Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Set your VCRs – Joe Clark on CTV February 4th | Main | Beasty boys »

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Harping on Harper

From the Calgary Herald:

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore has accused the oil industry of financially backing the Tories and their "ultra-conservative leader" to protect its stake in Alberta's lucrative oilsands.

Canadians, Gore said, should vigilantly keep watch over prime minister-designate Stephen Harper because he has a pro-oil agenda and wants to pull out of the Kyoto accord -- an international agreement to combat climate change.

So Albert Gore wants his fans in the eco-movement to maintian vigilant watch on the "ultra-conservative leader". Being an amateur study of classical mythology, I could not help but be reminded of figures from Greek mythology who were also tasked to maintain a watchful eye.

They were the Harpies, grotesque creatures that merge man and beast, in this case, a hideous woman's head and torso with the wings and lower half of a vicious bird.

Funny how so many of the awful creatures in classical Greek mythology were beings that were as humans that had somehow lost too much of their humanity to nature.

But back to the Harpies.

Their job? To punish Phineas by maintaining a watch over him as he was forced to sit in front of a mouth-watering buffet. When Phineas would reach for the food, a Harpy would sweep in and steal it away, befouling the plate with its own waste.

Seems appropos to me. Ever notice how liberals befoul any discussion of importance, any attempt at rational debate, any attempt to weigh the pros and cons of a decision with serious consequences, with their own verbal waste? Whether it Al Gore labeling Stephen Harper as an "ultra-conservative", or Paul Martin insisting that Stephen Harper will be a pawn of George W Bush, or the cruder works of leftist bloggers and their fans tossing out the Nazi label, the result is always the same.

The sumptious banquet of honest debate is ruined beyond recovery. Like poor Phineas, surrounded by screeching Harpies, we are left wondering what it would have been like.

Posted by Steve Janke on January 26, 2006 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Harping on Harper:


Yep.....Its BS and More BS from the left.
Always needing to crank up the rhetoric to support their hollow assumptions. Albert Gore......can you imagine if this clown had become president of the US?

Posted by: PGP | 2006-01-26 2:50:52 PM

My dear Canadians -

Please do not pay any mind to Al Gore; we don't.

Average Americans

Posted by: newsisyphus | 2006-01-26 3:11:00 PM

The ultraenvironmentalist's claim that Harper is an ultraconservative are rather ultracrepidarian. Typical.

Posted by: Disenfranchised Cdn in Calif | 2006-01-26 3:20:39 PM

rosie o'donnell has also made some crazy comments including "we Americans go up there to get away from the situation down here". the American left is in mourning about the results of Canada's democratic election.

Posted by: Angela | 2006-01-26 3:47:16 PM

This post is a good example of the shotgun's slipping standards. No conservatism here, just reflexive, shallow anti-leftism. No fresh exciting ideas here, just random greek-mythology name calling.

Posted by: Matt | 2006-01-26 3:50:59 PM


Explain. I think that the jest of the comments is that Gore's comments are WAY OVER THE TOP. We (including you if I understand your political leanings) all know about Canada's campaign financing laws (the liberals passed them) and we of course know that oil/gas are a provincial responsibility.

So based upon Gore's usual tendency to exaggerate and his 'over-the-top' claim that Harper is being financed by big oil has resulted in an equally 'over-the-top' response from posters to this site.

Now most people who visit this site know quite abit about Kyoto. They also know what a failing it has been in addressing any reductions in CO2 production. Fresh new ideas are being developed in the US (under a Bush regime) and in Alberta where they have plans to address CO2 issues.

Canada is the one without a plan and this has resulted in its emissions growing far faster and farther than those in the US (where there is no Kyoto accord).

Ed the Hun

Posted by: EdtheHun | 2006-01-26 4:33:31 PM

Welcome to the world of the American left, who after having been out of power so long now, their credibility gone, with no one listening, they are now looking for soft targets up here or for anyone else they can strike out at. They go over the top so often no one even listens any more.

"This post is a good example of the shotgun's slipping standards. No conservatism here, just reflexive, shallow anti-leftism. No fresh exciting ideas here, just random greek-mythology name calling".

When the left has something worth saying, that is not so shallow, perhaps people will listen.

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-01-26 4:58:52 PM

Does anyone know the ties of the US democrats with the mobsters? George Soro (I'm not sure if I spell his name right) who is heavily involved in drug trafficking, was one of the main financers of the Democrats.

Do you know all the mishaps of Ted Kennedy. The accident with some questions never answered and alcoolism?

The American left is in very bad shape.

Posted by: Rémi houle | 2006-01-26 5:23:55 PM

So, Al Gore and the Sierra Club say big oil backed Harper's campaign, and that Canadian media have given Harper a free ride.

As for the oil-money claim, they see definite signs. The Sierra Club's senior policy adviser, for example, says he's noticed Harper and Big Oil use "similar" language.

He says "They've talked about targets for Kyoto being unreachable -- that's similar."

Posted by: EBD | 2006-01-26 6:19:23 PM

From the linked article: "Gore warned that Harper wants to remove Canada from the Kyoto accord, which the United States signed under former president Bill Clinton, but has refused to ratify under President George W. Bush."

Either the Herald is wrong or Gore is wrong. The US Senate rejected Kyoto by a vote of 95-0 under Clinton. Clinton could have signed it 20 times over and it wouldn't have made a bit of difference. GWB can also sign it and it still won't be law.

The Herald can possibly be excused for not knowing that the US Senate, not the President, has the Constitutional authority to ratify treaties. Al Gore cannot be so excused.

