Sunday, February 4, 2007

You are either with us, or against us

Some comments by Charles Adler over at Bourque regarding his recent interview with Liberal Natural Resources critic, Mark Holland:

When I asked Holland whether a Liberal government under Stephane Dion would shut down or limit oil sands production if necessary to meet Kyoto targets, his response was, "Exactly." He then went on to say "I think what you are going to see is we're going to say you cannot exploit that resource, basically go in there and pump it out as fast as you can to give it to the Americans and sell out our national interests and blow apart our emissions targets."

[..] A day after Mark Holland's threatening remarks, he appeared on my Corus colleague Dave Rutherford's program and was asked whether a Dion government would consider nationalizing oil companies if they didn't meet Kyoto standards. Holland replied, "If they refuse to work with us....there will be consequences."
Simon says, do as Hugo Chavez says.

C/P: Dust My Broom

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, as an Ontario Liberal I am disgusted. Holland is a moron, Dion is a lightweight, we're fucked. Oh merciful god, bring on the election quick so we can clear the deck and get Frank McKenna in as our leader.

Thucydides said...

"There will be consequences" indeed. Like most Liberals, Mr Holland and his boss Mr Dion really have no understanding of economics.

The consequences of NEP II or whatever they will call this are pretty straight forward: unemployment, energy shortages in Canada, rising prices for food....How fast this happens depends on how fast a prospective Liberal government attempts to take control of the energy sector, but in case you think this is alarmism, remember that Iran has to import gasoline today to compensate for their inefficient state run oil industry.

One question comes to my mind; what would a future Dion government do when the Chinese want to buy into the oil sands? They are Kyoto exempt, don't really care anyway and don't take "no" for an answer.

Jake said...

I can see the Alberta separation movement takeoff if Citoyen Dion get elected PM. "Eastern Bums" like ourselves will freeze in the dark as a consequence.

Anthony V said...

I guess you all don't believe the biggest collection of scientists to ever agree on anything. They are no more credible than a groundhog,according to this site. I think you are flushing away any credibility that you may have. What are you wanting to leave for our grandchildren? What good is a healthy economy, if there is no way to sustain our species? Isn't the bigger threat of freezing in the dark coming from 'peak oil', not Alberta separation. These are serious questions that even Calgary cowboys like Harper are having to face. Please address this, if you can, without calling me a 'Bolshevik' or tell me to move to North Korea.

Anonymous said...

Anthony, don't waste your time on this 5-person neo-con circle-jerk. Nobody reads this overblown vanity project anyway, except for the 3 or so old dinosaurs who contribute to alt-london.

Jake said...
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Jake said...

Anthony V,

This post deals with Dion and the Liberals overriding provincial authority on energy policy. If you listen to what this Mark Holland guy is saying, he basically states that a Liberal gov't would hault energy production on the oil sands and simultaneously kill the Alberta economy once again (Trudeau NEP all over again). The Liberals now stand to never get a federal seat in Alberta for another generation.

If this were to happen, the threat of Alberta separation would be certain. Unlike Quebec, Alberta actually has an huge economic impact for Canada if they were to leave. Most likely, they would become a part of the US--thus a boon for their economy.

Since you probably are one of these anti-American guys, I bet you would hate to see the biggest economic resource our nation has to trade--oil-- go to them. Classic left wing double-standard if you ask me.

Jake said...

Also Anthony,

If you bothered to read your thermostat this morning, I'd say -20c with a -33c windchill is a bit too balmy for this time of year.

MapMaster said...

Let's try this one on for size:

When I asked Holland whether a Liberal government under Stephane Dion would shut down or limit automotive and manufacturing production in Ontario if necessary to meet Kyoto targets, his response was, "Exactly." He then went on to say "I think what you are going to see is we're going to say you cannot exploit those resources, basically go in there and manufacture as fast as you can to give it to the Americans and sell out our national interests and blow apart our emissions targets."

[..] A day after Mark Holland's threatening remarks, he appeared on my Corus colleague Dave Rutherford's program and was asked whether a Dion government would consider nationalizing automotive and manufacturing companies if they didn't meet Kyoto standards. Holland replied, "If they refuse to work with us....there will be consequences."


Yeah, I didn't think so…

Mike said...

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it.

-- H. L. Mencken

Mike said...

Anthony, just step back from things for a moment and ask yourself, "When was the last time politicians and bureaucrats cared about things that will maybe happen 80 years from now?"

