Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fear Mongering (with poll)

I was thinking about all this bombastic, over the top, rhetoric coming from the Conservatives and their sympathizers, over the Liberal Green Shift. Trying to be predictive here, what else can we expect to hear in the coming days:

On a side note, I did a quick survey of our local grocery stores, and they do report a significant run on all canned goods and bottled water, as people prepare for the coming apocalypse. On that score, I hope to have my underground, steel reinforced shelter, completed by late Sunday. Fingers crossed.


Raphael Alexander said...

The irony is, of course, that the headless chickens are the Liberals who have chosen to implement a carbon tax to save the world from itself. A tax that will, possibly, curtail emissions 2% of 2% globally. Just so we can feel better about ourselves and slap ourselves on the back about it.

We're Canadian. We do things on principle. Not on pragmatism. But hey, whatever makes you feel better right?

By the way, I voted rectal bleeding.

Steve V said...

" A tax that will, possibly, curtail emissions 2% of 2% globally."

If you actually want to "lead the world", you have to lead. This type of initiative gives us leverage with others, particularly if we apply a carbon tariff, which is the natural endgame here.

Raphael Alexander said...

Well, Steve, nobody more than I would like to end our trading relationship with China. Of course it remains to be seen what people will think of eco-tariffs on products from China. Are you aware that China produces a year over increase of emissions that matches 2/3rds of our total contribution?

Blues Clair said...


Your "just so we can feel better about ourselves" agrument reminded of something I read from a recent Paul Wells discussion on the Carbon Tax.

"I hear this line of argumentation all the time from Conservatives and I find it baffling.
Coincidentally, 0.5% was also the approx. percentage of casulties (as a percentage of total casulties) suffered by Canada in the Great War. Would you suggest our sacrifices in the war were meaningless? That we didn’t contribute? If so, I hope the ghost of Arthur Currie will sneak into your house and slap you while you’re sleeping. Can you imagine Robert Borden saying “you know what.. Canada is a very small country. We’re not going to make a difference to the outcome of the war either way. I think we’ll just sit this one out.”
There is a certain logic to that kind of thing… but it seems inherently un-Tory."

-Mike Moffatt

I think Mr. Moffatt point is well stated. Don't Conservative Partisans cheer, roar and thump their chests in pride whenever they hear Stephen Harper say that Canada should punch above it's weight?

Tomm said...


I chose embolden the Taliban since that is always the second answer these days.

WesternGrit said...

The "costs" are FAR outweighed by the true benefits.

These conservative clowns argue about the small percentage of an effect this will have on the world. I'm not as concerned about the whole world, as I am about the immediate effects here... Driving into Edmonton from the East, I'd rather not go through the pall of smoke from the refineries. If local companies are forced to clean up, I MAY not have to drive through that crap in January. It's the local effects that are critical to us. Sure there are global effects, but at least we would be doing our part.

What most conservatives just don't get - or probably care about, based on their recent foreign policy repeated fiascos - is that no matter how small a part of the world we are, anyone who has traveled the planet knows just how revered a position Canada holds. This reverence for Canada worldwide has a lot to do with our almost neutral, peace-loving image - tempered by our invention of the UN Peacekeeping Force. The world has looked up to us for years - particularly the developing world... Countries like India, and areas in Southeast Asia. Even China had a very respectable relationship with us through the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The power THAT relationship holds is immense. The power we had to convince nations to see things our way. This will be critical in convincing populous nations like India and China that they need to clean up their pollution machines.

Canada can be a leader - by becoming a center for green expertise. Oh yeah - by the way - there's money in that, my conservative friends. We've already sold many useful green technologies to other countries. New Delhi India has completely converted it's bus fleets to compressed natural gas. It has made a HUGE difference in air quality and acid rain conditions. Guess where the tech came from??? British Columbia Canada. A company that participated in the China and India "Team Canada" trade missions was successful in landing the contract.

We need to act to BE the beacon we have been in the past. Unfortunately, under the current government, we are more of a "court jester" to Bush's regime down South.

Raphael Alexander said...

blues clair, the analogy is flawed, in that the great wars were fought amongst nations, whereas global warming [as the name implies] requires a global effort. You can talk about leading by example until you're red in the face, but when China is setting world record for pollution it's not going to mean a damn thing other than enabling Liberals to say "well we tried". Don't let that stop you from shopping at Wal-Mart and buying Chinese made though. No doubt your principles should enable you avoid buying Chinese altogether.

Raphael Alexander said...

Driving into Edmonton from the East, I'd rather not go through the pall of smoke from the refineries.

And if that were the argument, instead of this ridiculous green shift one, I would have more sympathy and understanding.

This will be critical in convincing populous nations like India and China that they need to clean up their pollution machines.

That is a laughably naive argument. That China or India would deprive themselves of becoming developed to the degree they want just because Canada cut a few emissions in Alberta is really inviting disbelief.

If you want me to believe China or India can accomplish reductions in GHG emissions while maintaining economic growth, first I'm going to need to see them lose about 900 million inhabitants.

Blues Clair said...

The flaw is yours my dear friend. As you know Canada's contribution we make (in any global issue) is going to be marginal. Should that stop us? You say yes, I say no. Am I going to believe Conservative fear mongering that this Carbon Tax is going to screw everyone, no. Am I going to believe the Liberals that this Carbon Tax going to save the planet, no (or even that it remains revunue neutral). But it is small (very small) first step and I'm glad to see Stephen Dion propose it... I got tired of staring at Madame Couillard's tits.

