Sunday, February 04, 2007

"Punishing the West?"

According to a Strategic Counsel poll in the Globe and Mail today, the vast majority (63%) of Canadians think we should at least attempt to keep our Kyoto commitments, while less than a third (30%) believe we should attempt a "made-in-Canada" solution. (7% don't know.)

What's most striking is that the poll numbers out west are:

Kyoto - 55%
"Made-in-Canada" - 37%
Don't know - 8%

If environmentalism in general and Kyoto in particular is "punishing the west," as so many opponents like to claim, then the west must be pretty masochistic.

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At 2/04/2007 9:16 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Globe & Mail poll, eh....hmmm...why do I not trust the Globe.
I'm still waiting to hear from a Liberal how we will meet our Kyoto targets without destroying our economy.

At 2/04/2007 10:01 a.m., Blogger Clear Grit said...

And I'm still waiting to hear from a conservative WHY Kyoto would destroy our economy.

At 2/04/2007 12:01 p.m., Blogger wilson61 said...

It's a chain reaction Clear Grit.
Example: a plastics factory, under Kyoto, is under a mandatory emissions cap, has to reduce emissions by , say, 20% in 4 years.
The 35 year old plant would have to be totally refurbished to do that. It would cost 10 years net income to do so. Not only that, they are competing internationally, so the extra costs can not be downloaded onto their customers, who could buy cheaper from China and India.
The plant owners decide to a) pay the huge fines, much cheaper than reducing emissions, b) packup their technology and move the plant to China or India, and continue to sell their products internationally from there.
Either way emissions will not be reduced.

It is naive to think that Canadian industry will take it on the chin just to keep Canadians employed.

Prime example: CLS, Martin did the offshore/cheap labor thing with his company to stay competetive, and thus, survive.

It is also naive to think that Canadians will pay $2 for a litre of gas with out complaint. The cost of ALL goods, including basic necessities, consumed in Canada will rise dramatically from additional costs that are downloaded onto the consumer.

China is putting a coal burner on line every week, and they IMPORT the coal to burn (they have lots of their own coal, but it is now, not enough).
Maybe the international community should tell China 'no more coal for you'. Same for oil and gas.

Canada should export energy only to countries that are making the effort to reduce their GHGs, and not support the planet killers.

At 2/04/2007 12:05 p.m., Blogger Clear Grit said...

And what reason is there to not at least try to live up to Kyoto, even if its first-stage goals can't be met?

At 2/04/2007 12:36 p.m., Blogger wilson61 said...

How can you live up to Kyoto if the first targets are not met? Kyoto is targets and penalties for not reaching the targets, and does not include the up and coming worst polluters on the planet.
Kyoto is not a plan.
How does buying international credits from failed economies, reduce emissions?

I'd rather see Cdn tax dollars go towards reducing Cdn coal burners than be sent to Russia.

If Canada is going to be a global good citizen, start with the dirtiest energy source, coal. Clean it up, and/or stop using & exporting it.
Help Ontario & Alberta go nuclear.

At 2/04/2007 12:40 p.m., Blogger JimBobby said...

Wilson sez --
"Canada should export energy only to countries that are making the effort to reduce their GHGs, and not support the planet killers."

WilsonFeller, I read a lot o' yer comments in the Canajun boogeysphere an' most times I disagree with yer 'pinions. On this here energy sales thing, I'm with you a hunnert percent's worth. We don't sell much coal or energy t' China, I reckon, but we do sell plenty t' the world's biggest producer o' GHG's - the USA.

BTW, refurbishin' them plants is a job that'll be done by Canajun workers. Read up on sustainable green economy -

Clear Grit sez --
"And what reason is there to not at least try to live up to Kyoto, even if its first-stage goals can't be met?"

No reason not to an' every reason we ought to. Up until yesterday, or so, PMSH's best excuse fer not followin' Kyoto was that he didn't fully believe in the science. That's what he sed but I figger he ain't that stoopid.

Now that King Steve's publickly sed he does accept the science an' it's a real problem an' we need t' deal with it, the excuses fer not at least tryin' t' meet the targets is weaker.