Doesn't the enormous propaganda effort to freak people out give you pause?

Whether global warming is happening or not, the proposed solutions could not be more obviously intended to create slush funds, launder money for organized crime in and out of official power, provide an ongoing camouflage for the impoverishing effects of socialism, and benefit existing, crooked corporations by political suppression of the competition.

Why on Earth would anyone swallow a plan to control the world economy whose main salesmen are responsible for Oil for Food on the one hand, and Adscam and the Gun Registry on the other?

Where is the incisive analysis of interlocking corrupt interests that the Left selectively applies to the war effort?

The belief that priests and kings can control the weather is older than Stonehenge. It looks as though many have forgotten the lesson of Canute.

Libby van dyke said...

What are you wanting to leave for our grandchildren? Grandchildren!?! How Goddamned fucking environmentally irresponsible can one be? Get it snipped buddy, then maybe we can talk about environmental footprints.

Save the planet: Keep circle jerking!

Anthony V said...

None of you has responded by refuting the evidence by most of the top scientists from around the world in a variety of fields. The fact that it is cold this morning isn't disproving of their suggestions. In fact, I would argue that this winter, and other eratic happenings are indicative of disrupted weather patterns. I am convinced that the end of cheap and easy oil will be the first major challenge we will face, then the environmental problems will take on a whole new shape. I don't think that the elite US interests want to take over Alberta officially. They already have prefered access secured.
The politicians are finally paying attention, because of the public outcry for some measures in reaction to what to all but a few of you is obvious. The corruption of the corporations you seem to be trusting to handle things in an honest and efficient way, is far and away greater than the corruption that you seem to have such an problem with. To Libby, I say that while I certainly agree that population control is sure to be a bigger issue in the time to come, it isn't unreasonable to expect a sustainable world for our offspring, is it?

MapMaster said...

Strikingly, no one has bothered either to produce the evidence of climate change except for referring to a weight of opinion from these "top scientists from around the world." This is what we're supposed to indulge, apparently, without applying our reason to the subject. That mobilizing this opinion is under the politicized auspices of the UN in the first place (what is their mandate or jursidiction in all this, one should ask by the way) should compel doubt, but somehow explicitly political documents are supposed to raise less doubts than skeptical ones, which is odd, don't you think, since this body of bureaucrats, sorry, "scientists," are the ones claiming something that hasn't been actually demonstrated yet.

Dr. Chris de Freitas, from the University of Auckland, New Zealand: "It may seem a paradox but the IPCC process requires that all the hundreds of participating governments’ representatives agree to the text of IPCC summary reports. A statement is rejected from SPMs if only one government objects to it. This results in final reports that are not true representation of the science as a whole. Most participating governments (e.g. all Annex III countries) have pecuniary interest in supporting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) objectives (i.e. The 1992 “Rio Treaty”), and the inevitable result is biased Summary reports."
— http://www.friendsofscience.org/documents/deFreitas.pdf

"In fact, I would argue that this winter, and other eratic happenings are indicative of disrupted weather patterns." Piffle! You have either an exceedingly short memory or a well-programmed one. Besides, that is an observation, and a poor one at that, not an argument.

Climate change alarmism has not only the appeal of furthering funding and employment for researchers, bureaucrats, lawyers, activists, advertisers, "green" corporations and the like based on political demand instead of actual demand, it has the particular appeal to vanity for people like yourselves who desperately want to see their infantile, social scientific and humanist tantrums against western civilizations vindicated. God knows, they trot out "claims" and "evidence" on an annoyingly regular basis. Peak oil, you say? Here's something: predictions of impending oil depletion have been around since at least 1919. In the wake of every scare, however, new exploration methods have continued to expand the volume of known reserves and new extraction techniques have boosted the production rate of those reserves, often astoundingly so. You know as much about what's under the ground than I do, which is to say, nothing… except that you've trained yourself to believe something. The depth of human ignorance is matched only by the human ability to overcome it… or, in your case, to wallow in it.

Jake said...

Anthony,

First off, the far-left theories that oil will peak within the next decade are way overboard. My own father, who has a degree in geophysics, knows that the worlds supply of oil will last, at current consumption, at least 50-150 years. In fact, Alberta's tar sands are estimated to last anywhere from 40-120 years.

