Friday, June 29, 2007

The Liberal Party Has Run Out of Ideas

The Liberals have run out of ideas. They are literally letting themselves be defined by the Conservatives, albeit negatively. What does mean be Liberal these days? According to the Liberal brass it means supporting Martin’s monstrously ill-conceived Atlantic Accord, opposing a tax on income trusts that they wanted to impose themselves but lacked the guts and it means demanding that the government meet the Kyoto targets that they privately admit the government has no hope of meeting. The party is even borrowing slogans from the NDP. To wit: “We Bringing results to the People.”

Pathetic

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Andrew Coyne: The Afghan Mission's Black Knight


Andrew Coyne is right; there is no way Stephen Harper is going to sacrifice the chance of extending to Afghan mission always popular “political consensus”. He is also right to belittle the Liberals for holding to a policy that is nothing but a political fa├žade. http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/editorialsletters/story.html?id=d4a14cf2-5148-4d51-8359-fff8274ab8e3&p=1
These are the only things he gets right though. He calls Tom Walkom, no supporter of the Kandahar adventure, a “triumphant defeatist” for believing, wrongly as I just said, that Harper will not extend the mission beyond 2009. http://www.thestar.com/article/228833 This is the rhetorical equivalent of the Black Knight, of Monty Python fame, calling a served limb a flesh wound. According to the State Department the number of attacks in Afghanistan last year was 53% higher than in 2005 and worse the number of people killed and wounded 91% higher. http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0501/p99s01-duts.html The number of NATO dead in 2005 where 113% higher than in 2004. http://www.icasualties.org/oef/ Coyne might still have faith in mission but that is all he has got. The numbers do not back him up and he has certainly has no right to chide those how do not share his blind faith. All Coyne can do is threaten to bite opponent's knee caps and that is what he has done here.

Coyne continues his jingoistic rant by rhetorically asking what could possibly be gained by abandoning the Kandahar adventure and amazingly concludes that Canada has nothing to gain by leaving.
“And for what purpose? To whose benefit? The Afghans? No, it is quite clear they
want us there. The troops? No, they are equally adamant, in every interview I
have ever seen: they want to be there. Our NATO partners? Obviously not. The
only agenda served by the opposition's demands is the opposition's.”
Leaving aside the cost of mission that is doomed to fail, how about the threat to national unity the Afghan mission holds? A terrorist attack, inspired by Canada 's presence in Afghanistan, revitalize the Quebec’s separatist movement, especially if Quebec is the victim. Currently the Afghan mission is opposed by 70% of Quebecers. If Quebecers die as a result of us being there, the separatists will use it as a reason why Quebecers need their own country with its own foreign policy. Given what has transpired in Ontario, what happened in Spain and Britain, the chances of such an attack or not insignificant.

This is just the latest idiocy from Coyne. When the would be Ontario bombers were arrested Coyne noted on the National that Al Qaeda had long listed Canada as a potential target, that no Western country is immune from attack, and that the arrests were yet further reason for pursuing a more muscular approach in Afghanistan. What Coyne failed to note however was that the would be bombers did not have any connection to Al Qaeda, according to the Crown the accused were motivated by the Afghan mission and the reason Al Qaeda has targeted Canada is because of our presence in Afghanistan. This is the Al Qaeda threat Coyne was referring to.
“What do your governments want from their alliance with America in attacking us
in Afghanistan? I mention in particular Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Germany
and Australia.”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/osamabinladen/tape.html (Subsequently, Al Qaeda twice threatened Canada with terror acts because of Afghanistan. In one of those times, Al Qaeda’s second in command referred to Canada has “second rate crusaders”. http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=e9f20f44-ec19-470c-9ac3-6c79218d4d91 ) Only an ideologue of Coyne’s stature would have the chutzpah to use Al Qaeda’s threat related to our presence in Afghanistan as proof that Al Qaeda will attack any western target, as if Switzerland and the US are equally likely targets, and that we should therefore step up operations in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A "Bridge" too far; Harper's rebranding of Bush to "Bridge" to him