If the US can cut emissions more than Canada without ratifying Kyoto, there is no reason that Canada can't. As an added bonus, we won't have to destroy our economy or send money to Russia.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2006-01-26 6:51:39 PM

Here's a good article from the Fraser Institute about green house gases and the alarmist views people are taking in reduction of emissions is unwarranted.


Gore can stick Kyoto up his tired beaten Democratic Party ass.

Posted by: tigerpants | 2006-01-27 2:24:34 AM

Invest in alternate fuel sources and Kyoto concerns are gone. The Conservatives should follow the US federal example (that would be both the Administration and Congress) and promote/encourage more research in renewable energy. Finding solutions to CO2 emissions through new technologies is much more forward looking than simply signing the Kyoto Accord and then doing nothing.

Posted by: Don | 2006-01-27 10:43:02 AM

I'm not sure the Fraser Institute is the best place to be looking for straight talk on Kyoto. Most of Fraser's climate change and environmental research programs have been funded directly by ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil does not recognize climate change, global warming or, for that matter, that the burning of fossil fuels does any harm to the environment. No matter your position on Kyoto, don't you think Exxon's funding taints the objectivity of Fraser's research?

Posted by: newsjunkie | 2006-01-27 10:48:58 AM

newsjunkie, don't you think the UN's (or anyone else pushing Kyoto) funding taints the objectivity of that research?

Posted by: Kathryn | 2006-01-27 12:01:00 PM


I suppose it might taint it--if you really have a hate on for the UN. Let's be realistic, though. No matter what you think of the UN, science sponsored by Exxon is going to be far more suspect than science "sponsored" by the UN. The aim of Exxon is to make profit. They view the acceptance of climate change science as a threat to their bottom line, so they fight it. Is that hard to grasp?

What, pray tell, is the UN's or any other organization's motivation for funding or accepting science that supports climate change theory? I honestly can't see what motivation an environmental organization has for believing that climate change is a reality--frankly, I'm sure they wish it wasn't. However, I can think of myriad reasons why an oil company would want us to believe otherwise.

Posted by: newsjunkie | 2006-01-27 2:56:22 PM

If you can’t see why the pro-side might also fudge their results to support their agenda, I can’t help you.

I have no evidence that either side is skewing research and neither do you. I thought it was under-handed to suggest one side *could* be doing it without considering the possibility that the other *could* be doing it as well. And without evidence, it's under-handed to suggest it at all.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2006-01-27 4:45:31 PM


If you read my post again, I'm actually acknowledging what you are saying. I'm saying, "Yes, I suppose the UN sponsored research could be skewed," but I don't THINK it is. While recognizing that I have no evidence that it's not skewed (nor any evidence that it IS), I provide you with a reason to doubt the Fraser Institute more than the UN: Exxon has a vested interest in debunking climate change, the UN does not. If you can provide me with some reasons why the UN, or any other organization for that matter, would fabricate climate change science, then I am happy to hear it.

On another note, I'm not sure you can say that any climate change science is really sponsored by the UN. My understanding was that they have merely endorsed the view of the vast majority of scientists on this topic.

Posted by: newsjunkie | 2006-01-27 7:05:45 PM

Good arguments EBT. In fact, they were brilliant. Let's see, your first argument was "large amounts of global warming science is demonstrably bogus." Okay, sure. Maybe it is. That's not an argument, though. Your second argument was "you are believing what you choose to believe without the slightest regard for truth." Maybe. But what truth are we talking about here? You haven't shown me the truth yet, so the jury is still out on whether I've chosen to believe it.

As I was saying to Kathryn, I'm not necessarily agreeing with one side or the other. What I am saying, however, is that you should look at who is funding the science before you decide who to believe. Frankly, Exxon and other energy companies (such as Encana) have numerous concrete reasons to debunk climate change science. I don't think you can argue that. It follows, then, that science funded directly or indirectly by such companies MUST be viewed with suspicion. Don't you agree with that?

EBT, you're telling me that I'm simply toeing the "party line." Can you please tell me what party line that might be? Can you also please show me which groups have funded the infamous hockey stick graph and other science that supports climate change? You haven't done that yet, and so it looks like you're the one that's out to lunch. It looks to me like you've just chosen to belive the gunk that Ezra Levant (a lawyer), Barry Cooper (a political scientist), and Gwyn Morgan (a CEO) have told you about climate change. Hmmm... each one of these folks has a political agenda, and not a single one of them is a climate expert.

At any rate, I'm looking forward to some more of your eloquent and logical arguments.

Posted by: newjunkie | 2006-01-28 9:46:53 PM

Really, you can think of no reason "why an environmental organization has for believing climate change is a reality"? Perhaps "for believing", but as for propagating the idea that is likely another case entirely. Environmental organizations seek revenue just as Exxon & other businesses do, have you never received an appeal from Greenpeace or other environmental groups for a donation? Isn't it more likely they will benefit from an increase in funding if there is a widespread perception of an imminent crisis of catastrophic proportions?
To subscribe to the notion that environmental groups are only staffed by altruistic do-gooders with no ulterior motives, entirely without strong political/social biases, and that are only interested in sound scientific reasoning would be naive.
In fact I believe one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, who has now disassociated himself with the organization, has himself leveled criticisms at Greenpeace for allowing strong biases to disrupt the legitimacy of its work.

Posted by: Kevin | 2006-02-01 3:23:48 PM

As to what would motivate the UN to subscribe to and underwrite a false environmental doctrine such as the one Kyoto is predicated upon, surely any Kyoto watcher is aware that the most salient part of the accord involves massive taxation of developed (read Western) countries and the subsequent transfer of said funds to less environmentally responsible and in some cases downright unsavoury regimes. Seems right up the UN's alley to me. C'mon people, left right purple or green, the UN is no friend of North America.

Posted by: BoomNoZoom | 2006-02-01 3:37:28 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.