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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bromines, Ozone and the Greenhouse Effect, Lobbyists, and Liberals

Conservatives take every opportunity to ask the Liberals just why they could not accomplish anything whatsoever on the environment file during the 13 years they were in power.

Even some Liberals ask.  Senior Liberal Party strategist John Duffy asks too, writing for his new website, climateliberal.ca, a pro-Liberal, pro-Stephane-Dion website that argues that the Liberal Party is the only party for the environmentalists.

Here's a possible explanation for that lack of action.  Perhaps lobbyists were working hard to keep the Liberals from achieving their goals.   Perhaps we could ask these lobbyists just how they managed it.

We could ask John Duffy himself.  For many years Duffy was a lobbyist for the bromine industry  Bromine is toxic, depletes the ozone, and traps atmospheric heat.

Then he has the gall to criticize the party.  Nice job.

See all the details at Angry in the Great White North.

Posted by Steve Janke on February 20, 2007 | Permalink


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I'd also suggest that the Liebrals' sincerity about implementing Kyoto if elected is negligible at best.

It's a scam to get them back into power. They delayed Kyoto for 13 years because they knew it was a disaster in the making. No party which implemented it would last long because of the burden on the taxpayer. For the Liebrals to demand it now is total hypocrisy.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-02-20 11:36:41 PM

Kyoto is the biggest scam of this century.
It is beyond reason. It very much appears it was signed with a very narrow plan in mind to afford
benefit to certain 'elements', certain 'friends', and for a great deal to gain for them by sending ourmoney off shore .
It was signed by Chretien who was only concerned with buying credits, the environment was the cover.

Now the dough headed Liberals are feigning great concern on the environment when they did NOTHING on that front when in power.

So many issues ignored by the Liberals are now urgent matters. DO THEY THINK CANADIANS JUST ROLLED OFF A TURNIP TRUCK?

The Harper Conservatives will work with and for the benefit of Canada's environment which will also retain our ECONOMY.

Yes, we all can do our part, in our own Country, for our own benefit. We cannot send millions to
China or Russia or India with no benefit to the
environment, in fact, it will increase pollution.

They will continue to fire up while under Kyoto we will freeze in the dark.

If that's not enough this Dion dude wants to get soft on terrorism, basically giving them an open
invitation to operate here, they won't be caught.

For the safety and security of our people we may have to demand an election.

Posted by: Liz J | 2007-02-21 5:22:12 AM

Duffy is not "A Senior Liberal Strategist" he is a Liberal Flunkey - there are lots of those in the
Liberal Management Program - they morph from the
Young Liberals (most of whom should be drowned at birth) - Duffy became a media opportunist on the
notorious Mike Duffy Show, Mike Duffy of course should be required to register as a Liberal Party Lobbyist - these fellows are purveyors of bullshit
-right now they are in a panic about the limited future of Citoyen Dion Canada's official languages
expert. Macleod

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2007-02-21 6:04:21 AM

Great work Steve.

I was struck by many ideas after perusing the many links you provided.Here are just a few...

Firstly,I am wearing out the H-Y-P-O-C-R-A-T-E keys on my keyboard.

Secondly,Duffy is actually proud of the policy hole he helped dig for Dion?It has been the party's most costly tactical error thus far.And that's saying a lot...

Thirdly,scroll down slightly on climateliberal.ca and you find a who's who of liberal biased media being linked to.Quite revealing to those who are in denial on the MSM's left-friendly agenda.

Finally,I have to wonder what has happened to the term'investigative journalist'in the media today.They act more like bodyguards for the LPC.

Maybe'conspirative journalist'better describes what these partisan hacks do behind the scenes.

Posted by: Canadian Observer | 2007-02-21 9:01:23 AM

If your A key looks close to being busted, switch to the I key. Beside saving the key, you get the extra benefit of spelling "hypocrite" correctly.

Sorry, couldn't resist. Thanks for the kind words, Observer.

