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Harper fearmongering on the environment

We now see the new strategy that will be employed by Harper and his Cons. crew in trying to defend their Green plan which has been derided for its very modest levels of GHG reduction and the ability of it to even meet those modest targets because of the intensity model it uses.

In short, it’s this: You might think our plan is inadequate, but even then, it’s going to hurt the Canadian economy next year. If we put actual caps or targets on ourselves and try to meet the cuts generally agreed upon that are required to slow or stop global warming, we’d cause a full-scale meltdown of the Canadian economy. So, the Harper government has switched or attempted to switch to fear mongering mode to get Canadians to stop this obsession with the environment.

This is a great opportunity for Stephane Dion and the Liberals to throw all that “not a leader” attack ads stuff by the Cons right back at them and in Harper’s face over the environment, because he’s certainly not leading Canada on the environmental file. He would rather cower and hide and try to scare Canadians away from being concerned over it.

For instance, why reduce the GST, which is universally panned, and instead turn that 1% reduction into a carbon tax, and use the funds from that to fund Green technologies? Canadians would be more then willing to accept that, I believe. Harper won’t do that, of course, but it’s stuff like this that Dion and the Liberals can advocate to show what they would do to get Canada back on track in the world.


12 comments to Harper fearmongering on the environment

  • "perhaps concentrate on my actual remarks."

    Rabbit, were you concentrating the entire last year when Harper and company were criticizing others for wanting to harm the economy?  This is the FIRST time Harper has mentioned a cost with his plan, prior to that he was fearmongering and trying to position himself as the defender of the economy.  What is really going on here, Harper is moving again, as he comes to the realization that NOBODY (blind partisans aside) are buying his environmental agenda.  In order to show that he is tough, now ALL OF A SUDDEN, we are hearing the economic costs, which coincidentally happen to coincide with talk of an economic slowdown, independent of any initiatives.  Why anyone would take this character at face value is astounding, given the timeline.  In fact, I would say others were being honest about cost all along.  Where was your praise then?

  • "Except that Harper has not denied the need for GHG reductions."

    I don’t recall saying that he did but since you brought it up… Harper has not denied the need for GHG reductions… lately. About a year ago, Harper was talking about "so-called greenhouse gases." He’s been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the realization that there is a problem and it needs to be dealt with. $31 million worth of opinion polling at least got him to admit that climate change is real, even if a mountain of scientific evidence failed to convince him.

    Harper is out of step with the world — not just with Dion, May and Suzuki. He’s also out of step with a majority of Canadians.

    The isotope fiasco has once again, showcased the ineptness, incompetence and unwillingness to accept responsibility of the Harper "team." Canadians who are concerned about the environment (that’s a vast majority, btw) are distrustful of someone who discredits and disarms a nuclear regulatory agency. MDS profits took priority over a threat to the environment.


  • rabbit


    Except that Harper has not denied the need for GHG reductions. He’s not as loud about the necessity as Dion or May or Suzuki, but that would be pretty difficult to do in any case.

  • Whooee! Wanna know which politicians I don’t trust on the GHG issue? Those that talk about the need for reductions but don’t talk about, or grossly underestimate, the difficulties and costs. And… those that talk about the difficulties and costs but don’t talk about, or grossly underestimate, the benefits.

    It ain’t an all-or-nothing game. We don’t need to tell Canadians to heat our homes one-third less or to give up motorized vehicles and bike to work. We can use less energy to get the same or better results. We have been increasing our energy efficiency for years and we’ve made some good progress. My 1971 VW Beetle got 27 miles to the imperial gallon and it was one of the most economical cars of its day. Today, big vehicles get better than 27 mpg and the most economical cars are getting twice what my old beetle got. We’re making similar strides in refrigeration, air conditioning, home heating and a lot of other areas.

    It ain’t gonna be a bed of roses but it ain’t all doom and gloom, neither. The CANTDO attitude of those who only want to talk negative is a bad attitude, IMO. We CAN and we WILL. Our grandkids are dependin’ on us.


  • rabbit


    Rather than speculating about who or what I am (you’re not likely to get it right anyway), perhaps concentrate on my actual remarks.

    Wanna know which politicians I don’t trust on the GHG issue? Those that talk about the need for reductions but don’t talk about, or grossly underestimate, the difficulties and costs. They’re not putting all of the cards on the table. I suppose they think Canadians can’t handle the truth.

  • You’re right Rabbit about sacrifices being needed, but Harper isn’t doing that. Instead, he’s trying to fool Canadians into thinking what woefully inadequate measures he’s brought in will be "sacrifices" while anything more meaningful will be disasterous.

    This coming from the government whose proposed carbon credit system deems to give Alberta oil companies hundreds of millions of dollars in credits , even as their pollution rises due to the "intensity" of it going down.

    Rabbit. you’re either a partisan shill of Harper’s or you’ve got the wool pulled over your eyes.  Fortunately, a majority of Canadians aren’t partisan shills of Harper’s and the Cons., and they won’t be fooled by Harper’s attempts.

  • rabbit

    Winston Churchill said "blood, toil, tears, and sweat", not "sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows".  He was honest about the sacrifices needed, and then convinced people to make those sacrifices. That was leadership.

    Leadership isn’t about lying to people, or fooling them into things they wouldn’t agree to, or avoiding difficulties. It’s about facing reality head on.

    I don’t agree with Harper on everything, but I appreciate his honesty here.

  • mushroom

    Dion is going to campaign on cap and trade emissions credit, along with lower personal tax, and repeal of the tax on income trust.  Very neoliberal platform.

    I would prefer Dion to change the tax system and focus on the other pillar, the war against poverty.  This means possibly incorporating a Solidarity Tax on Wealth.

