Great hopes and aspirations


Jim Prentice seems not terribly concerned by the G8 agreement on climate change.

Asked which year would be used as a yardstick for emission cuts, Environment Minister Jim Prentice suggested on CBC this morning the G8 targets are merely “aspirational goals” and will not affect Canada’s climate change plans overall.

“We don’t need to change our policies,” said Prentice. “This is an aspirational goal of developed countries collectively to try to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. But it is an aspirational goal and a collective goal. Really, when you’re speaking of 2050 by that time, some of the significant technological changes that are necessary will have been made.”


Great hopes and aspirations

  1. by that time, some of the significant technological changes that are necessary will have been made.

    Of course. Fusion power, for example. We're on the cusp of making it a reality, just like we have been for the last 50 years…

  2. Oh no…maybe this time the sky really will fall! But probably not. Although there will be plenty of Lib-Left types ranting and raving about how dire everything is and how soon we will all be burning up…or is it freezing again…or back to burning?

  3. So sad… Prentice was a man I really respected in the Conservative fold; smart, articulate, charismatic. But Harper's decision to make him Environment Minister basically threw his aspiring career into the lion's den. He will never be able to live above the fact that he was Minister of one of the most pressing issues of humanity (our ability to live on this planet), and was a MP in the most backwards party with respect towards Global Warming.

    As Rick Mercer said; "… with this crowd and this Government, that's the Minister-of-you-career-is-now-dead."

    • Ahhh…just in time, " (our ability to live on this planet)" the Lib-Left Chickens are starting their panic!

      Quick, better get that tin foil hat on, I think it's getting a little warmer outside today!

      • Global Warming has been proven by science; it's not an ideological debate it's a FACT. I like how your only argument is to label those who disagree Lib-Left Chickens. First of all, Liberals are a centrist party. Second of all; chickens? Really? I thought it was Harper who ran to the GG in order to run away from a confidence motion.

        Show me something that, with science, states that Global Warming is not happening.

        • When did I say anything about the Liberal party in my post? I think you may be a little sesitive. And stating tht Global Warming is a FACT does not make it so.

          • You said 'Lib-Left' – including the capitalization of 'Lib'.

            That's probably why they thought you were refering to the Liberal party, rather than a liberal ideology.

            I'm sure they'll be willing to assume you were ignorant of the distinction.

          • I guess I will have to watch where I put my caps…although I don't think the Liberal Party has exclusive rights to the word Liberal.

          • Get your hands into some dirt, watch your garden grow for a few years, and then tell me the globe isn't warming. Plants that once thrived are dying off. They are no longer staples in the garden. Semi-tropic plants are thriving. I live on the west coast. Over the last 5 years there has been an abnormal shift in temperature. I can no longer safely say I'm a zone 8. Frankly its getting a little difficult to know what zone I'm in at all. Everything has become trail and error. This is not normal.

        • MacCross: don’t waste your time.

          Trying to engage Dakota or Jarrid is like trying to debate a seagull. They are best ignored.

          • I forgot, agw is something that is beyond debate. It's a "fact". My bad.

          • Jarrid – I didn’t say anything about agw, I said that some commenters (you and Dakota as examples) were incapable of actual debate.

          • Spoken like someone who's been on the losing end of few recent debates, methinks. Don't let the polls get you down TJ.

          • Interesting that they never have any facts or websites to back up their "fact" that Global Warming doesn't exist. At least a moron is capable of that!

            “Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider.”- George Carlin

          • You might want to look at which posts stories and links to both beleivers and sceptics. needless to say, it helps to bring an open mind.

  4. "aspirational goal"….. I usta have some of them things …. they're around here somewhere. Maybe.

    • As I remarked to MacCross above, the Liberals did what again on the Global Warming front while in power from 1993 to 2006?

  5. Thank god the Chinese and Indians are not delusional and torpedoed any hard targets that would 'fix' a problem that does not exist.

    And Prentice is correct in saying that there will be all kinds of new technology over the next 40 years that should allay the concerns of people who believe global warming is happening.

    • The Russians have been pretty sensible on the Global Warming nonsense as well.

