Monday, December 10, 2007

Damage Control

When was the last time a Canadian government made a domestic announcement, while attending an international conference? If anyone doubted that our government is engaging in a well orchestrated propaganda campaign, to distract attention from our abysmal performance in Bali, then today's curious announcement should end any apprehension:
Environment Minister John Baird announced Monday that the government will give $85.9 million over four years to help Canadian communities deal with the effects of climate change.

Baird made the announcement in Bali, Indonesia where he is representing Canada among more than 190 countries at a massive UN conference on climate change.

This is just pathetic:
The plan replaces one that was shelved by the Conservatives when they first took office. Baird appeared to be caught off guard when asked how the program was different from the former one. He told reporters he'd check on the details.

How sad, that our government has to use an improper venue to announce a domestic initiative, that would appear to be a replacement for an already established program that they previously killed. What a shining moment, clearly the world is impressed.

On another note, Canada received another Fossil Of The Day award today(none were awarded yesterday), which brings our total to 8, well ahead of anyone else. In addition, more praise for Canada, this time from UN climate chief Yvo de Boer:
But UN climate chief Yvo de Boer criticized Canada on Monday for its position on climate change.

"(Boer) said he found it very interesting that Canada is trying to convince developing countries to take binding reductions on greenhouse gas emissions while Canada at this point has not lived up to its own commitments under Kyoto," CTV's Steve Chao reported from Bali.

Baird met with Boer Monday and the two discussed the post-2012 deal.

Before the Conservative apologists parrot the "blame the Liberals" line, interesting to note that Canada ranked 46th out of 56 countries on climate change policies the year the Tories took office, we now rank 54th, 55th on governmental commitment. The more people squawk about the Liberals, the more it speaks to the Conservatives failures. Quite a feat to be relatively worse than the people who did "nothing". It begs the logical question, how can you achieve less than "nothing"?


Big City Lib has a revealing post, that pretty much pierces the veneer about who has the government's ear when it comes to climate change.


Gayle said...

"He brushed off the criticism and said he didn't come to Bali to play politics."

Snort. That is all the man knows how to do.

It is harder and harder to be proud to be Canadian.

Steve V said...

"It is harder and harder to be proud to be Canadian"

CBC radio did a segment from Bali. The CBC Asia reporter said the most frequently asked question of him was "what is happening in Canada?".

Anonymous said...

"It is harder and harder to be proud to be Canadian."

There you go...that's exactly how we feel out west when the Liberals are in power.

Steve V said...

"There you go...that's exactly how we feel out west when the Liberals are in power."

LOL, you are responding to a westerner dipshit.

Anonymous said...

steve, steve, steve...

It's people like you who make it tough for western liberals.

Ever hear of tact?

Steve V said...

"Ever hear of tact?"

Mr. Dipshit?

Anonymous said...

This is from the US government "House Oversight and Government Reform Committee" report - it's on their website about their findings:

"For the past 16 months, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been investigating allegations of political interference with government climate change science under the Bush Administration. During the course of this investigation, the Committee obtained over 27,000 pages of documents from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Commerce Department, held two investigative hearings, and deposed or interviewed key officials. Much of the information made available to the Committee has never been publicly disclosed.

This report presents the findings of the Committee’s investigation. The evidence before the Committee leads to one inescapable conclusion: the Bush Administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming.

In 1998, the American Petroleum Institute developed an internal “Communications Action Plan” that stated: “Victory will be achieved when … average citizens ‘understand’ uncertainties in climate science … [and] recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the ‘conventional wisdom.’” The Bush Administration has acted as if the oil industry’s communications plan were its mission statement. White House officials and political appointees in the agencies censored congressional testimony on the causes and impacts of global warming, controlled media access to government climate scientists, and edited federal scientific reports to inject unwarranted uncertainty into discussions of climate change and to minimize the threat to the environment and the economy"....and it goes on

Now, look who Baird has taken to Bali........

The neo-con supporters have been duped and they don't want to admit it.

Anonymous said...

