According to a Canadian Press report, the deal will involve the following elements:
• A basic framework for a cap-and-trade system with a 1990 baseline for emission levels
• It will also opt for "real reductions," as opposed to the federal government's "intensity-based" plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
As Minister of the Environment, it is Mr Baird's sworn duty to help create positive and nurturing environment for Syncrude. Thus his constituents in the oil patch can relax and rest assured that under Baird and Harper, that environment will be static for at least a decade beyond this government's mandate. In fact, Mr. Harper and Mr Angry will see to it that there might be a reduction in GHG emissions from the tar pits by some time around 2050. I'll be in my late 80s.
Quebec has cut its GHG emissions by nine per cent below 1990 levels, in part because of its abundant hydroelectricity.
Baird said only Alberta is "forcing the big polluters to cut their emissions."
The Alberta plan for reducing GHG emissions has set a target of a 14 per cent cut below 2005 levels by 2050 -- with no reductions before 2020.
Calling all Crux, there's another Harperian achievement. A vague promise, a few meaningless numbers and voila.
The federal Tories say their plan will result in a 20 per cent reduction below 2006 levels by 2020. Many critics have said it is riddled with loopholes and won't meet its targets. The government has said Canada's Kyoto Protocol target of a six per cent cut below 1990 levels by 2012 wouldn't be reached until 2025.
Perhaps I am just an idealistic crazy person, but it seems to me that we need to slow the hell down and smarten the fuck up. The tar sands are doing nothing but expanding to feed the gluttonous excesses of our pals in the United States of Dystopia. We are currently burning away enough natural gas to heat three million homes a day in order to extract oil from the sands. Beyond the toxic air that these operations are creating, there are lethal tailing ponds on such a scale that only China's Three Gorges dam is larger. These vast poisonous lakes are restrained only by earthen barriers. The strip mining operations and tailings are so enormous that they are visible from space and are about the size of Florida.
The squalling crybabies in the energy sector and their hand in pocket enablers in government have honed their chicken little act, for surely the sky will fall if we dare to attempt to change course. The economy will simply be undone without the suicidal rush to burn every bit of petroleum on the bloody planet. If you don't want to live in an asthmatic future and enjoy a scorched earth, why, you're just a tree hugging commie bastard that hates gawd and money. Won't somebody think of the poor CEOs!?!
Thing is there are a lot of things that can be done. And to go against the grain, one of the first things that should be considered by anyone that isn't a greedy frickin' idjit, is a shift in terminology. The problems we face aren't about anthropogenic global warming and GHGs. Our problem is pollution. Global warming is a vague and easily misinterpreted concept. It relies on confusing science and complex models and projections that are open to all manner of distortion by those that choose to muddy the waters. It is difficult to convince people of something as vast and terrifying as climate change when they still have cold snaps during the winter.
On the other hand, everybody understands pollution. When we wantonly hurl filth into the sky, drench the ground with poison and pour toxins into the rivers, lakes and seas we can be pretty sure of the results. As someone wise once said, don't shit where you eat. You can rest assured the executive monkeys from Syncrude and the other oil patch monsters haven't parked their mansions in Fort McMurray.
So what about that economy? The fact is that the oil economy is about a hundred years old. In a century we have paved the world, exploited the hell out of a nonrenewable and finite resource and we don't care to look back. We are addicted to cars, bigger and dumber cars. Gigantic vehicles to pop back and forth in from the malls. We suck tap water out of plastic bottles that may or may not tamper with our hormonal make up and then pitch the bottles. We insist that success equals a gigantic, impractical house that sucks vast quantities of fuel to sustain comfort levels, whether we are home or not. And we piss and whine that the price of gas has gone up. But don't let anyone tell you that these utterly stupid behaviours might be moderated. For that way lies ruination.
Solutions. Urban mass transit and infrastructure. Reduce the use of the personal motor vehicle by creating positive, friendly alternatives. Change the personal motor vehicle itself. The mighty behemoths, the SUVs were ugly work vehicles until some bright spark in a marketing department decided to sell them to little ladies for suburban status and "safety", that being despite their being held to lower safety standards than other passenger vehicles. As gas prices continue to climb, somebody better get on the ball with making vehicles that sip fuel into the new sexy motoring choice. Beyond that legislation that binds auto makers to significantly better fuel economy standards sooner rather than later.
Your shitty mansion? Since we are burning off our preferred home heating fuel to dredge oil out of dirt, home heating prices will surely increase as scarcity strikes the natural gas market. There are billions to be made in Canada by investing in the creation of a new home heating market, geothermal. The technology already exists and there is a ready made market just waiting for an aggressive campaign to convert and then maintain systems that are safer, more comfortable and permanently renewable. Add solar water heating and a combination of solar photo-voltaic and wind generated electricity to reduce the burden on the grid and one's home value and security increase.
Change stupid habits. Bottled water is fucking stupid. Just cut it out. If you need a drink of filtered tap water, buy a reusable, stainless steel bottle and fill it up as often as you need. The tons and tons of plastics that are filling landfill sites could be spared by the awful inconvenience of owning your own bottle. You want to complain about something, turn your attentions to retailers and manufacturers that squander increasingly precious resources by packaging tiny items in great huge plastic and cardboard containers. You are being forced to pay for all of this packaging that is in a holding pattern between the shelf and your trash.
None of this goes beyond the parameters of basic, common sense. Yet we fight tooth and nail to avoid any minor shift away from the insane comforts of wasteful excess. We either wake up to the need to change our ways soon or we can continue to wait until the weight of stupidity crushes us in our own filth. See you on the bus.