Posted by: Steve Janke | 2007-02-21 10:11:44 AM


If you are saying the Liberals did not get the job done, that is just not fair. It is unfair! Do you not realize how hard it is to set priorities?

Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-02-21 10:47:21 AM

Lady asked a rhetorical question:

"So many issues ignored by the Liberals are now urgent matters. DO THEY THINK CANADIANS JUST ROLLED OFF A TURNIP TRUCK?"

Short answer: ABSOLUTELY.

The Liebrals, and their Dipper and Bloc allies, operate on a "lack of options" method. They offer themselves as the only option. It's either them or us.

Well, for me as an Albertan, they never were an option. But for Ontarians, they are = and it's those rat bastards that are the problem. If they vote Liebral in the coming election, anything the Liebrals do to them is THEIR fault.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-02-21 11:08:01 AM

Citoyen Dion knows that his tenure as Liberal Leader
is going to cause him continuous months or years of stess, as the real Lberal Establishment focus on his demise. His successor is already in the front lines
and will be appointed, not selected through a "Conventiion" - well, they had a "Convention" and Chretien and his thugs stole it. In a National Election this time Harper and his Government are going in with an established powerful base, and
a presence on the national and international sector
which cannot be ignored or manipulated by the "Canadian Media" Martin as a "Journalist" cannot be taken seriously, nor can the Asper Empire, busy shilling the once mighty Liberal Party -MacLeod

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2007-02-21 11:47:16 AM

You may be interested in the irony of catching that mistake.

First of all,until I became active on these political blogs,I never had a need to spell'hypocrite'.Having a particular hatred of what the LPC stands for,I have since used it endlessly,never before being called out for this prolific error.I realized on my own many months ago I was spelling it wrong(hypocrisy too).So yeah,both my I and A keys have had a workout.

Thanks for dragging this skeleton out of my closet.I thought my shady illiterate past was behind me.

One more point to your story...does the climateliberal.ca link not look like a billboard for leftist media?Look at the size and number of those icons.A little free advertising in return for all that partisan support perhaps?


Lady or Liz J?

After being tagged by Steve,I couldn't resist.

As to Liz J's question.
Dion has now clearly demonstrated with his newest anti-terror laws stance,that the LPC no longer sets policies.It sets anti-policies.

Posted by: Canadian Observer | 2007-02-21 12:40:22 PM

Hmm...on "climateliberal.ca" they have links to the CBC, CTV and the Globe and Mail. No, nothing partisan there!

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-02-21 2:05:51 PM

Bromine, in pure diatomic molecular form, is indeed quite nasty stuff. There are also a number of compounds containing Bromine that are nasty too. But, there are also a number that aren't very nasty at all. If I was in a chemical plant (I sometimes go to meetings at them) that had hazardous or toxic forms of Bromine or compounds containing it in its processes, I would certainly want it to be considered hazardous and toxic, for my safety and everyone downwind.

The trick with dangerous chemicals is to only use them where they are the best possible solution, all things considered. And when a compound containing Bromine meets that criteria, then it should be used. This is where proper risk analysis has to come in to play; overstating dangers is less than optimal in that case.

We saw this with CFCs, DDT, and asbestos. All were being used in cases that were not the best possible solution. Removing those uses solved all the major problems associated with limited continued use. But because of risk fear-mongering, we also removed them from a number of cases where they were the best possible solution.

Bromine is less active that Chlorine or Fluorine, but more active than Iodine. It may be that atmospheric Bromine concentrations have a strong effect on ozone. It may be that it has a much higher heat-trapping coefficient than CO2. But to use those values, you have to multiply them by the actual concentrations.

Water vapor is the greatest green-house gas because it occurs in very high concentration and produces significant heat-trapping. Human-produced CO2 runs in the neighbourhood of 25,000,000 kilo-tonnes per year. A quoted article above says the critical use exemption is for about 17 kilo-tonnes per year. So even with the heat-trapping coefficient included, even if we dissipated ten times as much, and even if all of the critical use of it got into the atmosphere, I don't see how it could possibly be a major green-house gas.