I have been keeping an eye on both Canadian and USA political blogs to ascertain what is the difference in "Bali" reporting by MSM and bloggers, if any, both quantity and choice of topic/focus. (to reveal POV and possible tactics which would expose hidden agendas hopefully). Then, I looked at some European newspapers and found a different angle being looked at there, using my criteria of quantity and choice of topic/focus.

Canada - lots of coverage, blogs and msm. Focus: largely blaming, finger-pointing at political parties, domestic politics mostly. Some talk of GHG science, for/against with POV almost exclusively on fossil fuels. Ownership of Canada's emissions being emitted, much less. Solutions, almost zero

USA - some-to-little coverage, msm, blogs even less. High negatives and/or just a non-topic. When discussed, much like Canada's POV.

Europe - hard to judge quantity, seems to be on a par with Canada's. Looked at MSM only. Focus: much more on the reality of what we face, less on politics. Much more global, international POV, almost no domestic posturing. Talk is more of what the limits will be, the success of the conference, it's outcome, the agreement itself. Much less talk of fossil fuels, talk of deforestation as being part of the problem, more on reforestation as a solution that needs more attention. More emphasis on how countries, not politicians must take responsibility.

My summary - the whole discussion on our side of the atlantic is being driven, controlled, manipulated by domestic political posturing and divisions in ideology, as well as the fossil fuel industry. We can't even get to the part of the discussion where we begin to take responsibiity and lay out the array of solutions available. We are definitely NOT enjoying a POV that includes the rest of the planet, let alone the inhabitants of it. Very self-centered. In a warming=politics/oil. On the other side of the atlantic, global warming=serious problem to be solved by people/countries.

So, not only is Canada now obstructing action on climate change, we are not even able to talk about the reality we are facing, let alone from a global, international POV. We are so seriously off-topic that I begin today to think the causes of climate change should be identified as deforestation, fossil fuel useage and inability to face reality and stay on the appropriate topic (how the problem occurs, who is responsible, what are the solutions).


Gayle said...

biff - I am from Alberta.

I became embarassed about that years ago...

Steve V said...

"We are so seriously off-topic"

Blackstar, the reason we see a highly politicized debate in Canada is because we are still fighting the notion itself. This debate is so politicized because the government made it so, by distancing itself from the scientists, cutting funding and damaging our relationships with our supposed partners in this process. Our discourse has actually receded in the last two years, and now it amounts to brinksmanship and posturing. The European debate is over, so they can focus on the issue in a clear way. The Americans aren't engaged, the issue isn't even in the top 10-15 concerns, according to polls, which explains the apathy.

Scotian said...

For the first time in my 40+years of life I find myself genuinely ashamed of my government, something not even Lyin' Brian managed to make me feel. At least Mulroney did things I could wholeheartedly support like fighting Apartheid and acid rain. Ironically enough, many of the denier arguments regarding the economic costs of fixing global warming eerily echo that which I remember hearing a quarter century regarding the economic costs of dealing with acid rain. As reality proved though it did not trigger the economic devastation that was predicted by those that claimed it would cost too much and cripple the Canadian economy. I find it no surprise to be hearing the same arguments from the same sorts that fail to understand that without a stable healthy environment there can be no long term economic stability for any country. Especially in the case of global warming as it forces mass migrations and increased fighting over dwindling resources as its impacts continue to accelerate.

While the planet will survive global warming our species is another story, and that is where these so called economic protectionists completely miss the point. So long as they get theirs they don’t care about the long term ramifications, about the most selfish, arrogant hubris attitude/mindset (talk about feeling entitled to their entitlements, the CPC has set whole new records in that regard far surpassing any predecessor government in that regard) going in my view far more than anything I have seen from so called Liberal activists and left wingers, and this is concentrated within the modern conservative movement in NA as represented in Canada by the Harper CPC.

So of course we are seeing damage control from Baird, despite how transparent this is, because it is all they have to use to try and look like they care and are doing something substantive when they are doing all they can to do the opposite. Classic Harper governing in action, I have never seen any government as focused on using all tools of legislation and office/power only on partisan gambits to gain more power/majority, not of any political/partisan nature. This is a government whose sole overall policy aim is to get more power/majority, it does nothing without that consideration being at the top of its goals to accomplish, and that kind of government is not in keeping with Canadian tradition regardless of where one sits on the political spectrum.

