Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The Day Stephen Harper Helped Destroy the Planet

I hate to admit it, but it seems I was tragically wrong. Stephen Harper did play a major role at the G7 summit after all.

He took a reasonable proposal to fight climate change, before it changes the world beyond recognition.

And helped turn it into a plan which will almost certainly torch the planet.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has agreed to a G7 commitment to deep cuts in carbon emissions by 2050 — with an eventual stop in the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century.

By helping to sabotage a proposal that might have given us a fighting chance.

Canada and Japan blocked attempts at a stronger statement on binding greenhouse gas reduction targets, according to The Canadian Press sources who saw a working draft of the G7 communiqué, which was released today as the summit wrapped up.

"Canada and Japan are the most concerned about this one," said one source who was privy to discussions but would only speak on the condition of anonymity. "The two of those countries have been the most difficult on every issue on climate."

And replacing it with one that will almost certainly doom us to total defeat. 

While he blows even more hot air out of every oily orifice...

"Nobody's going to start to shut down their industries or turn off the lights," he said. "We've simply got to find a way to create lower-carbon emitting sources of energy — and that work is ongoing."

Because if we had to wait for him to wean us off fossil fuels, and transform our economy into a green one, at the rate we're going we'd have to wait a thousand years.

So Harper's obviously been really gung ho on the investing in new, clean technologies instead of, oh, say, committing huge sums of money to direct investments and massive subsidies to the oil industry, right?

Between 2005 and 2013, Canada’s share of the global market for renewable energy and environmental goods has fallen -- yes, fallen -- by a whopping 41%.

Because he was, is, and always will be a grubby oil pimp...

And what makes it even more appalling is that he's not even glancing at the future and the threats those condemned to live in it will face.

He's just looking at the next five months before the election. And like everything else he's doing, his limp proposal is only designed for crass political purposes.

And as David Akin points out, means absolutely nothing.

And so Harper’s Conservatives will play the climate change file the same way the Chretien Liberals did: Look busy, brag about what you might do but, at the end of the day, don’t do very much at all.

“What we have from this government on climate change is short-term, tactical, political considerations,” said David McLaughlin, a sustainability expert at the University of Waterloo who was also former chief of staff to the late Conservative finance minister Jim Flaherty.

For him the future of the planet is just another wedge issue....

Speaking to reporters in Germany, Harper did what his party is doing right now in this de facto election campaign, framing this debate in a binary way: That it is either the economy or it is the environment. That’s the wedge that was used to such great success against the hapless Stephane Dion and, as it’s largely the same gang running Harper’s election war room now as it was in 2008, that’s the wedge the Conservatives are going to use again.

And it couldn't be more disgusting or more CRIMINAL.

You know on a crowded subway train today I looked down to see an angelic looking baby sleeping peacefully in his pram. Oblivious to all the noise and the humanity around him.

And it suddenly struck me that he could be dead before we wean ourselves off fossil fuels, after having lived half his life in a world hardly worth living in. A world torn apart by famine, disease, and war.

Just because we couldn't stop a monstrous maniac from killing his country while he slept, AND torching his future.

And I don't know how we could ever explain that one. I hate to imagine what future generations will think of this one. 

But I do know what we must do.

Work harder than ever to defeat that miserable oil pimp, that environmental criminal...

Stop him before he causes even more damage.

Stop him before he shames this country further.

Stop him, stop him, stop him.

Before he destroys us all...

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Steve said...

Why did they just not promise warp drive and giant migration ships that will take the few millions left to another galaxay when the earth is dead.

Anonymous said...

The only good news is that Harper has such poor timing on major issues is that if Canada is decreasing its share of investment in green energy the rest of the world must be going the other way. The lack of investment in new technology in this and other areas has and will continue to cost Canada dearly. At least the oily dream will die long before we reach the 5,000,000 plus barrel per day target.

Anonymous said...

So, when is China going to sign on to the G7's de-carbonization proposal? How about Saudi Arabia? Or India? Or Russia?

It's interesting to me that you fail to realize that even if Canada went to zero carbon tomorrow, which incidentally means that you need to stop breathing, seriously, we account for maybe 2% of the world's carbon emissions. Can we really reverse climate change if China, and Russia who emit, maybe 20 metric tons of carbon continue to account for 30% of the world's carbon emissions? Is the EU really going to strong-arm Putin into doing his part, giving up on GAZPROM?

