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Monday, May 22, 2006

Shameless Self-Promotion: Damn those Firewalls Edition

My latest, at the Star, about Rona Ambrose, Kyoto, et cetera, and another, at the Citizen. The latter is behind a subscription firewall, so you can only read the first line. But that first line is funny, really funny!

Cross-posted at Wonkitties.

Posted by wonkitties on May 22, 2006 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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Yes that first line in the Citizen piece is really funny. And as someone who jumped the firewall, I can tell you the rest is really funny too.

Posted by: Gerry Nicholls | 2006-05-22 3:49:59 PM

It's not behind a wall .. here it is.

PM not trying to impress world but seeks solutions, says Rondi Adamson
May 21, 2006. 01:00 AM

The Harper government has not yet revealed much about its "made-in-Canada" plan for the environment, other than a proposal to subsidize transit passes.

But the fact that it has been willing to admit, via Environment Minister Rona Ambrose, the fecklessness of Canada trying to reach its Kyoto targets is a powerful indicator that it is more concerned with substance than with putting on a good international show.

Ambrose isn't heroic for dispelling some of our national myths. British officials have more or less done the same thing. One even called Kyoto a "dead end." But her comments are welcome.

Environmental groups and politicians have called on Ambrose to resign from chairing the UN negotiations on climate change, because of those comments.

Why? Would it have been better for her to make empty promises? According to some, yes. Speaking on the CBC last Tuesday night, David Suzuki said Ambrose's comments made "a mockery of our position."

I see it differently. Her comments gave me faith that she and her party might take the matter of the environment seriously enough to do something about it.

Other than, that is, "hang in there with the rest of the world," as Suzuki revealingly put it. As though it were about being a good team player (in an already lost match), rather than tackling the problem.

Ostensibly, the Kyoto Protocol is about the environment. In truth, it is about policy that would benefit certain countries (mostly European), over others (the United States). And joining appears to have no effect.

As a country that signed on to Kyoto, Canada's carbon dioxide emissions are now nearly 25 per cent greater than they were in 1990.

We had agreed to reduce them to where they were 15 years ago.

The United States, on the other hand, has had a significantly smaller CO2 rate increase in the same time frame, without having signed on to Kyoto or been, to use another Suzuki quote, one of the "international good guys."

Whether the Liberals were misleading us about Kyoto, or just plain stupid, doesn't matter. They talked and accomplished nothing. The evidence suggests that Harper is being realistic.

So far, however, the Harper government has simply abandoned Kyoto, de facto, by slashing funding for numerous programs.

I would prefer Harper continue what he has started.

He can show us how serious he is about tackling environmental problems, by formally withdrawing Canada from Kyoto.

Then, assuming (and it requires assuming) there is agreement on the threat global warming presents, or on the causes of the problem, we can look for fixes other than joining a popular club.

Some possibilities might be for Ottawa to tax the use of carbon-based fuels, or to otherwise encourage the development of fuel-efficient, environmentally sound products. Whatever changes are made, the best path to a solution starts with stepping off of the wrong one.

Rondi Adamson is a Toronto writer whose work has been published in the Christian Science Monitor and the Wall Street Journal Europe.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-05-22 4:06:56 PM

Good piece there Rondi. I have posted a couple of supportive pieces on my humble rantery which agrees with your postion.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-05-22 4:11:43 PM

Hey Duke, I liked Rondi's Kyoto piece too, but the article I was referring to appeared in the Citizen and it is behind a firewall.

Posted by: Gerry Nicholls | 2006-05-22 4:17:29 PM


Thanks for the heads up on that .. my error.
I like her stuff too.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-05-22 6:12:12 PM

I joined the VRWC specifically for the fiendish laughter and the guns.Is there more? Pray tell, can my dingo eat babies now?

Posted by: wallyj | 2006-05-22 9:15:51 PM

Freaks,channel 42,9:15.Enjoy.I know I shouldn't,but hell it is a great flick.

Posted by: wallyj | 2006-05-22 9:20:33 PM

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