As I have said many times before the Harper CPC is not a Canadian rooted government in its policies, principles, and core beliefs. Harper's Conservatives are Straussians, they believe in the noble lie and the right of only the elites to have any say in governing our society, and Harper's actions/record as PM and whom he considers worthy of "consulting" only underscores this from the IT scandal to the global warming file.

Good post Steve V.

BTW, for those that do not understand why I am ashamed of this government unlike any of its predecessors, it is rooted in the selling out of core Canadian values and principles that have been held not just by the Libs and NDP but also the PCPC, Harper’s CPC is selling out the heritage of the PCPC as well as the rest of the parties of long standing. That is why I am ashamed, for the first time in my life the federal government is run by those that not only hate government to begin with but are clearly impressed with and believers of the core principles of the modern GOP/movement conservatives and have a long record of trashing core Canadian values held across the Canadian political spectrum, at least by those that are rooted in Canadian values/traditions which Harper's Calgary School Straussian rooted political values/principles clearly are not. That is *NOT* the Canadian way and most certainly does not reflect Canadian values. CPC values are American conservative values, not Canadian, and I am ashamed that a foreign rooted party is currently regressing Canadian long term policies at every opportunity from global warming to social justice to basic economic policy. If I wanted to live under American conservative rule I would have moved to the USA, this is Canada and we truly are a different culture/society despite all the claims by Harper and his kind of conservatives to the contrary and need government that recognizes this and acts accordingly instead of selling out those Canadian values/principles.

Steve V said...


Just today, the developed world countries were asking for 30 billion to help deal with the effects climate change is having on there countries. When you factor in the costs of doing nothing, then all the economic arguments fall apart. The deniers act as though economic damage is a a one-sided argument, it isn't.

I share your embarrassment, and it is actually pathetic that the Harper apologists are reduced to criticizing everyone who dares to articulate a pretty basic truth. There is also some irony, that all this takes place on the 50th anniversary of Pearson's nobel win, a representation for what Canada should aspire to be on the international stage.

Anonymous said...

Another point to consider - while this gov't claims Kyoto targets are unreachable, it also refuses to license potential solutions which may make the targets reachable, such as that electric car discussed on one liberal blog not long ago. The company stated it would have to leave Canada without a license from Transport Canada.

We can't even discuss topics like this because we are stuck in nowhere land, endlessly blaming first the Liberals and then the Conservatives for inaction. Who the hell cares. We are personally all responsible for a failure to both think through the problem and act on it. This is not political. Waiting for politicians to act is also a cause of global warming. We do nothing in the meantime. Our gov'ts must lead but we must demand they move in this direction.

Endlessly arguing from a domestic political posture is a major distraction which gives cover to the still growing fossil fuel industry and the nuclear industry. I predict that the Conservatives will just continue to keep us arguing over who is to blame while nurturing the oil production and preparing to whip out the nuclear reactors as soon as the oil porfits dry up. Notice we joined Bush's Global Nuclear Energy Group very recently to little fanfare. This 'club' asserts uranium producers take back the waste. That's us folks. They will admit global warming exists when the $ dwindle from oil and have nuclear all ready to shove under our noses when that happens.


ALW said...

When was the last time a Canadian government made a domestic announcement, while attending an international conference?

Oh, I dunno. How about two weeks ago

Scotian said...

Steve V:

That this is happening during Pearson's Nobel prize 50th anniversary only highlights just how far away from the core Canadian values this government has already taken Canadian policy and principles both foreign and domestic in this minority. That it underscores just how transformative Harper's CPC would be if given the chance to Canada, we truly would not recognize it once he was done as he himself famously said in the past. As it is I suspect there are many non-politically aligned/affiliated voters going "WTF? This isn't the country I have always known us to be, even during hard/lean times." and wondering just what this government thinks it is doing. Ironically enough, it may well be Harper's inability to keep his Straussian instincts contained until after he successfully gains majority in this minority which does him and his variant of conservativism in.