The anti-Kyoto bunch have other qualms. The carbon market seems to reward the 3rd world disproportionately. The worst offenders ain't signed on. Etc. Etc.

The gummint don't care what 63% think so long as they can bamboozle 'em inta thinkin' the Cons is at least doin' sumpin' when the Grits didn't do nuthin'.

The mud's goin' back an forth from Tory t' Grit. Yer both succeedin' in makin' the other guy look bad. Us Greenies is settin' on the sidelines countin' votes.


At 2/04/2007 2:10 p.m., Blogger canuckistanian said...

sorry to burst your bubble wilson61, but canada can't stop selling oild and gas to the US under NAFTA. also, shouldn't we try to reduce our own emissions b4 we cut off other countries??? wouldn't it be hypocritical to hold other countries to a higher account then we hold ourselves???

At 2/04/2007 7:06 p.m., Blogger wilson61 said...

The US has a better record on GHGs than Canada, (jimbobby targeted the US, not me) I was pointing at the coal China consumes, Canuck.

China has a huge amount of coal, and their needs have outgrown what they can produce, so they are now importing coal.

If Canada is selling coal to China, we are contributing to global GHGs by more than 2% estimated because we are providing China the means to fire up those 'new' coal burners.
We should sell them Candu Reactors instead of coal.

I did say Canada should clean up it's own too:
''If Canada is going to be a global good citizen, start with the dirtiest energy source, coal. Clean it up, and/or stop using & exporting it.
Help Ontario & Alberta go nuclear.''

Number 1 polluter in Canada (more than the worst 2 Alberta polluters combined) is Ontario Power.

At 2/04/2007 7:23 p.m., Blogger jaycurrie said...

Hitting Kyoto targets means reducing our emissions 6% from 1990. The Liberals presided over a roughly 35% increase in emissions from the date Canada signed onto Kyoto. This means we would have to cut our emissions by - in round numbers - 40%.

We could a) buy emission credits to cover the cost of the Liberals' negligence, b) actually reduce emissions by doing things like shutting down the tar sands and coal fired generating stations.

The cost of "a" is estimated at around 10 billion dollars and won't actually cut emissions by a single CO2 molecule. The cost of "b"...well, imagine Ontario without electrical power a couple of days a week and the economic consequences of shutting down the tar sands.

Now, if there was the slightest reason to believe this might actually help then, perhaps, Canadians would climb on board. However, the fact is that if all of the Kyoto signatories actually hit their targets (as if) China's coal fired generating plants coming online at the rate of one per week would overwhelm the emission reductions.

Bottom line: if you believe that climate change is real and that human activity is to a degree responsible you will also recognize that Kyoto is not a solution or even the start of a solution. And if you recognize that Canada has unique characteristics which directly effect our emissions profile, you will realize that our negotiators at Kyoto were euchred. The world sent trade negotiators, we sent environmentalists.

At 2/04/2007 10:12 p.m., Blogger Tony said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2/04/2007 10:31 p.m., Blogger Tony said...

I wonder how many Canadians would support Kyoto if they knew the true cost of achieving our target. To reduce our emission by 40% by 2012, we would have to:

a. Shut down most of our industries, factories, power plants, airlines at a cost of thousands of Canadian jobs.
b. Stop using a majority of our cars
c. Revert the Canadian society back to the pre-industrial age

Even if we did this and achieved our target, guess what?

China, Russia, India, who do not have any set targets would completely negate any Canada's share of the world's emission (ie. 2% at last count)

The only other option to achieve this target without devastating our industries and putting thousands of Canadians out of work would be to send billions of our tax dollars to countries like China., Russia and India, with no guarantee that it will be spent on reducing their emissions. Please explain to me in what way will it benefit Canada?

If you want to do this, be my guest, but when the "chickens come home to roost", and we become a third world country without any industries, jobs and economy, don't say that you were not warned.

At 2/09/2007 1:04 a.m., Blogger Miles Lunn said...

I don't think we can realistically meet our Kyoto targets, but I do think we should have a policy that however much we miss them by we must agree to targets that much larger in the second round. This would put as much incentive as possible to get as close as we can. I believe the CD Howe Institute said with the Liberal plan from 2005, we would get 80% of the way there.


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