Thursday, January 12, 2006

Anti-Kyoto Summit: Will Harper Sign On?

Alot of conservative opinion bothers me, but on the environment their backward approaches make me livid. The Anti-Kyoto Summit is underway and it scares me to think that our PM in waiting may be at the same table. The basic tenet of the Anti-Kyoto crowd:

"Speaking before the opening session in Sydney, Samuel Bodman, the US energy secretary, said it was better for industry to devise more efficient technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rather than impose binding targets that hamper economic development.

"I believe that the people who run the private sector, who run these companies, they do have children, they do have grandchildren, they do live and breathe in the world," Mr Bodman declared.

"Those of us in government believe it is the job of government to create an environment such that the private sector can really do its work. It's really going to be the private sector, the companies ... that are ultimately going to be the solvers of this problem."

Yes, our global future should rest in the hands of amoral corporations, who's only concern is profit and expediency. The government should allow free enterprise to self-police and develop its own regulatory policies. Targets that cause economic hardship are unnecessary, CEO's will do the right thing, while maintaining the economy.

This entire argument is beyond counter-intuitive. If you don't have third party regulatory bodies to make laws and requirements, then you expect an entity to act against its own self interest. It is equivalent to leaving an alcoholic alone in a liquor store and telling him to stay sober because it is better for him. Huh?? You can't expect industry to do the right thing for society, their focus is too narrow and there is no sense of the greater good. It is imperative that government enact legislation to force compliance, this mechanism is a cornerstone philosophy for a myriad of issues.

But, when a government is beholden to special interests, primarily powerful energy companies, it prefers to let the free market operate unimpeded. I am afraid the indications from the Harper Conservatives suggest a Canadian approach similar to the Americans. If this Anti-Kyoto Summit is any indication, god help us all.

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