  • What I find funny about Harper’s "it’s going to hurt" rhetoric, it comes from the guy who lambasted the Liberals for advocating "economic ruin" with their Green Plan.  I wonder if Baird will hire economist Jaccard, like he did at the Senate hearings last spring , to detail the economic impact of his GHG plan.  Harper is trying to gain credibility, by arguing economic cost, even though his intensity model target masks the fact that intensity is reducing 1-2% per annum anyways, prior to his targets.  Factor that in, hard to see real economic problems with the paltry targets he has outlined. 

  • Whooee! ALW, you make some good points. There will indeed be some economic dislocation, as you call it. Some people will feel they are suffering if we are "changing our wasteful and destructive driving habits and our increasingly inefficient, wasteful suburban, car-dependent existence."

    Let me tell you a personal story. Ma owns an operates a small business. I do, too. We used to have two vehicles. Biggass Econolines needed fer the businesses. A few years back, I changed jobs and I found my big van was sitting parked while I was able to work from home or walk to work. I’m gettin’ a bit long in the tooth. I make less money at my new job than I did when I was poundin’ nails but it’s easier on my old bones.

    (Trying to keep it short…) I divested myself of my vehicle. I save megatonnes of money by not owning a vehicle. Insurance, gas, repairs and teh cost of teh dang thing all add up. It’s amazing how little you can live on when you are shellin’ out thousands on a vehicle. Ma’s doin’ better, too. She’s using a small minivan fer her business and rentin’ a big van once in a while when the little one don’t do the trick. She’s saving megatonnes of money on gas.

    My son lives in Trawna. He makes big dough and has a nice condo. My daughter-in-law makes good money, too. They don’t own a car. By choice. They save thousands a year and they belong to a thing called AutoShare where they can get a car anytime they need one. TTC is their preferred means of transportation. They’re treehuggers, too.

    If we use our imagination, we can mitigate the negative effects of cutting GHG’s while we foster a sustainable green economy. We can use carbon taxes, tax shifting, green-collar job creation incentives, alternative energy development and other innovations to our economic advantage. A clean environment had less visible economic pluses. Environmentally exacerbated illnesses cause  hundreds of thousands hours of lost productivity on "bad air days." Preventable diseases are bogging down our overtaxed healthcare system. Ideas like the 100 Mile Diet are good for the environment and good for local economies.

    Instead of preaching doom and gloom, I’d like to hear positive messages from our leadership. I’d like our leaders to embrace the course they’ve agreed to travel and to try making the best of it. Pre-emptive bellyaching is unseemly and not conducive to investment. There will be many benefits to saving the planet. As one blogger put it today – No Planet, No Jobs.


  • ALW

    Well, if this isn’t the stupidest post you’ve ever written, it’s got to be up there.
    Shouldn’t you be applauding Stephen Harper for this, Scott? What he’s saying is: this is going to hurt, but we have to do it anyway because it’s the only way we’re going to actually start to fix the problem. Isn’t that "leadership"? Isn’t is precisely what you and everyone else who’s been hammering this government over its environmental policies has been demanding all along?
    Why do you and others continue to insist that reducing GHG emissions is not going to have any negative effect on the economy, even temporarily? Are you that stupid, or are you just comfortable lying? Do you actually think someone can snap their fingers and convert our current economy, which is underpinned on all sorts of economic and environmental inefficiencies, into one that emits a fraction of GHGs? Without any economic dislocation at all? Without any political resistance from the citizens whose jobs are, at least for the time being, dependent on the system as it stands?
    Why are you such a coward? Why don’t you just come out and tell the truth, which is: we need to bite the bullet, because this is just too important! We can’t afford not to! Instead, you insist on candy coating the truth. I don’t suppose that would have anything to do with political considerations, would it? As in: actually sketching out to Canadians just how much each of us would have to sacrifice – changing our wasteful and destructive driving habits and our increasingly inefficient, wasteful suburban, car-dependent existence to name just two things – would probably be a much tougher sell than feeding them a bunch of nice-sounding rhetoric about government policies that will somehow fix the problem.
    But that’s what makes it clear that you and your ilk don’t really give a shit about the environment. You just care about sounding like you care about the environment. The moment a political opportunity came along for you to lie about the real costs involved, you wouldn’t hesitate to take it – which is precisely what happened with agreeing to Kyoto. Actually meeting the targets would have meant short term pain, but your party wasn’t prepared to suffer the electoral consequences. And now that the Conservatives are telling the truth: this is going to hurt, but it’s still necessary – you have the unspeakable gall to accuse them of "fearmongering". They’re not fearmongering about shit, Scott. They’re being honest, and if the opposition parties had any shred of sincerity about their deep concern for the planet, they would say "yes, we agree, whatever the cost, its necessary". But as usual, you want to play politics instead.

  • "For instance, why reduce the GST, which is universally panned, and instead turn that 1% reduction into a carbon tax, and use the funds from that to fund Green technologies?"

    Whooee! Scotty, yer advocatin’ yer LPC adopt the tax shifting policies of the Greens. We been pushin’ fer exactly that sort of tax reform for years while the LPC’s been using the same old outdated tax models that have stifled innovation and rewarded dirty industry. Yesterday, you said the the LPC best reflected your personal ideology even though you said the Greens are the only party willing to put the good of the country ahead of the party. Today, yer touting another Green idea and suggesting the LPC adopt it. Thanks.

    We Greens love it when other parties adopt our policies. It does two things:  1.) it shows that our policies are sound and worth stealing 2.) it means that even if the GPC is not elected, our voice has come through loud and clear.

    We have lots of other great ideas. does a good job of telling what the GPC is all about. I’m glad to see you endorsing tax shifting, Scott. I hope the LPC runs with it.


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