Since you seem to be a member of the anti-fossil fuel gestapo--you have follow these rules "to save our resources for our grandchildren" in order to avoid being called a hypocrite:

1. Turn off your furnace or electricity. Both are derived from oil, coal and/or natural gas. Have fun in the -20c temperature in your home tonight.

2. Do not drive ANY form of vehicle that uses fossil fuels including cars, transit buses, planes and trains. Have fun riding your bike in the -33c windchill to work.

3. Don't purchase groceries at the supermarket since all of their food is transported via transport trucks which run on fossil fuel. Have fun starving to death.

If you have found a new way of living without these everyday necessities--give me a call. Until then, put up or shut up.

MapMaster said...

Please, Anthony V., can you tell us what evidence it is that we have failed to refute?

Honey Pot said...

"In fact, I would argue that this winter, and other eratic happenings are indicative of disrupted weather patterns."-Anthony

Anthony, now take a death breath, don't be getting all hysterical, freaking out and scaring the kids. You have to look at the weather patterns as you do a cat. Very undpredictable, and very seldom under anyone's control. It has been like that since the beginning of time. Do some research and you will come to understand it is the politics of fear and greed that is the driving force behind this global warming/cooling or eratic weather, as you perfer to call it now.

P.S.: If any of you end-of-the-world sort of types, want to give me your car, and other man-made products that make you feel guilty as a contributor to the end of the world, I will gladly take them off your hands.

Chris Rickett said...

I've got a better idea - let's stop sending $1.4 billion a year to the oil sands.

Can someone please explain to me why we are subsidizing oil companies if the oil sands are so economical?

Better yet, can someone please tell me why the government continues to absorb the negative externalities of oil use?

I don't care if you want to drive, live in the suburbs, be wasteful and cause climate change - go ahead, but please don't make the taxpayer subsdize your binge.

As to Jake:

How do you plan to ensure the oilsands keep producing? Where is the natural gas going to come from? LNG? Nuclear? Getting pretty expensive now isn't it?

That's the point of peak oil - the cheap stuff is gone and what is left is expensive. We may have oil left for generations, but it will be increasingly more expensive to produce.

Best realize that the hydro-carbon is a special thing and it should be used for it's highest and best-use. Unfortunately, burning natural gas to get dirty oil isn't the highest and best-use. But evidently it's economical when the government picks up the tab.

MapMaster could you please explain to me how nations have a pecuniary interest in supporting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change?

So scientists can get research money? Give me a break.

What about the pecuniary interest lawmakers and their oil backers have? I think the $1.4 billion a year, compared to the $2 billion over 10 years for climate initiatives under the Conservatives is a little more of incentive to bend the truth.

The essence of climate change and peak oil is simple - dependence on a non-renewable polluting resource.

Not only is the cost of this dependence externalized on society (left for the government to fund ie. state intervention to promote pollution), but at the same time we are wasting what is left only to reduce our net-energy return at increasing costs to future energy supplies.

Please explain to me how your activities do not result in greenhouse gases, that greenhouse gases are not increasing in the atmosphere and that greenhouse gases do not result in a warmer climate.

If you do that, I'll be convinced everything will be alright.

MapMaster said...

Chris, I think you've made this error before, ascribing the position to us on this blog that we support industry subsidization. No, we don't, or subsidization of any kind to anyone. Just as with subsidization of wind farms, ethanol, biofuel and other energy canards, subsidizing oil companies is a gross political distortion of the economy (so, might I add, are gas taxes). Let demand and supply meet in the mutually agreeable and economical fashion that they always do when left unfettered. I would remind you though that the government profits highly as well from the positive externalities of oil use, that is, speed and efficiency in economic output. But I do appreciate that you're willing to allow us to live in the suburbs and drive SUVs — that is more generous than many.

As far as the pecuniary interest of the majority of signatory nations, you are being disingenuous I assume. Let me explain it to you, then. Signatories are divided into three categories: industrialized countries, developed countries and developing countries. Developing countries, who form the majority of signatories, are under no emission restrictions under the UNFCCC and are entitled to money and technology from the developed countries. That is their pecuniary interest. Developed countries, as well, are entitled to sell "emission credits" to those industrialized nations who do not meet their 1990-based emission targets. That is their pecuniary interest.