Hey, if you think we should give up on carbon emissoins, you go for it Simon! Do your part for the planet, and shut off all your electricity and heating. Incidentally, I recommend Wiggy's brand sleeping bags; they should get you through the winter.

Anonymous said...

Most of them, like Harper, believe in an all powerful God and a heavenly afterlife, so they don't need no stink'in starship. They have a star GATE!

Mogs Moglio said...

Oil pimp good one Simon alright you just made my day.


The Mound of Sound said...

A few years ago, former Harper BFF Tom Flanagan gave an address to an audience on Saltspring Island during which he pretty thoroughly trashed Harper. Among other things, Flanagan noted that, on sensitive issues, it is Harper's nature to say what people want or need to hear and then promptly forget about it. He'll make promises he has not the wildest intention of honouring. This is a perfect example. Decarbonize by the end of the century? Sure, natch. Check with me around 2080. I'll have something for you by then, sure.

This situation was tailor made for Harper. He can avoid appearing like a total asshole yet be just that in the practical sense.

But this is no time to let the others off the hook either. We know that if we're to have a "reasonable chance" of avoiding heating greater than 2C the world needs to leave 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. Obviously that dictates abandoning coal and high-carbon petroleum. When it comes to high-carbon petroleum, the dirtiest of the lot is bitumen. Yet Mulcair and Trudeau stand shoulder to shoulder with Harper on bitumen exports, quibbling only over transportation options. Once again Elizabeth May stands apart from the pack.

e.a.f. said...

One must not forget Steve and 60 of his Cons belong to the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church which believes the bible is "inerrant" and the second coming is "imminent". Now with beliefs like that, what else do you expect from Steve. He believes his god is going to save the earth or at least him. Remember this guy believes the second coming is "imminent" so why care what is going to happen to the planet in 20 or more years. The second coming will have come. Its sort of like the extremists in the middle east believe, they kill themselves in the name of Allah and they go to "heaven" with 70 virgins waiting for them. so the question is who is more deluded Steve or those suicide bombers?

whatever is decided at the G-7 isn't actually that relevant. Germany already produces a lot of renewable energy. Iran is going down the renewable energy path and subsidizes its citizens when they convert their homes to solar energy. What is important is what happens at the Bilderberg conference. that is where the money goes to talk, with politicians. that is where things are decided.

If the G-7 were really important and mattered, they would have China and a couple of others there. Canada might be dropped. In the grand scheme of things, our economy is not one of the top 7 in the world. We're there under sufferance, because we played a role in WW II and we are part of the Commonwealth, but one of the 7 economically, please don't make me laugh.

We are a country of approx. 37 million, an armed forces with 6 jets that work, a navy which doesn't and an army which had to borrow equipment from the Americans. Not much has changed.

What will bring change is provinces and individuals. The State of California is a bigger player than Canada. If it were a stand alone country it would be in the top 10 of world economies. So when it comes to the environment Gerry Brown is way more important that Steve stumble bum from Canada.

even the issue of water could be dealt with if houses were properly built to capture it. One house in Texas, yes Texas, off grid, no well, in a drought, captures 2700 gallons of water from the roof of the house for every inch of water. The house has a 29K gallon water tank which has never dipped below 80% capacity. Oh, and the house cost all of $170 sq. ft. to build. it is operated on solar and ground heat and cooling. We don't need to worry about the environment. we only need to change how we build houses in places like North and South America and Australia.

Anonymous said...

Agree overall but the federal government and provinces should be working together not in different directions. At present Canada emits approximately 22 metric tons of green house gas per capita whereas Europe is at 8 and the world at 6 tons. Global forces will push Canada towards the norm which certainly will be much less than 22. We can either get there through technology, a lower standard of living or catastrophe , to a large extent its our choice. Also don't count on Steve and big oil to redistribute oil wealth to compensate for the loss. With the exception of Norway look at how well that is working for the citizens in other major oil exporting countries.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you've heard. Apparently Evan Solman was fired from CBC. The Board of directors by Harpers Cons.This smells like crap to me.

hinofan said...