On a slighty different point, I'll leave you with the rosy words of Senator John McCain:

"I applaud the governor's (Schwarzenegger) efforts and that of other states in this region and other states across America to try to eliminate the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change.

Now, suppose that the governor and I are wrong, and there's no such thing as climate change. And we adopt these green technologies, of which America and the innovative skills we have and the entrepreneurship and the free market which is embodied by Senator Lieberman's and mine cap-and-trade proposal is enacted, and there's no such thing as climate change. Then all we've done is give our kids a cleaner world."

andrew said...

Raphael is on the mark with his first post. It is Dion that has launched this much awaited Green Shift to save the planet. He's the one implying a doomsday scenario if won't don't act in the way he says. (Never mind that as environment minister he didn't make much headway to reduce emissions.) I think the plan will be enough to save his own political skin until the next election.

My own sense is that the Conservatives are going to force a showdown on an environment-related motion sometime in early fall knowing that this time he'll have no choice but to vote them down. They'll do that after punching holes in the Green Shift for a few months, which doesn't seem like a tall order.

bigcitylib said...

You forgot "all of the above"

Joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
burlivespipe said...

Well, as a CON koolaid mixer a quick election may be your preference. The arguments that have been made here AGAINST the green shift - and naturally, like most political policy planks, there are pros and cons -- essentially set Harper up in the perfect light.
Canada shouldn't lead, Canada doesn't have to lead, nor does Canada have a problem.
If it's a case, as established by Harper and Bairds' performance in Bali and his 'sudden' conversion to environmental issues (like re-adapting Dion programs), then Canada will take its place as the Doorman of the World. Holding it open and telling all nations, 'After you.'
No wonder you CON-verts are so proud of yourselves.

Joseph said...

I agree, all of the above. The tricky part is determining what order. But I chose embolden the Taliban because its so completely instinctive for them. However, rectal bleeding is not out of the running given the novel approach employed by Harper yesterday.

On the topic overall, one thing I have been pondering since Thursday is the total exaggeration of the impact of increased fuel prices to the economy as a whole. I want to be clear here, and I in know way advocate pushing this as a "political" strategy (too easy to smear, as we know they will), but I think people are missing the obvious current example when they toss the doomsday scenarios around.

In reality (a domain most of us inhabit), if the economy were going to collapse from increased energy costs as the cons would imply, wouldn't we have already experienced an absolute apocalypse by now! After all, fuel prices have risen over 60% in the past year and every economists says that, with some fluctuation, those prices are going to be around for the foreseeable future.

That has made for tighter times, for certain. I've seen it, as I'm sure everyone else has as well. But there are no riots here in Vancouver (or Toronto or Halifax or Saskatoon to my knowledge), and the world seems to be rolling along more or less normal. And, as a silver lining, experts are now seeing stats showing changes in auto purchase decisions to more fuel efficient autos and decreases in auto travel in response to the higher gas prices.

If that isn't an argument that the MUCH MORE MODEST and clearly defined increase in the costs of energy proposed the green shift, coupled with tax benefits to offset some of those increases costs, can be absorbed into the economy with beneficial long-term results in energy efficiency, I don't know what is.

There will be impacts from the green shift, but the hellfire on earth scenario complete with stagflation, fire in the streets, is total bull. If it didn't happen since last summer, it just isn't in the cards. Nothing in the green shift compares to the "natural market" increase we've experienced in the past 12 months.

The main difference, as I see it, is the windfall profits the energy companies have experienced would be instead partially redirected to the consumers who need it.

If you own an oil company in Alberta, that might crimp your style mildly. But it's not going to harm the man on the street in Calgary, or the woman with a child in Toronto, because they don't benefit from those record profits today.

Something to think about as the sketches of a world pivoting on the edge emerge in the coming weeks.

andrew said...

The real interesting question will be if Elizabeth May will prefer the Liberal plan to her own party's plan. Personally, I think she would make a better salesman than Dion. She's a good promoter.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Dion wants to have a debate on all issues that are important to Canadians and which a Prime Minister has a duty to consider......

oh wait,

no he just wants to debate on his single pet issue.

How pathetic.

Dion, leader of the.......Sierra Club? .......Green Peace? Probably not.

Leader of Canada? Not a chance.

Anonymous said...

How does it feel having your party converted into a single issue special interest organization?

Joseph said...


Off topic, but you have got to look at this article on immigration applications on hold -

With the green shift dominating the news, I almost didn't even see it. I am really surprised someone hasn't talked about this already. How insane to just stop processing applications while "awaiting" the priorities from the immigration minister's office.

Talk about great ways of throwing a wrench in a process while claiming to offer solutions.

Steve V said...

Thanks joseph, I hadn'seen that. That's amazing, particularly the fact that it make take several more "months" to start processing applications. What a farce.

Steve V said...

"no he just wants to debate on his single pet issue.

How pathetic."

Anon, but this is the worst policy every proposed, Harper should RELISH the opportunity to embarrass Dion. What's pathetic is yelling like an adolescent, but cowering when given the opportunity to engage. You, as a Conservative, should love the opportunity. Why don't you?


Steve V said...

"How does it feel having your party converted into a single issue special interest organization?"

Best I've ever felt since I joined the Liberal Party thanks.

Antonio said...

"Best I've ever felt since I joined the Liberal Party thanks."

you really havent been in the party that long I imagine

ps: you know in my lol search "the terrorists will win" is always my favorite