Sunday, December 09, 2007

Baird Changes The Channel

Taking heat, domestically and around the world, need a diversion? How about a splashy pre-arranged funding announcement?:
NUSA DUA, BALI, INDONESIA, December 10, 2007 - Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird, will make a funding announcement on climate change along with Monique Barbut, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Environment Fund.

Date: Monday, December 10
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Pine Room, Laguna Hotel, Indonesia

Proper media accreditation required to attend news conference.

A good organization, that does valid environmental work (most of the time) around the world. You can't quibble with Canada funding international projects to improve technology and develop better practices. That said, this announcement and the timing, is pure public relations, with a heavy dose of distraction. It reminds me of this time last year, when the government was heavily criticized on the environment, then quickly went out on a countrywide photo-op tour, throwing money around like crazed "liberals".

This announcement reeks of political calculation, given the barrage of negative coverage. When you have the head of the IPCC, referring to the Conservatives as a "goverment of skeptics" that "don't want to do anything on climate change", I suppose damage control demands a response. Tomorrow, Baird gets his chance to stand in full plume, trying to convince the world that what we know to be true is really a big misunderstanding. A good deed, done for all the wrong reasons.

UPDATE:

The details:
Canada has announced a boost in funding for a global fund designed to help poor countries deal with climate change.
The new $7.5 million contribution makes Canada the second-largest donor to the Global Environment Facility's climate-change fund, federal officials said.

A concerted public relations exercise:
The funding announcement is the first of many Baird plans to make at Bali.

The Canadian government has even set up its own personalized press conference room for a series of daily news announcements.

That facility is far away from the summit site - where Canada is taking flak from European countries and environmentalists who are upset with its stance on climate change.

I hope the media remembers, you don't need a charm offensive, pre-arranged publicity, if you are really the genuine, authentic player at this talks, that you argue. All of the announcements would have been finalized long before Baird arrived, and that fact speaks to a strategy, based on the need to distract. Canadian retail politics on the road.

5 comments:

Gayle said...

How much do you want to bet that when he gets back to face the Canadian media the first thing that comes out of his mouth, no matter what the question, is that the conservatives are getting things done on the environment like assisting the Global Environment Fund.

Unlike the liberals who did nothing in their 13 years of government.

Steve V said...

gayle

No doubt! Baird can insert that line where you used to say "taking the lead" on emissions, because that one may cause hysterical laughter now.

Mushroom said...

"You can't quibble with Canada funding international projects to improve technology and develop better practices."

Well, as a person who believes that human consumption is the main cause for climate change, any forms of international projects that enhances a global regime of production and accumulation needs to be questioned.

Thus I am quite open to a 23 per cent GST. Can you see the effect if it is tacked on to the gas pumps?

Steve V said...

"Well, as a person who believes that human consumption is the main cause for climate change, any forms of international projects that enhances a global regime of production and accumulation needs to be questioned."

Fair enough, although on principle I support better forestry managment practices and technological advancements that speak to efficiency.

Steve V said...

john baird:

"With this new $7.5 million contribution, Canada is now the
second largest contributor to the Special Climate Change Fund. This is yet another example of Canada showing real leadership on the world's stage."