I think you might see some de-carbonization legislation coming from Alberta.
To be sure we have some of the biggest environmental boondoggles in North America.
Tar Sands tailings ponds, Fertilizer plant gypsum piles that are the largest in North America, Bitumen forced up through fissures in the ground by Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage gone horribly wrong and, of course the second largest toxic spill into a river that ever happened in North America, the Obed Mine spill - and don't get me started on Fracking and Carbon Capture and Storage !!
Edmonton, fondly known to oily cons as Redmonton has more NetZero homes than any other city in Canada.
And that is without any incentives. Think about it Anonymous, Alberta's capital City leading in NetZero homes.
No sleeping bags required.
With a change in building codes and a fraction of the subsidies and tax breaks formerly given to the oil and gas industry we might have a chance at shucking off our international laughing stock Harper given environmental record.
Now about those flare stacks and leaky abandoned well sites Mr Oilman !!!!!

Simon said...

hi anon...I honestly believe that Canada has the talent and the resources to phase out our dependence on fossil fuels long before the end of the century, without causing a massive economic dislocation. But as I pointed out in my post, so far what is missing is the political will....

Simon said...

hi anon...you're absolutely right. If we don't move more aggressively to develop our green energy, we will be left behind in the new global economy. Although I believe the target date for de-carbonization is way too far away. the writing is now on the wall, and we better start adapting to that new reality, or end up as the modern equivalent of a third world economy...

Simon said...

hi anon 10:45....nobody is talking about de-carbonizing tomorrow. And it may surprise you but the Chinese are doing better than we are in that regard. What I'm saying is that now that everybody agrees that sooner or later we will have to develop greener energy sources, the sooner we start the better...

Simon said...

hi Mogs...I'm glad you like my oil pimp, and I'm happy to report that I have several versions in my archives. I do like the orange pimp a lot, but the blue one isn't bad and has a feather in his cap like Chicken Harper...;)

Simon said...

hi hinofan...I'm hoping that Alberta will lead the way towards out brighter future, because they do have the expertise to make a real difference, and even Big Oil has been calling for a carbon tax to encourage innovation. If we want to we can do it, and all that is lacking is the political will. I also like to pint out to people that although Scotland is an oil producer, it has developed enough green energy to power the country without it. So as I said, it can be done...

Simon said...

hi Mound...yes you're absolutely right, his promise is as empty as the man himself, and commits him to do absolutely nothing. But he will try to use that empty promise to try to portray himself as doing something about the problem. And you're also right that the progressive parties have been far too timid and need to be more forceful and more imaginative. The situation is desperate, but I think we should look at it as a creative challenge, instead of a political liability. For as you know having written so extensively and well about the problem, either we do what we have to do or we will be sorry forever...

Simon said...

hi anon...yes, I just finished writing a post on the subject, and you're right something really stinks...

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful that Edmontonians are doing what they can to lessen their dependence on external sources of electricity. However, I note that the purchase price of the house is not mentioned in the article. I can't be sure, but I would suspect that it might just be outside of what young families can afford. And that's in first world developed economies with massive social spending.

And, that wasn't the question. The question was, do you really expect that Russia and China will comply with the G7's target? Or how about other developing economies, like India? Major oil producers like Saudi Arabia? The house of Saud is just going to quit doing what's made them rich and powerful?

Your remarks show that you don't really care about the environment, you care about hating the Conservatives, and moaning about whatever the government is doing this week. Simultaneously, it strikes me as kinda racist to be turning a blind-eye, favoring relatively rich and wealthy Albertans over poor Chinese peasants, and others. What you've said is tantamount to "Let them live in NetZero homes!" Yeah, let them eat Cake Marie. Do you think they'll let you wear heels in Hell?

Finally, how much rare earth elements are required to power one of these things? I only ask because faux-environmental fetishism of the west is really doing a number on the environment in other countries: www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/aug/07/china-rare-earth-village-pollution

But who am I kidding right? What's important is for you is to have unearned moral superiority. F those Chinese peasants right in the P right?

Steve said...

Monty Python could not have scripted this response

Anonymous said...

