canada would be paying anywhere from the tens of millions to perhaps billions to other countries who have lower emissions. I’m not ok with tax dollars leaving this country to China, Europe (whos lawmakers convieniently drafted Kyoto) or even Russia (seriously, are people naive enough to think that if Russia was to be the benefactor of our tax dollars to improve their environment infrastructure, that that’s where the money would go to?) I’m glad that we have a government with a backbone and I wish some of my fellow Canadians would grow one as well.

    • I agree completly. Its weird to hear Canada taking a stand against pencil pushing UN aperatchiks and the EU. I have no problem giving them the finger one bit. I think they are expecting us to crawl on bended knee.

      The next agreement thingy or whatever it is, will not be put together until 2015 and by that time anthropogenic climate change will be just old news. No one will want to even broach the subject, it would be like opening constitutional talks with Quebec all over again.

      Meech Lake and AGW, no not this again!

  8. “Mr. Harper stood again. “Mr. Speaker,” he said, “I have said repeatedly that climate change is a big problem for the world.”

    I agree, it is a threat to the freedom of people in nations the world over. It has already begun through the UN’s secret REDD program, where the carbon strored in rainforests will be sold to Western nations, effectively taking control of them away from the aboriginals who live there.

    Just Google recent news stories about the REDD program in Puru for example.

    I’m glad we’re staying out of that horror.

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