Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Do we really want this man to be our leader?

So, which one is the real Stephen Harper? I mean, OK, we all know he's a humourless control freak with all the charisma of an over-cooked, cold plate of spaghetti, but there must be more to him than that!

Heil Myself?

King Kong?

There are many things I could write about here, but after Harper's disgraceful conduct at the recent Commonwealth conference, where he worked so hard to torpedo a meaningful declaration concerning climate change, I'll confine myself to the environment for today.

Every Canadian knows, or should know, where Harper stands on climate change: he rejects the scientific evidence because, well I don't really know why - could it be because he's from Alberta? And we all know what that means. He and his Ontario mouth piece, John Baird (late of the Mike Harris neo-cons), are making pro-climate change noises right now because they know it's the only way to win votes in the more sophisticated provinces.

But this is where Harper really stands (and as you read this, remember, he hasn't changed his mind on anything since he left Ottawa in a huff during his Reform Party days when he couldn't get his way):

The following are excerpts from a letter Stephen Harper wrote in 2002 to members of his Canadian Alliance party about the Kyoto accord:
"We’re gearing up for the biggest struggle our party has faced since you entrusted me with the leadership. I’m talking about the “battle of Kyoto” — our campaign to block the job-killing, economy-destroying Kyoto Accord.
"It would take more than one letter to explain what’s wrong with Kyoto, but here are a few facts about this so-called “Accord”:
  • It’s based on tentative and contradictory scientific evidence about climate trends.
  • It focuses on carbon dioxide, which is essential to life, rather than upon pollutants.
  • Canada is the only country in the world required to make significant cuts in emissions. Third World countries are exempt, the Europeans get credit for shutting down inefficient Soviet-era industries, and no country in the Western hemisphere except Canada is signing.
  • Implementing Kyoto will cripple the oil and gas industry, which is essential to the economies of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
  • As the effects trickle through other industries, workers and consumers everywhere in Canada will lose. THERE ARE NO CANADIAN WINNERS UNDER THE KYOTO ACCORD.
  • The only winners will be countries such as Russia, India, and China, from which Canada will have to buy “emissions credits.” Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.
  • On top of all this, Kyoto will not even reduce greenhouse gases. By encouraging transfer of industrial production to Third World countries where emissions standards are more relaxed, it will almost certainly increase emissions on a global scale."

And this is a brief analysis of what Harper wrote:
  • Carbon dioxide is NOT essential to life - oxygen is. Plants "use" carbon dioxide of which there is too much and which causes climate change.
  • Pollutants pollute the environment, they DO NOT contribute to global warming and climate change. Harper is confusing pollutants with green house gases.
  • Canada is NOT the only country in the world required to make significant cuts in emissions. China, Japan, the United States and the European Union also need to cut emissions, because they cause most of them. Third World countries are exempt because they don't produce huge sums of carbon dioxide/green house gases.
  • Implementing Kyoto will NOT cripple the oil industry. We will still need oil and gas to operate our factories and to run our cars. We just need to make them more efficient by using the modern technologies already in use overseas.
  • Canada does not have to buy "emissions credits". We can simply not meet the targets if we don't have the political will to do so.
So, it's obvious that Harper's reasons for opposing the Kyoto Accord are based on the usual discredited neo-conservative cant which doesn't make any real scientific, or other, sense.


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