Canada's Climate Incoherence
Discussions over climate change in the media and by politicians are ramping up to new levels of incoherence following the release of the National Climate Assessment and the Obama administration's push towards greater regulation of atmospheric carbon emissions.
Of course, the incoherence is not limited to the United States. Ripple effects of nonsense spread out across the international community. In Canada, the NCA has received significant media attention because Canada often seeks to harmonize some environmental policies with the USA, and the two nations share a number of waterways, roads, bridges, railways, and other natural and engineered features.
A few days ago on this site, Thomas Lifson reported that the federal government of Canada had banned its meteorologists from discussing "climate change." Some conservatives applauded the decision, perhaps thinking -- erroneously -- that Canada actually has a federal conservative government. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper leads something called the Conservative Party of Canada, the name is inaccurate. The Corporatist Pseudo-Liberal Party of Canada would be more accurate.
Having been in office since 2006 (i.e., for more than eight years and counting), Harper's administration has brought in a host of regulations and other government actions designed explicitly to reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. These are all effective carbon taxes that any self-respecting "conservative" party would have avoided like the plague and rejected, rather than have adopted with glee.
If you want to see non-conservative hypocrisy in action, just go to the federal government of Canada's official website for "Canada's Action on Climate Change," conveniently located at www.climatechange.gc.ca. At this site we can see Stephen Harper's government bragging about how "the Government of Canada supports international action to help developing economies reduce emissions and adapt to climate change."
Canada's supposedly "conservative" Environment Minister -- Leona Aglukkaq -- just put out the following press release on June 2 after the Obama's administration's recent proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the American electricity sector:
"We congratulate the Obama administration on proposing steps to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Our Government has already taken steps to regulate the electricity sector in 2012, and we are pleased that there will now be pan-continental regulations for this sector. The proposed U.S. rules will help contribute to a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in this sector over 2005 levels by 2030. Environment Canada estimates, in Canada, strict regulations on coal-fired electricity will help contribute to reductions of 46 per cent in this sector over 2005 levels by 2030. The Canadian rules on new units are in effect. The U.S. rules have not yet been finalized ...
Canada represents less than two per cent of overall global greenhouse gas emissions. By contrast, the United States produces about 16 per cent of overall greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, the coal-fired electricity energy generation in the United States produces twice the greenhouse gas emissions of the entire Canadian economy. It is important for major emitters to do their part, and we call upon other major emitters to do likewise ..."
Does this sound like a conservative government in Canada to you? Congratulating -- and egging on -- the Obama administration over its latest climate policy proposals and war on coal? Indicating that Canada will gladly follow suit, or even lead the way, as the Obama administration goes all-in on anthropogenic climate change hysteria?
Canada's official federal "conservative" government website on climate change proudly notes its support for AGW hysteria and continuing research in this area, even stating unequivocally that "the international scientific community has determined that recent changes in many aspects of global climate have been primarily caused by the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and that human activities are a major source of these gases." Canadian tax dollars are being recklessly spent on all sorts of international climate change initiatives, such as the following:
"As outlined in the Copenhagen Accord, Canada, together with other industrialized countries, is providing fast-start financing to help developing economies reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. In addition to fast-start financing, Canada is also participating in key international partnerships, such as the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), since 2005, as well as the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, from 2007 to 2011."
Sound like the actions of a "conservative" government that is skeptical about the role that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions may play in climate change? I thought not.
Here and here are some of the "Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations" and means of "Reducing Greenhouse Gases" the Conservative Party of Canada has brought in since taking office in 2006. These represent a large suite of effective carbon taxes the Harper administration has imposed on Canadians. Conservative policies? No chance.
The point is that it is complete hypocritical nonsense for the Canadian federal government to ban its meteorologists from talking about climate change when the same federal government has a website dedicated to this very topic, and the environment minister herself is running around praising the Obama administration's actions on climate change. But this hypocrisy is par for the course with the Harper government. They routinely talk incoherently out of both sides of their mouth.
In short, the Harper government has gone all-in for the fight against anthropogenic climate change over the past eight years in office, and they continue to do so as evidenced by the press releases still being put out by high level ministers of state. Given the notorious control exerted over the public communications of his ministers by Stephen Harper's office, there is little chance that these ministers are doing anything but representing Harper's wishes.
To summarize: the Harper government's supposed skepticism of anthropogenic climate change is just smoke and mirrors. No more than an attempt to try and fool the conservative base in Canada that the Conservative Party of Canada is truly "conservative" and principled on this issue, when -- in fact -- it most clearly is not. Harper and Obama are nothing less than allies in their fight against anthropogenic climate change. Time to stop pretending otherwise. Perhaps this explains why 60 percent of Canadians voted for left-wing parties in the last federal election during 2011, and why current polling trends have been all downhill for the Conservative Party of Canada since then. If a federal election were held today, polls suggest at least 70 percent of Canadians would now be voting for left-wing parties.
Imagine the GOP presidential candidate only getting 30 percent of the popular vote in an election, and then you can understand the situation Harper finds himself in. And who can blame the electorate? If I wanted liberal policies -- as the Harper administration keeps enacting on topics such as climate change -- I'd vote for a liberal party and at least get the entitlement goodies along with the higher costs of living. Instead, here in Canada we just get liberal climate policies from a fake conservative government that dramatically increase our costs of living and reduce our freedom, but none of the entitlement benefits. No wonder so many Canadians are shifting even further left in their voting patterns.
Even the purportedly "conservative" premier of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan -- Brad Wall -- is applauding the Obama administration's climate efforts, noting that Saskatchewan is "moving ahead with programs and policies that will reduce our CO2 emissions. Since 2008, more than $5.3 billion has been invested in low carbon technologies, such as wind and biomass based power generation, biofuels and hydro, as well as the Boundary Dam carbon capture and storage project."
For context, Saskatchewan has a population of only one million. Thus, that $5.3 billion that Wall is proud he spent on climate change mitigation efforts represents $5,300 for every man, woman, and child in the province. What a colossal waste of tax dollars over only the past few years. As I've noted previously, Wall denies he favors carbon taxation but yet he continues to roll out effective carbon taxation that is rapidly increasing the cost of living. Incoherent? You betcha.
Overall, only those who just fell off the turnip truck are fooled by the climate incoherence from supposed "conservatives" in Canada. There are no real conservatives in power up here, and Canadian climate policies make those of the Obama administration look conservative.