It would be foolish of me to deny that subsidized industries have their own incentives for their own "truth," but it would be equally foolish of you to deny that of researchers as well. Massive funds are dedicated to climate change research, and I have been personally witness to the assiduity with which those researchers look for corroborative evidence for climate change theories and the disinterest and neglect for unsupportive or countering evidence. I do not necessarily ascribe this tendency to conscious intent, and no, I won't name any names, but it is hard to evade the financial incentive for corroborative evidence when your grants are based on those hypotheses. (And, yes, this applies to all kinds of fields of research, not simply climate change.)

For the last, "our" activities (not yours?) do of course contribute to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But why should you suppose that the warming does not precede the greater part of that increase, for one thing, or that solar output is not a more important determinant of either or both? To pretend that there is a direct linear relationship between greenhouse gases and temperature is absurd, and omits entirely the fact that greenhouse gas concentrations were increasing at the same time that the planet experienced some of the coldest non-ice age temperatures between the 40s and the 70s (precipitating the ice age scares, by the way, if you recall). As for global warming, why not? On a geological scale the planet has only rarely been cooler. Finally, to suppose that we have the power to remake the planet but not the ability to adapt to it is a perverse sort of vanity and is entirely unhelpful to anyone.

Jake said...
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Jake said...

Chris,

Who says I support subsidies to the oil industry? Just because I support Alberta's oil industry does not mean I support corporate welfare. I favor broad tax breaks for businesses instead of using government incentives. I think that corporate welfare should be banned, whether it be the oil industry, the auto industry, or Bombardier.

As for the oil sands itself, I agree that using natural gas isn't the best way to power it. I feel that using nuclear is the best option to power the project. Canada has over 25% of the world's supply of uranium and it can done via private industry, not government--thus no cost to taxpayers.

Mike said...

Chris,

You ask what interests nations have in UNFCC. The original post is a perfect example.

The climate change panic provides new, huge-scale, propaganda cover for the plain old everday business of taking some people's money and resources to give to different people. Why, the earth itself is in the balance! The climate made me do it!

BTW I played a couple of shows at the 10 Day Cafe when you ran it, one of those times as Command Economy opening for Art Bergmann and a man who lifted bricks or anvils or something with his penis.

To deal with fears of global warming by passing laws, signing treaties, and raising taxes is to be like that man. The whole idea of turning the economy upside down in an attempt to control the weather is a bit of a stretch.

Chris Rickett said...

Mike - your comment that Kyoto is nothing but a ploy to raise taxes, assumes that the only way to live up to Kyoto, or further cuts, is through government spending.

I would argue that by stopping government subsidies to oil companies, the auto industry, the power industry as a whole (including nuclear and renewables), and allowing the true cost of power and transportation to be realized, would go a long way to reducing Canada's greenhouse gas contributions. Let alone resulting in a much more efficient economy.

None of this takes new taxes, but simply stopping government intervention into the market.

I would also argue that there are no real environmental problems, just inefficient markets that externalize their negative impacts on governments and society, rather than accounting for their devestation in the cost of consumption.

Map Master - as to your arguments about pecuniary interest, there is no doubt reseachers have an interest in continuing their funding; however, the inerta of our subsidized lifestyles and the political heft of the non-renewable lobby, provide much more of an incentive to maintain the status-quo. Nevermind those corporations with an interest in continuing their government handouts have a lot more resources to throw around than most governments and climate change scientists.

As to whether or not climate change is a threat - do you not agree that greenhouse gases cause warming?

I'll agree that there are many factors that play into our climate - lots of postive and negative feedbacks. I also agree that our climate is always changing. And, I'm not one that believes that simply by cutting our greenhouse gas emissions things will go back to what we have referred to as "normal".

Our climate is going to change - the question is how fast is that change going to happen and how human contributions will speed up that process, making it even harder for plant and animal species, including ourselves, to adapt.

As for whether we can adapt - we already are and the costs will only continue to rise if there isn't some mitigation thrown in the mix.

MapMaster said...

We obviously have no substantive differences on the subjects of the economy and the environment.

I would argue that by stopping government subsidies to oil companies, the auto industry, the power industry as a whole (including nuclear and renewables), and allowing the true cost of power and transportation to be realized, would go a long way to reducing Canada's greenhouse gas contributions. Let alone resulting in a much more efficient economy.

None of this takes new taxes, but simply stopping government intervention into the market.


Perfectly said. As far as inefficient markets go, they are inefficient precisely because governments absorb the negative externalities of their practises (while, like I mentioned before, taking a good piece of the positive externalities as well).