So I think that an argument can be made for lobbying against Bromine alarmism. And reasonable people have one foot on each side of many issues. What alarms me about the behaviour of the supposedly safety and environmentally conscious miscreants in this case is that they were, as you put it Steve, "Liberals enriching themselves by lobbying for people who don't want the Liberals to do what they've promised".

To me, that is unconscionable.

If the Liberal's platform was to be reasonable on matters of the environment, then it would not be the case that we would have here "Liberals enriching themselves by lobbying for people who don't want the Liberals to do what they've promised", because they wouldn't have promised to be unreasonable. But after the absurdity of bill C-288, we know that is not the case.

C-288 binds our Government to reducing Canada's human-effected (HE) output of CO2, by 2012, to 6 % less than it was in 1990. Since 1990, Canada's HE-CO2 output has increased some 30-odd percent, almost all of it under the watch of Liberal Governments, which means that C-288 now requires Canada's Conservative Government to reduce our HE-CO2 output by about 38 % over five years, even though previous Liberal governments have achieved quite the opposite of any reduction during their dozen-odd years at the helm.

In yesterday's National Post, columnist Don Martin noted that in order to meet the requirements of bill C-288, "Canada would have to shut down all the power generation in Canada. Twice over. Or, it would have to eliminate all gasoline-fueled cars and trucks. Three times over. It could shut down the manufacturing sector. Six times over." This means that if Canada shuts down all its power generation, and all gasoline-fueled cars and trucks, and all manufacturing, then we can, just barely, meet the requirements of bill C-288.

Assume that whatever measures are necessary are taken to achieve the goal of reducing Canada's output of HE-CO2 by 38 ± 2 %. The portion of global HE-CO2 output produced by Canada is 3 ± 1 %, so the reduction of global HE-CO2 achieved by Canada would be about 38 × 3 ÷ 100 or 1.14 %. The proportion of global CO2 that is human-effected is 3 ± 1 %, so the reduction in total global CO2 achieved by Canada would be about 1.14 × 3 ÷ 100 or 0.0342 %.

The portion of green-house gas effect produced by CO2 in relation to other green-house gases, such as water vapor, which exists in greater concentration than CO2 and has a greater heat-trapping capacity, is, let's say, 10 %. I'm least sure about this estimate, so for the variability calculations below I'll consider the margins to be from 1 % to 50 %, but as I understand it there is a large consideration in play here. The reduction, then, in global green- house gas effect achieved by Canada would be 0.0342 × 10 ÷ 100 or about 0.00342 %.

In other words, if Canada shuts down all its power generation, and all gasoline-fueled cars and trucks, and all manufacturing, then we can reduce the global green-house gas effect by about 34 millionths (999,966 millionths of it would still go on). Based on the possible variations of values I have indicated, this value could be as high as 300 millionths, or as low as 1.5 millionths.

But what if, you say, we are just doing our part, and if everyone does the same (ignoring for now the problems regarding China and India not being committed to any such behaviour), then the effect would be larger? Yes it would. The 3 % Canadian portion of HE-CO2 would go to 100 % across all humans. So, the maximum effect, if everybody reduced their HE-CO2 output by about 40 %, would be a reduction of global green-house gas effects from 1,000 thousandths to 992 thousandths.

Also, recall that the putative purpose of this exercise is to get rid of a projected temperature increase of a few degrees over the next century, and that under previous cases where the Earth was a few degrees warmer, it did just fine.

Now, hands up, how many Canadians think it's a good idea for us to shut down all our power generation, and all our gasoline-fueled cars and trucks, and all our manufacturing, in order to reduce the global green-house gas effect (whatever it may be, good, bad, or neutral) from 1,000,000 millionths to (best case) 999,700 millionths, in five years?

