Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Baird's Rhetoric Finds More Support

Just once, when John Baird is making the rounds, spewing his nonsense, I would love for a reporter to actually challenge him to produce ONE independent analysis or study that confirms his wild claims. Today, another paper is released, this time by two respected CIBC World Market economists. The conclusion, the same as EVERY other study, the Baird/Harper plan is a sham:
The paper by CIBC World Market economists Jeff Rubin and Benjamin Tal (TSX:CM) suggest the Canadian government's efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions through intensity targets likely won't work because the more you make more efficient use of a commodity, the cheaper you make it and increase its usage.

"The implication is that intensity targets won't work, that you need to have absolute targets."

Quite telling to have another banking entity endorse the idea of a carbon tax:
Rubin and Tal argue that while it may not totally resolve the problem, the only effective way to ensure that gains in energy efficiency do not make matters worse is to ensure consumers don't get lower prices.

The best way to do that, they say, is by putting a price on carbon through a carbon trading system that penalizes energy usage and rewards those that reduce energy consumption, rather than merely efficiency.

"The moment you put a price on carbon, people will use less of it," said Tal.

Partisan exchanges are mostly noise, and it makes it hard for people to sift through the spin. Beyond that, arguments find credibility when they are reinforced by those outside of the arena. In other words, when you are trying to find the truth, you need to look beyond the rhetoric, and see if the claims find some outside relevance. Generally, with complicated issues, you find a host of opinion, which allows various sides to validate their positions.

The most striking thing about the government's global warming policies, we actually see unanimity outside of the political spin, and NONE of it supports the Baird/Harper arguments. I would love to see a campaign ad, with Baird or Harper speaking about their aggressive, world leading plan. Over the noise, the written conclusions, one by one, of every organization that has studied the government's approach. An interesting contrast, that would expose the hollow claims, that finds no support, from anyone.


ottlib said...

Jeepers Steve, for a minute there I thought you were serious with your headline.

I was thinking, who is actually supporting anything that man says regarding the environment?

Okhropir Rumiani said...

Good logic. It totally undermines the reason for buying a fuel-efficient car.

Tomm said...


Canada's position going into Bali includes binding targets of 50% by 2050 for all major emitters.

If Bali produces the beginning of a new Convention or Kyoto-"the upgrade" that includes binding targets for India, Brazil, China and the US, and a broadening of elements to include tropical deforestation and adaptation mechanisms, then I hope you will consider apologizing to Baird and Harper.

Especially if Canada comes forward as a catalyst.

I'm hopeful for Bali but not holding my breath for people like Elizabeth May or others to backtrack from their outrageous rhetoric.


burlivespipe said...

as long as harper and magilla gorilla hold firm on their 'intensity' sham, i'm fairly certain that the growing perception of harper as flim-flam man on the environment is fairly adroit. Tomm's so gullible he could be part of mulroneies defence team...

MarkCh said...

Oh come now, surely you noticed that the article referred exclusively to consumer examples, while Harper's intensity plan refers to industry. The difference is critical: businesses try to reduce costs as much as they can, while consumers try to maximize comfort within a specific spending envelope. Intensity targets for consumers truly would be dumb. But for businesses, they make more sense: if a business doubles its production and increases its emissions by only 10%, that is a good thing, and should be encouraged, not punished.

Steve V said...

"Oh come on"

Mark, I'm waiting for the one independent study that supports Baird's arguments. This study endorses a carbon tax, another item which Baird vehemently rejects.


"then I hope you will consider apologizing to Baird and Harper."

Are you serious, the claims are an objective lie, and that is proven by the lack of backing from ANY source? The numbers and targets that Baird spews are downright dishonest. I'll ask again, care to reference anyone that supports the claims?