Do I agree that greenhouse gases cause warming? Yes, I do, of course, but as I also said before, to pretend that they steer warming in a direct and linear fashion as is presented for public consumption is absurd. As well, I am just as likely to accept the unsubstantiated premise that greenhouse gases drive warming as I am to accept the premise that warming drives greenhouse gas concentrations. In reality, they probably influence each other in ways that are not really understood.

As for whether we can adapt - we already are and the costs will only continue to rise if there isn't some mitigation thrown in the mix.

Absolutely… the contention is on what constitutes mitigation, of course, and your proposal to end government intervention in the economy is the surest and most efficient method.

Mike said...

Chris, if the sum of all you're proposing is to stop the government directly subsidizing businesses, then there'll be no disagreement from this URL!

Any reason is a good one for people to keep their money to buy a bigger house, car, plane ticket, air conditioning system, or tank full of gas.

Chris Rickett said...

Mike your statement:

Any reason is a good one for people to keep their money to buy a bigger house, car, plane ticket, air conditioning system, or tank full of gas.

If you could afford it that is. The reality is these toys that we like to claim as mass-rights are heavily subsidized by government intervention, especially government absorption of their negative externalities.

Remove those subsidies and your full tank of gas, jet setting and suburban house, get a lot more expensive. But, hey, if you can afford it and are willing to pay directly to address all of the negative environmental and social results of that consumption, go ahead.

In reality, levelling the playing field and truly allowing choice, would make renewable energies, efficiency, transit and mixed-use higher-density development, more the norm than they are today.

As to climate change itself - I'm in total agreement that there are many factors. The many positive feedbacks play a large roll - the faster you push, the more momentum the train gets and before you know it, it has a life of it's own.

I think if you draw it all down to the micro perspective and look at your local area, you can see directly that human's have a negative impact on their environment, whether it be air quality, water pollution or habitat destruction.

We can see the local impacts easily every time we alter the landscape - remove trees, the ground is exposed to more sunlight, resulting in increased evaporation and a hotter surface. We alter our micro-climates everyday through our modes of development, transportation choices and decisions about consumption.

When you start to add up all of these little local impacts, the sum starts to take on a life that's larger than the whole. Factor in a whole lot of postive feedback loops and who knows where things will go. Sure the line isn't linear, but you know every system has a breaking point.

That's not to say things can't get better once people start realizing their consumption choices - Ontario's landscape was a disaster prior to the creation of Conservation Authorities, the Great Lakes have been cleaned up since their lackluster days of the 1970s (still lots of room for improvement of course) and the Montreal Protocol has seen drastic cuts in CFCs.

People can turn things around by mitigating and adapting to new circumstances, but this doesn't start to happen until their is a value placed on the pollution and on that which we are losing.

So let's put a value on the pollution. Let's stop externalizing it and start making people pay for their choices.

Mike said...

I don't think I have disagreements with your first two paragraphs, though I confess I don't know what "mass rights" or "social costs" are.

Subsidies generally impoverish everyone except for the subsidized entity, so I don't expect removal of subsidies would generally make goods and services more expensive; on the contrary. But, the effect isn't important, if we both agree that the key is the removal of those subsidies, and that -- whatever the results -- we won't then actively go out and level other people's playing fields for them, or unilaterally change their living arrangements and the landscaping choices they make with their own property. No new laws or regulations are needed -- am I right? We are just getting rid of wasteful subsidies to businesses.

I'm not sure what you mean by "putting a value on pollution". Isn't causing demonstrable damage to others' property already a tort? It seems to me that spilling oil or poisons on someone else's stuff, say, is just like breaking their windows or setting their grass on fire. Is that what you mean by putting a value on pollution?

Chris Rickett said...

I'm not sure what you mean by "putting a value on pollution". Isn't causing demonstrable damage to others' property already a tort? It seems to me that spilling oil or poisons on someone else's stuff, say, is just like breaking their windows or setting their grass on fire. Is that what you mean by putting a value on pollution?

My point was that the costs of pollution, such as health care costs and poor air and water quality, are for the majority, extenalized onto the government and society. This is what are income taxes go to pay for.

If companies were made to internalize these costs and those who consume their products or services had to pay these costs, there would then be value put on pollution and its externalities.

As it stands now, air and water pollution are not a cost of doing business, but something simply passed off to the taxpayer to pick-up. Which essentially means just another subsidy from government.