Ontario's auditor general is giving Doug Ford's government a hard time these days. And, in particular, she's mightily unimpressed with Ford's emissions reduction plan. Tom Walkom writes:
A new report from the auditor general suggests that on environmental matters, the numbers don’t add up unless you double count them.
Double trouble. Problem made, problem persisting.
“The plan double counts some emissions reductions that are targeted by more than one program,” according to the annual audit released Wednesday. “This resulted in an overstatement of total emissions reductions.”
Put simply, Ford is cooking the books:
Doubling up closes the gap when you’re caught short. Until you’re caught out, in which case you contract out the numbers to an industry association that tells you what you want to hear.
The government didn’t just double count, miscount and misstate, it tried to misappropriate stateside: 40 per cent of our municipal solid waste is disposed of in the U.S., where it generates greenhouse gas emissions on the American ledger; future plans to divert that waste will indeed reduce emissions, just not in Ontario, yet the government wrongly claimed credit for it.
Perhaps the most brazen overreach is on electric vehicles, which could help reduce emissions from transportation, the biggest source of greenhouse gases. The government kept clinging to ambitious estimates of 1.3 million electric vehicles by 2030 — up from 41,000 today — that were based on generous incentive programs that the Tories cut upon taking office.
There is method to their madness: They had a target, and then reverse-engineered the inputs to make it add up, thus gaming the system.
Gaming the system is an old story. So none of this should be surprising -- if you were paying attention.
Image: Science News