So you can see, I hope, that bill C-288 shows that the Liberals are promising the absurd, while at the same time we have "Liberals enriching themselves by lobbying for people who don't want the Liberals to do what they've promised". We saw the same kind of thing earlier today when Dr. Suzuki's public anti-business grandstanding was exposed as hypocritical in light of the donors to his foundation. That's why we can't trust people like the Liberals, or anyone else who voted for C-288, on matters as important as the environment.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2007-02-21 3:17:18 PM

Here's another example of the dangers of innumeracy, environmental or otherwise. In March, 2004, the Edmonton Champagne Socialists, Limousine Liberals, Mastercard Marxists, and Welfare Wankers Journal pandered to the innumerate by ululating about industry's desire to use 330,000,000 liters of water a year from the Red Deer River. Sounds scary, right? After all, Alberta is a semi-arid region in the Rocky Mountain rain shadow. It really is not a good idea for us to piss away water, if you'll pardon my being a bit droll.

The Red Deer river flow rate varies from 10 to 100 cubic meters per second. Assuming only 10 cubic meters per second, that's still 10,000 liters per second. Which means that industry proposed using 33,000 seconds, or about 9 hours, or about 0.1 % of the river's annual flow.

The question we have to ask ourselves is, why aren't the extremists complaining about industry wanting to use 0.1 % of the river flow? Why do they say 330,000,000 liters instead? Are they trying to hide a fraudulent agenda behind big numbers?

We saw the same sort of problem with the long gun registry. People just don't understand how much 2,000,000,000 dollars is, until you put it in terms of things like concentration of man-power: it's 20,000 man years! I discussed this example at some length in my Mark Steyn's Letter of the Week award winning essay available at tinyurl.com/ybnozb

This brings us back to the matter of atmospheric concentrations of various vapor-state fluids. Some people say, oh woe, oh woe, Canadians are producing 700 megatonnes of CO2 per annum. That's a big number, right? Compared to what?

Do you remember when your science teachers tried to impress upon you that when photographing objects, you needed to put something of known size into the frame in order to be able to reconstruct the scale of the object? Why is it that issue extremists never provide you with a scale for their measures?

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2007-02-21 7:46:44 PM

Excellent, insightful and factual posts V.

What a breath of fresh air after listening to, and reading the ridiculous rhetoric from the kool-aid crowd.

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-02-21 8:45:36 PM

Thanks, Deepblue, but I'm not quite done yet. So far, above, I've only discussed the debit side of the ledger. Once we haul out the credit side, we find that Canadians have an awful lot of atmosphere to contribute to the denominator of global concentration values. If people are going to suggest trading credits for production of CO2, then shouldn't the credits also be based on our ability to decrease concentrations by providing large volumes in which to disperse the moles? Canada's really good at that, all by itself it owns about 7 % of Earth's over-land atmosphere.

If I may provide a simplified example. Say A owns, solely on A's property, a lake that contains 1 km³ of water. Say B owns a lake solely on B's property that contains 10 km³ of water. Say we agree that we don't want the concentration of Y in lakes to be greater than Z %. Is it not the case that B gets to put ten times as much Y into his lake as A, while still maintaining a concentration of no more than Z?

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2007-02-21 9:04:36 PM


Good pun there - "breath of fresh air" on an environmental thread.


From one Engineer to another, keep up the good posts. The math is boring for some but it is where the facts are found.

I find a similar comparison may be found when I receive a letter in the mail from an investment firm. Often there is some graph with recent impressive growth. Of course, the graph is simply an exponential function. I can estimate logarithms in my head and so I simply do a mental conversion in my head from the non-logarithmic graph to a logarithmic graph and determine that the growth rate is often a constant. That is not necessarily a bad thing but it allows me to evaluate the information without the emotions of seeing the "wow effect" of the exponential function and it also allows me to evaluate the motives of the marketing department of the investment firm.

I do see a comparison here: presenting the math facts allows one to evaluate information devoid of the emotions of any "wow effect" of so many million tons of this or that AND it also allows to me evaluate the motives of those marketers who either neglect or refuse to publish the same information.

Keep posting and thank you.

Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-02-22 5:21:39 AM

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