  6. I head him this morning. Kudos to the interviewer for asking the question.
    I only wish the follow-up had been: Is there a date or level of emissions against which our aspirations will be measured?

  7. MacCross – what did the Liberals do on the environmental file while in power?

    • I'm not interested in their excuses, only yours.

      • Agw is overblown. Even Obama will find a way to do squat on this. Just like Chretien. Let's get real. Canadians rejected the environmentally extreme position of the Dion Liberals. We should be careful stewards of the environment but not get too carried away.

      • If you really think Global warming is a real issue, vote for the wing-nut Elizabeth May. She'd tank the economy to keep the coldest country on the planet a little colder.

        • Why would Ms May want to get involved in Russian affairs? And what do you think she would be able to do?

  8. He is shifting responsibility to others, how Conservative of him… We can leave this problem for our children to figure out. Just like poverty, starvation, soil erosion, over population, arctic sovereignty, enormous debts…

    Kids are smart, they will figure it out. They will have no choice.

  9. Speaking for myself, having aspirations is a good thing, no. We all aspire, at least I hope we all do.

    • Not me. I used some anti-aspirant just this morning.

  10. The amusing thing is that Harper lauded these same targets the day before, and now Prentice is already walking back Harper's comments. These guys are really putting the ass in aspirational.

  11. Prentice saw what happened to Ablonczy when she diodn't play to "the base" – so he is as well.

    From the oil patch he came, and to the oil patch he shall return.

    He probably has also taken note of Anne McLellan's post politics career – on the board of Nexen, for example, and recently named to Stelmach's Advisory Panel. Some may recall McLellan was very pro-oil and was in the late stages of finalizing a deal to subsidize Imperial Oil's Mackenzie Valley Pipeline when the 2006 election was called.

    Prentice maintains the Mackenzie file for the Conservatives, one that he brought with him from Industry.

  12. He knows the truth. Forests are purposely left out of national carbon emission calculations because many nations have no forests to speak of, while others have millions of square miles of it. If you start to include forests in Carbon computations, some countries come out in a position of being net consumers of carbon. Prentice knows that Canada has over 1 million square miles of forests, but has a total population of less than that of California. When the carbon emissions are calculated and forests are included, Canada is a net consumer of Co2. Thus many nations would owe Canada billions in carbon credits annually. This will upset the carbon trding balance, so the Canadian Government has agreed to leave forests out of their carbon emissions equations. But for how long?
    Eventually the public will learn of this travesty and will demand that forests be included. This would not bode well for the stability of Carbon prices. So I would not be surprised if forests are left out of these discussions in Copenhagen, at least for this round. And Prentice is not concerned.

    • Including forests only makes sense if you are increasing the size of the forests – through neglect of earlier reforestation.

      Since any effort to reduce GHG emissions is based upon relative to a certain point in time (1990 or 2006) it would be the NET difference between what you had then, and what you will have in the future. Similarly, countries that are deforesting (say Indonesia, Brazil etc.) should be penalized.

      On that basis, I doubt Canada would gain any credit for having greater forests now than in the past.

    • And also, if you include forests, arguably, you should also include permafrost. And we know that as they melt, they release huge amounts of GHGs (methane and CO2).

      Hard to argue that it wouldn't be unfair for Canada to be penalized for the increasing release from melting permafrost. Similarly, unfair for Canada to be credited for having large land area forested.

      • Just devil's advocating here – by including forests, would it not have a free market effect on our stewardship of them going forward? We would have an economic – as well as environmental – imperative to manage them in a positive way.

        Secondly, I would argue that permafrost melting due to higher global tempertures – jarrid? Dakota? – is one of the canaries in the coal mine, but not a stewarship issue. Unless we were harvesting the permafrost in some way, purposely releasing their methane gases, we shouldn't be penalized for their thawing. What do you think?

  13. I don't know enough of the science to know for certain whether human-based climate change is a reality. But the general consensus of scientists who have studied the issue is that climate change is a major problem, and one that needs to be dealt with immediately.

    Either way, it seems to me that attempting to build the Canadian economy around the production of oil would be a bad idea. Most developed countries are keen on reducing their consumption of petroleum.