Simon - I guess my first objection is that a lot of people suppose that as Conservatives, we see the environment as a binary. Either we adopt protectionist environmental policies at the cost of the economy, or we develop the economy at the cost of the environment. And that's just not true. It's great that we want to move away from fossil fuels and, it's great that we're developing strategies to do that. If those who are spearheading these things can show, can demonstrate how it can work, there should be no doubt that corportations and individuals will happily shift to more environmentally friendly methods of doing things.

My second objection is that you just plain blame everything, no matter how big, or how small on Harper. LIterally, everything. What's even worse is that there is a lot that can be laid at the feet of Stephen Harper without resorting to your tactics. Instead, it's hyperbole about Dutty without a shred of evidence. And Evan Solomon too apparently. You don't know anything other than somehow, it's Harper's fault. It'd be far more entertaining if it wasn't so montonous.

Third, China isn't actually doing very well on the environment at all. The study by the London School of Economics is basically wishfull thinking at this point. If I end up being wrong, great, Chinese people will have a better environment and get to enjoy all the benefits of that. And there's the problem of proportionality, where China emits about 25% of the GHG's, us, 2%. Could we do better, should we do better? Sure, those are good things, we should make attempts to do them. Point is, even if we, Canada, could turn it all off tomorrow, it wouldn't make a dent in global CO2 concentrations. It's the height of arrogance to presume that if we shut things down, we'll solve a global problem. And until we can turn it all off, we still have to survive some pretty epic winters.

jolly roger said...

e.a.f. -- to make a long story short, trudeau's government in 1974, illegally and behind closed doors dropped Canada's public bank which lent additional money to run our government ( see " comer.org") at virtually 0% interest. Now we borrow extra money from the private banks for which the IMF, World bank -- the Bilderberg criminals in other words -- gave us a seat on their screw the people into the ground group ( the G in G7 stands for greedy)-- for payment to date at approximately 1.5 trillion dollars in interest we DID NOT have to pay --- that 60 billon a year right now stolen from our economy for no dam reason but greed...... now read those numbers I gave and give your head a shake-- tell all your relatives and friends about this and ask your MP's who are running in the next election if they are going to change this monsterous capital fraud back to what it should be, and help save on economy from becoming like Greece....

hinofan said...

Groucho Marx said " I don't want to belong to a club that would have me as a member !"
It beats me why Canada has not been kicked out of the G7 or G8 or whatever G# we have today because of Canada's assault on the Canadian environment, especially Alberta, under the Harper Cons!
Since the majority of Conservative MP's and its base are Fundamentalist Christians of the Alliance Church variety who believe in "Dominion over the Earth etc" and the "imminent return of Christ".and God given Free Enterprise, means that environmentalists are viewed as unbelievers and "Green Dragon" terrorists.
I take it, anonymous, that you are of this ilk.
Have you the "earned moral superiority" because of being "washed clean in the blood ..."?
Make those heels for me of the stiletto variety, preferably Manolos, in red, please!


Anonymous said...

On a yearly basis Canada currently pumps out 22 metric tons of GHG per capita. As the Chinese standard of living continues to improve it could be assumed that they would reach the same level. From an environmental perspective we know that this cannot happen so that something has to change. There are many options a) they never reach the same living standards b) they implement different technology leaving us behind c) There is a sudden decline in population and those remaining get to pump 22 tones per year. What do you think?

Steve said...


hinofan said...

