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Baird and Harper: Making fools of themselves – and Canada – at Bali.

Some would have you believe that the only reason we’re criticizing Harper and Baird and the Cons for their environmental stance is because we all in Progressive blogger land (and of course the various Liberal/NDP/Green bloggers in their own specific blogging groups) and the Opposition in general “hate” Harper to the point of derangement.

There sure are a lot of “haters” internationally, too then, apparently. In a news article from CP titled “Canada assailed from all sides for its stance at Bali”, we find out we have all sorts of organizations, groups and countries taking aim at us over our ridiculous position. First we have the UN deciding its going to drop all pretenses of diplomatic niceties toward Canada and call us out on our stance Harper and Baird and the Cons are taking to Bali:

The UN climate chief all but accused Canada of being an environmental hypocrite. Yvo de Boer wondered how a rich country like Canada could abandon its own targets under Kyoto, then demand that developing ones like China and India adopt obligations. “I personally find it interesting,” de Boer told a news conference, “to hear Canada, just a little while ago, indicating it would not meet its commitments under the Kyoto protocol, and now calling on developing countries to take binding reduction targets …””I wonder how that’s going to be received.”

Diplomatic-speak telling Baird and Harper they’re full of crap. The criticism didn’t stop there from the UN; The head of the UN’s IPCC panel on climate change called Canada’s government “climate-change skeptics”. I have little doubt he heard about Harper’s quote on “so-called greenhouse gases” last Christmas, but the Harper government’s actions since then would be pretty good evidence beyond that to show they aren’t serious about stopping GHG’s and attacking climate change.

We already know what the environmental groups think of Canada. We are absolutely dominating in Hall of Shame awards at Bali this week. Typical, the Con supporters will say. Very well, how about internationally? Germany calls our position “not constructive”. The Chinese lump us in with the Japanese as being the most uncooperative.

Who else do we have criticizing Canada today? Why, the provincial cabinet ministers from the provinces of Ontario and Quebec who arrived in Bali today, with this great quote from John Gerretsen of Ontario :

“If the U.S. is not willing to sign on, does that mean nobody should sign on?” Gerretsen asked rhetorically, with Beauchamp by his side at a news conference.

Apparently not, according to John Baird. I’m not sure Stephane Dion has to worry at all about being seen as “undermining” Canada’s position by criticizing it, because everyone else is already doing it in spades. He’d be merely stating what everyone else already knows: Canada, under Harper and Baird’s direction, are at Bali to delay or scuttle any real movement on combating climate change.

And, to follow up this story that Steve mentioned yesterday, the Canadian government has decided the best way to counter all this negative publicity is to throw money around and try to make it look as if we do really care about the environment (call it bribe money). Unfortunately for Baird and the Cons; and rather amusingly to me, apparently someone in their own government delegation, or at least someone with access to the anticipated announcements – doesn’t think much of the Canadian position either, because they’ve leaked the announcements:

Someone appears determined to make life difficult for the Canadian government at Bali. The government plans to make a feel-good funding announcement every day of the summit, and someone has been leaking the entire schedule to the opposition Liberals. An aide to Liberal Leader Stephane Dion held up his Blackberry to show multimillion-dollar government announcements on aid for poor countries, for Canadian communities struggling with climate-change problems and on cash for the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism. He joked that Dion, a former environment minister, still has many friends at the summit.

Harper and Baird are making fools of themselves – and Canada – at the Bali Summit. One of the European reporters apparently asked some Canadian colleagues how it felt to be the bad guys of the world. Well, I’ll tell you, personally, I’m embarrassed to be a Canadian at the moment. I will not get my wish I know, but I wish that Dion would come back after witnessing this spectacle that Harper and Baird and the Cons. have caused for Canada at this summit and pull the plug on this government NOW, and tell Canadians if they want concrete action and leadership on climate change, as a recent poll showed Canadians wanting (and a majority thinking that it wasn’t happening at the moment), then they are going to have to do like the Australian public did and cause a change in government.


14 comments to Baird and Harper: Making fools of themselves – and Canada – at Bali.

  • Whooee! AndreaGal, the Globe’s on it, alright, but so are the other papers.
    I ain’t sure anybody’s payin’ attention. We’re gettin’ pretty used to seein’ ol’ King Steve bein’ contrary on the world stage. We expect him to do whatever GWB does. It just ain’t news, anymore.

  • Andrea Timmons

    Canadians must speak out against Harper & Baird’s raping of not only the Canadian environment but that they’re trying to rape the Global environment. 
    I note the mainstream media in Canada has remained mute re the Canadian fiasco in Bali with the exception of the Globe & Mail.
    Has Harper managed to control the Canadian medi his bosom buddy Bush has succeeded in doing in the US?

  • Timothy Webster

    Billg, You obviously don’t give a shit about the environment do you. All you know how to pass the blame. Yup, we as Canadian’s missed opportunities to fix things earlier, but what is your excuse for not fixing things now?!! Go stick your head back in the sand.

    Has anybody here heard of increased energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption, resulting in reduced cost?!?