I suspect that this is partly his inability to control/manage his basic nature, but I also think he still feels robbed from the last election and that he had deserved his majority then and should have gotten it and this also helps explain why he acted like that was what he had from the outset. I mean lets face it, Harper had everything going his way in the last election cycle and he knew it, by all rights the Libs should have been much more seriously reduced (while I generally approve of the Liberal 13 yr rule, by the time of the last election that government and party had become more than a little corrupt and incompetent/arrogant in some respects, although I didn't think Martin was all that bad even so and even granting this it was still a significantly healthier choice than Harper's CPC) in seats and the CPC should have managed to get at least a small majority and not the weak minority they got.

A minority 10 less than Martin's in seats (all because Canadians still distrusted Harper was now the moderate/centrist he was portraying himself as, and then he made the being checked by Liberal media, Liberal Supreme Court and Liberal controlled bureaucracy comment a week from election day reminding them of this feeling about him), not what he was expecting I suspect, I know I wasn’t I expected strong minority to small majority while watching results starting to come in, and boy was I relived by the end of the night. Then when one remembers the difference in how the Liberal government treated the fact they were in a minority situation under Martin to under Harper it truly shows just how heavy handed Harper has been with this minority. Which given his comments regarding Martin's manner of governing at the time again shows Harper for the blatant say anything expediency driven hypocrite regarding ethics/morals and especially use/abuse of power that he has shown himself to be in my eyes (before then I thought he was an honest ideologue/true believer, boy was I wrong) at core ever since he covered up CPC wrongdoing in the Grewal fraud and who in the CPC did the editing and when he first found out about it.

I find it particularly painful that when Martin was defeated he was finally really starting to move some long overdue legislation, including much awaited detailed Kyoto enabling legislation and regulatory framework. The Kelowna Accords are another example of something destroyed that could have shown significant accomplishment given how hard such unanimous agreement between the feds and all Provinces is let alone the aboriginals signing on too. Then there was the national daycare program, which I suspect would have done significantly more to work on that societal bottleneck than we have seen from the CPC "solution".

As Blackstar says, this government is doing all it can to reduce all political discourse to binary level partisan rhetoric and blame gaming with. This prevents the detailed examination of the actual issues, their histories, and the respective records of the current actors in those issues that would shred the vast majority of what the Harper CPC government claims is reality. That they do so with something as serious as the issue of global warming can in some respects/lights be legitimately seen as a crime against humanity. I'm not saying that is my perspective, it isn't, at least not yet, but I can see why there are reasonable rational people that do think so (and I do mean outside of the hardcore believers/activist/zealot level people on the issue where such is to be expected) and therefore such folks as Baird/Harper could go down in history (if we survive as a civilization of course) as being seen as no better than some of the worst monsters of the 20th century.

So of course we get this mindset from the Harper CPC and its core believers. I know many traditional Canadian Conservatives that are horrified at what the name of their party has been turned to, including on the global warming issue. They don't want us to discuss the actual issues, they want to keep it limited to simplistic political messaging, exactly the same method GWB used for the first six years of his Administration until the voters sent him a loud message of their own Nov 2006. The only thing I'll say in the Harper CPC's defence on this is that this is an across the board strategy IMHO and not one primarily designed/tailored to interfere with global warming action.

The method Blackstar describes replicates across the board the approach I saw the GWB Administration use to pervert and betray the US Constitution that he and his people swore an oath to protect, I see that record as proof of why Canadians cannot allow this to become considered acceptable politics in this country above and beyond any of my concerns regarding the dangers of importing foreign rooted political tools into our system that I have raised in the past. This is why Harper's CPC needs not only to be defeated but decisively so in the next election, and why I will stay annoyed with any self described liberal/progressive who place any party other than Harper's CPC as the primary threat/target in their rhetoric/actions. This includes btw the equating of the Libs and CPC as basically the same; this is blatantly false as the past couple of years has shown and clearly works to Harper's CPC advantage to cloak their true nature under. We need to get rid of this kind of politics before it takes too strong a hold and forces the other parties to adopt the same tools to compete, when that happens we all lose, both as a people/nation/society and as a species because then nothing will get done that really will improve our environmental record let alone any other progressive/liberal social justice policies and other areas for that matter. This threatens all, not just one or two areas of concern.

