Harper and “Aspirational Targets”

Our spell checker stumbled over the adjective (?) “aspirational” used by Stephen Harper when referring to emission targets agreed on at the G7 meeting.

So we went to the root words:  “aspire” and  “aspiration”.  Here is what we found:

 aspire (intransitive verb) 1. Have particular ambition to seek to attain a goal.”

aspiration  (noun)  1. A desire or ambition to achieve something.

Ambition?  A favourite buzz word of Conservative politicians.  The reality is that  up till now the Canadian Government has shown little ambition beyond the continued exploitation of the tar sands.

Harper also said: “These kinds of (G7)  milestones over the decades to come will require serious technological transformation”.

In a different context that remark would be a reference to the Canadian Government support for carbon capture and sequestration.  If commercially successful, this technology  could significantly  reduce GHGs emitted by extracting, refining and burning bitumen from the sands.

One thing is certain: Harper was not referring to a transformation based on renewable energy.

We wonder then why Harper agreed to the wording of a communiqué issued by the G7 that referred to de-carbonization of the global economy.

The simple answer, according to a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office, was that the other countries had reached a consensus, and Harper did what he said he would never do.

“Go along to get along! “

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