Thursday, February 1, 2007

Dion on Kyoto - duplicitous or duped?

John Ivison's column in today's National Post raises important questions concerning Dion's commitment to the Kyoto Accord. He quotes B.C.- based emissions management consultant Aldyen Donnelly:

"The only way industry can do its 'fair share' under the Kyoto cap is to shut down at least 20% of existing manufacturing capacity and jobs over the next 36 months," she said. Even if a new government closed all of Ontario's coal-fired power stations, shut down all oilsands activity in Alberta and slapped a moratorium on new development, it would address less than one-quarter of Canada's current "Kyoto gap."

Mr. Ivison then correctly wonders:

Is Mr. Dion prepared to let the Canadian public in on this reality check, or is he deliberately misleading an electorate that polls suggest is in favour of Kyoto, even though two in three acknowledge they don't know anything about it?


Either Mr. Dion knows this and is being duplicitous for political gain or, worse, he doesn't and has been duped by the environmental lobby. Neither explanation inspires much confidence in him as a future prime minister.

I'd also bet most Canadians are unaware that even if we did meet our Kyoto targets at the expense of a 20% chop to the economy, the net effect on global climate would be near zero. In fact, since Canada's contribution to global GHGs is small, the effect on climate of shutting the economy down all together would be negligible.

That's not to say, assuming there's a chance anthropogenic GHGs are actually the culprit, we shouldn't be doing our 'precautionary' bit. But it does strongly suggest that there's no great urgency, no reason for Canada to commit economic suicide other than to prove itself a global goody-two-shoes. Doesn't the world already know this?

I hope the National Post editorial board gets a chance soon to quiz Mr. Dion, and Messrs Harper and Layton, on these things. Canadians need to be informed.

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