Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The Turn Of The Screw

Yesterday, Barack Obama announced that the United States is moving to restrict the emissions of its greatest polluter, the coal industry. The objective is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal by 30% in the next sixteen years. Stephen Harper responded by saying that Canada already restricts emissions from coal. What he neglected to say, of course, is that coal accounts for only 11% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. The Canadian equivalent of coal is the tar sands.

Since he came to power, Mr. Harper has done everything he could to pave the way for bitumen -- and he has trashed those who advocated limiting tar sands emissions. Lawrence Martin writes:

Mr. Harper doesn’t seem to have changed his outlook much since 2008, when he responded to Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion’s plan for a “Green Shift” carbon tax. Mr. Harper called the plan a threat to national unity and said it would destroy everything his government had built. “It will actually screw everybody across the country,” he said.

When it comes to action on the environment, Canada stands alone:

On environment protection, Canada’s ranking is rock-bottom, according to Washington’s Center for Global Development – 27th out of the world’s wealthiest 27 countries.

Obama has been telling Harper for months that, if he wants to see the Keystone Pipeline cross American real estate, Canada will have to show a credible plan to protect the environment. Harper's response -- along with the other climate deniers in his party -- has been to do absolutely nothing.

Now the heat is on -- and Mr. Harper is beginning to feel the turn of the screw.


Lorne said...

Despite pressure from the Americans and Europeans, Owen, I doubt that our obdurate prime minister will change either tack or outlook. A true conservative, Mr. Harper has repeatedly shown that he is inescapable of growth or change.

Owen Gray said...

Harper is increasingly isolated, Lorne -- at home and abroad.

With each passing day, he looks more and more like the resident of an asylum -- the one who keeps insisting he is Napoleon.

Rural said...

With 300 scientists sending him a letter this week telling him that the Northern Gateway report was deeply flawed will he change his support of the oil industry. Not a chance, he and his fellow blinkered supporters have been spinning lies and ignoring science for so long now that they believe their own rhetoric.

Owen Gray said...

They have backed themselves into a corner, Rural, and the only way out is to back down.

The problem is they don't know how to do that gracefully.

The Mound of Sound said...

Again that rumour comes to mind about Harper packing it in this summer. He will rubber stamp the Northern Gateway and fast track its construction (I'm told that pipe has already been pre-positioned) and then "eject."

I suspect Harper knows the political blowback will be enormous, more than he could possibly survive. Once he starts filling his jails with lifelong law-abiding grey hairs his brute savagery will be inescapable even to his supporters.

A PMO staffed with neophytes barely capable of packing their own lunches. Flanagan and Carson penning 'kiss and tell' memoirs that no one would have dared publish while Harper still had his mojo.

He's been a veritable Visigoth in the way he's devastated the Coast Guard and DFO services that once monitored and protected our coast. He's stripped all the teeth - every one - out of our environmental,fisheries and navigation legislation. Once he puts his SHPM on Enbridge's bitumen hall pass his work is finished.

Owen Gray said...

It sounds like he has no qualms about letting someone else face the firestorm of protests and the mess he'll leave behind, Mound.

For all his bluster, he is a hollow man, devoid of moral courage.

the salamander said...

.. the irony of Canada and Canadians (you know.. all those glowing hearts..) giving privilege trust and opportunity to Stephen Harper..

and with that stunning opportunity he went to so many differing locations in this country.. plus much of the rest of the world

and apparently.. he saw nothing.. and can't recognize Canada or Canadians.. only his flailing political ideology

and the immensity of the failure, deceit conceit incompetence.. & malevolent arrogance - entitlement etc
leaves Canada and Canadians scarred

e.a.f. said...

Harpie and the herd just don't get it. Obama has done what is necessary for the future. Much of the U.S.A has lots of sun light and electricity can be "manufactured" in these areas.

Germany is already well on its way. It gets 27% of its electricity from renewable sources. They are phasing out their nuclear plants and that will be done by 2050.

Iran recently held a conference at their German Embassy. Topic: electricity from renewal souces. They pay 50% of the installation costs in homes where they are installing solar equipment and there is a 15 cent Per K hr. discount if their electricity comes from renewalble sources. The demand for electricity in increasing in Iran and the government has decided to ensure 5,000 Kwh comes from renewable resources over the next few yr.

If Germany and Iran can do it, so can Canada. Harpie and the herd need to stop pandering to the oil sands/Alberta and get with the new sustainable agenda.

Owen Gray said...

The damage he has done will take at least a decade to repair -- probably a lot longer, salamander.

This assumes, of course, that the rumour he will leave this summer is true.

Owen Gray said...

That may be what they should do, e.a.f., But Harper and Co. sold their souls to Big Oil long ago.

It will take someone else to promote renewable energy.

mogs moglio said...

It is rumoured out in lotus land harper built himself a protective bubble made entirely of carbon dioxide emitted from mike duffy's breath $90,000.00 worth.

Steve is sure the bubble and himself are part of the 'chosen' and therefore infallible.

Carbon no problem?, I pity those that believe Steve.

The oceans are getting more acidic than they have in millions and millions of years.


Our shellfish fisheries on the left coast are dying as a result of this.


So who is the same Canadian that wants to further destroy the Pacific Coast of Canada with bitumen?


Throw Stephen into the equation and you have a man-made 'Canadian looney' disaster.

Remember we share the electric and magic pacific ocean with the world it is not ours.

Owen Gray said...

We share the planet with seven billion people, Mogs.

Apparently, that fact hasn't penetrated Mr. Harper's bubble.