I like the maxim Think Globally , Act Locally.
If you look at the Google Earth timeline feature using Hong Kong and the surrounding area you can actually begin to appreciate the explosive exponential industrial growth that has taken place there in the last few years since Great Britain's 99 year lease expired.
Alberta became a province in 1905 and digital phones started to come in 1992.
Look at a cell phone coverage map of Canada and Alberta stands out as the province with the greatest coverage.
An indication of the explosive growth of the oil and gas industry in Alberta's fairly lax environmental and regulatory regime.
I understand that most motor vehicles purchased in China are paid for in cash; while Canada the level of personal indebtedness compared to annual income is almost out of control.
China also has a high speed rail network while Canada's is almost entirely a pipeline on wheels and , secondly, a grain handling system.
A people mover it is not - that role has been taken over by the airplane and automobile.
The squandering of our natural resources and the despoiling of our natural environment is not really development since the majority of citizens are heavily indebted and not beneficiaries of this rape.
The Canadian Dream is, in reality, for many, to be house poor with many rooms waiting to be filled with furniture to be bought with yet another home equity loan.
For Alberta, tougher environmental standards on the oil and gas industry, not unlike those that many US states impose, will certainly help reduce emissions as will, a moratorium on Tar sands development - which is happening voluntarily because investment is drying up.
Better housing and tougher building codes will certainly help.
Giving 2 billion dollars to Carbon Capture and Storage was a colossal blunder when 2 billion to home energy efficiency improvements would have paid dividends and increased living standards for the average Albertan.
In terms of what the future holds for the human race I don't think we collectively have too many options.
When much of humanity is hobbled by hunger, poverty, debt, ignorance and superstition.
Those of us who have the luxury to contemplate the future realize that we cannot go on as we have for the past.
Our technology is outstripping our biology.
It is now magic for most of us.
Consider the fact that in 1817 the fastest man on the planet was Karl von Drais with his "running machine" or "hobby horse" .
Now Andy Green , the present title holder, is preparing to top 1000miles per hour, on land !
In the last 200 years what were once dreams have been translated into reality - high explosives, , automobiles, airplanes and nuclear bombs being the tip of the iceberg.
Out of this array of technologies may come a salvation for humanity - I sure hope so for my grand children.
As for me ,I'll be planting a couple of trees this weekend - pass that idea on.

Anonymous said...

hino - Interesting. Instead of refuting the argument you sustain it. Point to me I guess.

I'm not a Christian Dominionist, because, I'm not a heretic. Theologically speaking, I have no particular moral superiority over anyone, save for what is given by the Grace of God through His chosen minister of those Graces. In a more mundane sense, the only moral superiority I posses would be facts, and argument, over conjecture, calumny and gossip. When I buy a property and leave it undeveloped, for reasons of conservation and personal useage, then I might declare that I have moral superiority in this regard. Maybe. I'm kinda big on real evidence in that regard.

Which speaks to a peripheral point. I understand that based on the inflamed rhetoric of the left, you'll be joining us conservatives and conservationists under the proverbial bus of Canadian politics in the very near future. I confess, I know little about this matter, but if you are indeed correct, my understanding is that you will be needing our assistance. Or at least that's the theory. My personal opinion is that you lack the self-awareness to be able to synthesize that conclusion before it will be too late.

But nevertheless, assuming that my personal opinion is incorrect, there's been some speculation that you're going to be wishing for our help in fighting against injustice. We are entertaning the merits of rendering that assistance, though, you should note that the best environmentalists in the world, us, we, aren't too happy with how persons of your political stripe were the primary driving force for us being under the bus in the first place. We're still sore about that. Justifiably, I think.

As such, for my part, until your ilk make it a point to reconcile with us, I'm going to make sure that heresy or no, Harper gets donations, and votes, and support; 'cause he's the only friend we have under here in the tire-track lounge. Regardless of what he does to the environment. I can't do any damned thing to help make things greener from a prison cell. Maybe, just maybe, you should have thought of that before you made it a point to defecate all over the most committed environmentalists in the world. But whatever right? Friends and allys don't really matter, just so long as the dogma. I mean, the ideology is pure. Weren't you dissing religion just now? Why yes, I do believe you were. Hmm...

So, welcome, and enjoy your stay in the tire-track lounge! Perhaps you will be favored with a short stay but in the meantime, we can just sit and stare daggers at each other. We've been waiting for you since about 1995! It's gonna be a funfilled decade isn't it? ;-)

e.a.f. said...

Wednesday evening B.C.'s Knowledge network ran a documentary, made in 2010, regarding green projects in China. It was pretty impressive. In one city, with a population of 37 MILLION, yes 37 Million, they were working to clean up their water. they interviewed the project manager. He discussed the problems with China's polluted water, the growing population, the lack of clean water, you'd think you were listening to a Green peace member in North America.

There are people in China trying to make a difference. Some are even state supported. it may take time, but given the size of their manufacturing, it is a huge problem and it will take a long time. However, all of the project managers were proud of the work they were doing, as were the children going to the "environmental school".

It maybe true even if we stopped all our pollution, it might not have a great impact with countries such as China and India, but we don't really have any excuse. One could argue pollution was the bi product of China going from a third world country to a second world country. Canada never had that excuse. O.K. we're a first world country with a P.M. trying to take us to second world status.