  • Billg said:
    "Chretien, Martin and Harper were all too smart and understood the responsibility of leadership for that, the polls have proven that Canadians dont think that Dion is.   Oh ya…after reading Persichilli’s column…were Baird and Harper making that Kool-Aid 6 years ago..because its obvious Chretien drank some too."

    Actually, it goes way further back then that. What would you say if I told you this crap started around 1990.
    I did some digging and made a (crude) time line about environment policies here in Canada.
    More BS made in Canada at The Harperites, just as the previous governments, dance to the tune of corporations. In fact, government represents corporations. And Canada is far from the only country in which this is the case. Is that not what "the free market" is all about? Free does not apply to citizens of course. As for Australia, I’m not at all convinced the new government there is about to make an U-turn on the issue. As suggested here, it might be possible for Dion to get elected on this platform but that is absolutely NO guarantee  anything will actually get done (again).  Bottom line is,  in my opinion,  as long as  industry has the means and the power to influence government,(they sure have the incentive) they WILL fight anything and everything that disrupts their business as usual power and economic dominance.
    Thing is, again, in my opinion, we’re out of time. Nature doesn’t negotiate, nor cares how much money we trow at it.

  • Walkswithcoffee

    "I and many other Canadians including a great many journalists are trying to figure out where that shame and outrage was 24 months ago"

    Twenty-four months ago there was an agreed-to plan, a billion dollar budget to get it done, and a willingness to do more. Today, all real plans have been cancelled, there is nothing direct in the budget, and our government is working to stop the international community from trying.

  • billg

    Problem is Annie, that, although I dont doubt for a minute that you do feel ashamed, but, I and many other Canadians including a great many journalists are trying to figure out where that shame and outrage was 24 months ago, when, our GHG emmissions were 34% higher then the targets we set, and, that in a nutshell is my point to Scott…trying to win an election with mock anger over an issue that you and yours failed miserably at is dumb dumb dumb.   So anyways Annie….were you ashamed 24 months ago??…..didnt think so.

  • This government makes me want to hide..ashamed to be a Canadian…. the first government, ever, that made me feel this way.

  • quaeitur

    It continues to irk me that it’s always ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘Canada’, ‘Canadians’.  It’s NOT.  It’s at best about 1/3 of Canadians.

  • "Come back and comment when you have something intelligent to say"

    Man, that will be a long wait. 

  • billg

    Holy crap Scott…are you going nuts??  You want Dion to come back and pull the plug on Harper??  And accomplish what??  A large con minority or small majority??   Brilliant!!  Dion cannot win the next election on the environment…god…can you even begin to image the commercials.  Angelo Persichilli’s column about Dion and the environment pretty much says it all about trying to win the next election based on his GHG failures.  And I’ve said it before, its not that Canadians think that if Dion was elected he would reverse his Kyoto position, its that he would do what Chretien and Martin and now Harper didnt or wont do….and that is blindly follow Kyoto or Kyoto ll and gamble with the Canadian economy and Canadian jobs.   Chretien, Martin and Harper were all too smart and understood the responsibility of leadership for that, the polls have proven that Canadians dont think that Dion is.   Oh ya…after reading Persichilli’s column…were Baird and Harper making that Kool-Aid 6 years ago..because its obvious Chretien drank some too.

  • Jay

    Never mind the fact that China and India’s mess is partially due to developed countries continued demands for cheap goods. Guess which corners they cut to do it?

  • Aaron: Come back and comment when you have something intelligent to say, rather then pouring out some more of Baird’s and Harper’s Con Kool-Aid you have drank far too much of.

  • ALW

    So to sum up your entire post: if it’s popular, it must be correct.

    You know how you hate the idea that the White House might be dictating the policy direction of our country?  Well that’s exactly how I feel about the cloak of sainthood that progressives heap onto the United Nations.

    If the Tory environmental plan is so bad, you shouldn’t need to mention what anyone else is saying about it.  You could just focus on the merits of the strategy itself.  But that’s not what you, or anyone else, is doing.  Instead, you’re basically make an argument based on popularity, nothing more.

  • Walkswithcoffee

    Canada lectured India and China several times to clean up their environmental climate record. However, Canada has the worst relative energy-efficiency record of our G8 partners and is dramatically less efficient than our European Allies. Canada is number eight in the world in absolute total greenhouse gas emissions.

    Those facts create a problem with for us at the Bali climate conference. The meeting is about an absolute total worldwide cap in greenhouse gas emissions. In absolute terms our friends in the G8 produce more emissions than the rest of the world combined. The bulk of the worldwide emissions problem is principally from eight countries, including us. Therefore the solution must start with us. We are in no position to lecture others unless we act.

    In contrast, Mr. Harper is calling for absolute "intensity" targets, which would allow countries to emit more so long as they are efficient at it. We are embarrassed enough by being a major emitter but additionally, Mr. Harper is stating in front of the world that Canada’s position is that we should be allowed to emit more so long as we are efficient. Mr. Harper is offering an excuse for his policies that will make the climate situation worse. He is not willing to show real leadership.

    The world sees right through Mr. Harpers hypocrisy. His duplicitous drenched arguments are embarrassing Canada.

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