Stephen Harper “The approach we have chosen, basing emissions reduction targets on units of production in the short run, allows growing and developing economies to engage in significant greenhouse gas reductions without putting themselves at immediate risk.’http://www.conservative.ca/EN/1004/80760

Yesterday I said this.“Harper's claim that his intensity based plan could serve as a model for others is simply laughable. Intensity of emissions has been going down on their own and during this time GHG emissions have gone up 25%. Indeed, since 1996 intensity has gone down an average of 2% every year. If you simply extend that line out over the next thirteen years, Canada will have reduced intensity by 26%. Of course there are plenty of reasons to believe that intensity will fall at an even quicker rate meaning that the Conservatives will likely not have to lift a finger to achieve a 33% drop in intensity by 2020. There is also no reason at all think that a decrease in 33% emissions intensity will lead to an absolute reduction in GHG.”http://www.ec.gc.ca/pdb/ghg/inventory_report/2005/images/fig2_e.gif

I would like to add one more thing.

For the Conservatives to claim that their intensity based model could help “bridge” the gap between America and Europe is breath taking example of chutzpah for another reason. It is George Bush that first championed intensity based targets and for the reason outlined above, viz., it meant that he not have to do anything. Emission intensity was bound to go down on its own. For Harper to claim that his rebranding of a Bush doctrine that the Europeans have long since rejected as a “bridge” between Europe and the US now is simply amazing and an excellent example of how condescending he can be.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Harper’s Intensity based Emissions world model.


Stephen Harper: “Improvements in emissions intensity of this magnitude mean that there will be real, absolute reductions in emissions levels by at least 2012 and as early as 2010. It will put us on track to absolute greenhouse gas reductions of 20% by 2020.”


Stephen Harper: “The approach we have chosen, basing emissions reduction targets on units of production in the short run, allows growing and developing economies to engage in significant greenhouse gas reductions without putting themselves at immediate risk.”


Stephen Harper “There are elements of our plan that we believe could work not just for Canada, but for many countries in the world – including some of the large emitters that did not accept targets under the Kyoto protocol,”
http://www.conservative.ca/EN/1004/80760


Harper's claim that his intensity based plan could serve as a model for others is simply laughable. Intensity of emissions has been going down on their own and have been doing for a while and during this time GHG emissions have gone up 25%. Indeed, since 1996 intensity has gone down an average of 2% every year. If you simply extend that line out over the next thirteen years, Canada will have reduced intensity by 26%. Of course there is plenty of reasons to believe that intensity will fall at an even quicker rate meaning that the Conservatives will likely not have to lift a finger to achieve a 33% drop in intensity by 2020 and there is no reason at all think that an decrease in emissions intensity will lead to an absolute reductions in GHG.

http://www.ec.gc.ca/pdb/ghg/inventory_report/2005/images/fig2_e.gif

Conservative Lies of Omission Part 5: Intensity Based Emission Model




Harper claims that should the world follow Canada’s lead and adopt intensity based emission targets that the world community would be half way towards tackling global warming. Listening to Harper you would think that no progress has been made in this regard, but you would be wrong. Harper is lying by omission yet again. Since 1990 intensity of Canada’s emissions has fallen by 18% and they plummented since 1996. This puts Harper in something of a bind. He can abandon his tract of blaming the Liberals for everything and in the process give some much needed meat to his laughable claim that the Conservatives are for individual responsibility. In other words, he can give them credit for doing what his government now aims to do. Alternatively, he can claim that these reductions occurred despite the Liberals and not because of them and in the process reveal that by setting intensity targets and not absolute targets he is offering Canadians more of the same on the global warming front, viz., nothing. In either case, Harper is open to the charge that reductions in intensity do not amount up absolute reductions. After all, under the Liberals intensity went down by 18% and overall emissions went up by 25%.


It goes without saying that the chutzpah this government is capable of knows no bounds; rather than showing leadership on global warming, the Harper government intends to capitalize on technological innovations born of the Kyoto Accord’s regulatory framework to meet its intensity based emission targets. The worst of it all is that Harper will no doubt claim victory not for aiming high and succeeding, but by knocking the bar down and stepping over it.