Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Rhetoric Gap

If the following from John Baird is true:
"Canada now has one of the most aggressive plans to tackle greenhouse gases and air pollution in the world."

it seems odd to hear these criticisms:
Canada played a lead role in undermining the Kyoto protocol on climate change, at a major United Nations conference that ended in Vienna yesterday, critics say.

The week-long meeting of 158 nations concluded with a compromise that makes it less likely the next phase of the protocol, to start in 2012, will require stringent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, they said.

"It's clearly Canada joining the forces of darkness," said John Bennett, of ClimateforChange, an Ottawa-based advocacy group

Logically, if Canada is truly a world leader, with targets beyond the EU, as Baird constantly argues, then you would assume Canada would have NO difficulty supporting tight language and ambitious targets. Afterall, Canada is moving beyond the international community, which should translate to easy advocacy, as opposed to the hold-out status seen in Vienna (the same pattern witnessed in every single international gathering to date). Canada should be authoring the language, given our "aggressive plans".

What we have is a rhetoric gap, wherein claims are made, but when it comes to concrete commitment or action, there is resistence. If anyone can reconcile the contradictions, then they may have discovered a new mathematical formula, because from here it just doesn't compute. "Leading the world" - "resistence on the world stage"= "hot air".


Anonymous said...

Because they know lying works. No newscaster or editor or writer will call them on it because it would be poor gamesmanship.

Steve V said...


I think they subscribe to the "if you repeat something long enough it becomes fact". I would just love for a reporter to actually pose the question to Baird, instead of allowing him, what amount to, propaganda commercials.

Anonymous said...

Yeah - John Bennett is real credible. He's a bloody spokesman for the Liberal Party!

Doubt it? Ask Brian Guest, former Martin PMO staffer. Climate for Change's headquarters is in Guest's office. Guest tells Bennett what to say and when to say it.

The propaganda and spin is all coming from the Liberal side.

Steve V said...


Nice dodge, but there are hundreds of articles, without Bennett, that tell the same story- Canada was one of a handful of countries resisting firm language, arguing to water down any declaration. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

The only thing to deal with is the proposal at this confernce by developing countries that 1) the developed world should cut emissions 25-45% below 1990 by 2020, and 2) the developed world should go first.

Well that was sure nice of them!

Can you please tell me how Canada is going to reduce our emissions 75% below 1990 by 2020? Cause that's what is being pushed. And that's 12 years from now.

Thanks to your beloved Liberals, we are about 30% above our Kyoto target. Add 45% to that. Heck even add just 25% to that and tell me how in any way shape or form you could even come close to that? If you've got the answer you'd be rich!

Steve V said...


I notice you avoid Baird's "leading the world" crap, which if true, translates to NO PROBLEM endorsing proposals which require less than our ambitious domestic program. Are you saying that Baird is being dishonest, because that would by my conclusion?

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

Totally rhetoric. The 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 would be awfully tough to achieve, but certainly 25-40% below present levels is very achievable. I think though it will take quite some time to catch the EU simply because they are so much further ahead than we are.

And before any Tories start blaming the Liberals, I should note a lot of this has to do with that much of our economic growth has come from the natural resource sector which is quite polluting. In the EU major countries such as Germany and Britain have seen their emissions decline due to economic changes. In Germany, all the former inefficient state owned factories from East Germany were shut down, which is partly why they are on track to meet Kyoto, while Britain saw its industrial base go under in the 80s and 90s and recent growth has been mostly in the service, financial, and technological sector.