Steve V said...


That was a bi-lateral visit. Try again, or better yet don't bother.


You make valid points, which is why people need to take the initiative, in the absense of government leadership.


" This is a government whose sole overall policy aim is to get more power/majority,"

And, this explains why the Conservatives have spent more than any other government on private polling and focus groups.

Anonymous said...

Yes watch the fossil fuel industry and the nuclear industry, we've just signed onto GNEP. But also watch biofuels, ethanol, biodiesel, whatever; Harper's buddies lobby for some biofuel producers and the Con govt has given tax money to them, including at least one of the companies that went to Bali with Baird.

I don't know if we grow that much corn in Canada, but we do grow canola. Maybe it would be a good thing for prairie farmers if managed well, but Harper is more likely to make it a big trough: tax dollars go in and out comes a bit of biofuel for us and big suitcases of money for Harper's friends.

Scotian said...


" This is a government whose sole overall policy aim is to get more power/majority,"

And, this explains why the Conservatives have spent more than any other government on private polling and focus groups." Steve V 6:04 PM, December 10, 2007

Yep. For all the claims about being principled first and not governing by polls this government in reality is the most poll oriented government I have ever seen, although for them it is not so much blowing with the polls as it is using them to try and figure ways of gaining votes without having to deviate too far from their core ideology. With these polls they are trying to find exactly where the line(s) are that causes Canadians to go from seeing them as moderate to extreme/dangerous and how to find ways of repackaging the more extreme aspects in such a way as to seem moderate/centrist so as to get the votes needed for majority.

As I have said many a time before, these folks are dangerous to our long term survival as a nation. They are inherently anti-democratic so long as they are led by Straussians and are willing to follow Straussians blindly as so many Harper supporters have been doing without realizing the true nature of what they are supporting. There are too many on the Con side that support him because they hate the Liberals so much and think that whatever his political opposition claims about him must be the same kind of political empty rhetoric that they believe is the norm for their opposition, no matter how well corroborated/substantiated that information is. The follower mentality within so many in the NA conservative side of the spectrum is absolutely frightening to me. I cannot understand why these folks do not understand the inherent threat to any democracy that surrenders its judgment to a leader as we see so many Cons doing regarding Harper.

Ideologues do not thrive federally in this country, which is why Harper had to cloak his ideology in the last election. My worst fear was that he would manage to continue doing so and appear to be no real difference from an old PCPC government overall, thankfully his own nature does not appear to allow him to do so, and his actions on the first day tainted his party's ethics from the outset with his buyout of Emerson and having his unelected Quebec bagman suddenly becoming both a Senator and Minister of Public Works aka pork and patronage aka the sponsorship scandal ministry. Since then he has let his dictatorial nature and his clear belief in both the noble lie (Income Trusts) and the right of only the elites to have any say in governing show through enough that I think he may have lost the ability to sell himself as a moderate/centrist next time around. Which when combined with his lack of substance record as a government and his clear willingness to pander to wherever he thinks he can get votes (the last Quebec election being particularly odious even by Canadian standards regarding Quebec) is going to make his argument that the Libs are so bad that they cannot be returned to power because of their "do nothing" record a much harder sales job, likely too hard I hope and pray.

Steve V said...


If you track the Conservatives on the environment you see a co-relation between "action" and the polling. I think this is the problem, despite all the efforts and money thrown around, the Cons don't get any mileage because their motivations aren't sincere. Criticizing the Liberals for inaction is valid, but at the same time, when you listen to Dion, you sense his genuine belief. The Tories are being exposed in Bali because they don't really believe what they are selling, it's simply an attempt to neutralize a potentially damaging issue in an election.

Scotian said...

Steve V:

Yep, that's about how I read it on this file/issue too.

JimmE said...

..." interesting to note that Canada ranked 46th out of 56 countries on climate change policies the year the Tories took office, we now rank 54th, 55th on governmental commitment."

Can you site where this data comes from?

BTW, Great post!