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 …

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“Canada’s miss on emissions.

Jeffrey Simpson is one of our favourite columnists.   Read his article in today’s Globe (An unambitious emissions target we won’t even hit) that should be compulsory reading for all voters. Here are some excerpts from his column: “Being the Environment Minister in the Harper government is political purgatory. The environment generally, and greenhouse-gas emissions reduction in particular, …

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Year End Uptick for the Federal Conservatives

A “heads up” for environmentalists and Federal Opposition Parties: two Globe & Mail stories suggest the Federal Conservatives chances of re-election are improving. A front page headline read: Conservatives well ahead of the Liberals, NDP in Fundraising.   The story pointed out that with such a lead the Conservatives could advertize well before the official campaign period, after …

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Support for a Carbon Tax

The  2008 election rejected the Liberal party that campaigned on the promise to levy a carbon tax that would reduce Canada’s carbon footprint.   Since then Carbon Tax has been below the political radar, but  a short while ago 4RG sensed that the subject was ready for polite society.   Our blog pointed out developments in the media that …

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Fossil Fuels Promotion = Horse Manure

So, Canada’s federal government has finally approved construction of the proposed Enbridge pipeline that is intended to carry bitumen from Alberta’s tar sands to Kitimat, and thence by ocean to China.

If we do not go ahead, the Prime Minister warns us, Canada’s economy will be in grave danger. “No country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country,” he declared a week ago, in a joint statement with the openly climate denying Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott.  Read more at “Prime Minister Harper ups the ante!”

But what if none of this is true? What if there were two possible directions that Canada’s future economy could take, not just one? What if there was another future built on clean technology, renewable energy, sustainable transportation and zero-carbon buildings, in which Canada could prosper without the tar sands and the unwanted pipelines, and without all the fracking, the oil-polluted waters, the exploding trains, the waves of public opposition and the legal challenges from First Nations?

To Stephen Harper and his supporters, such a future is unthinkable. He would far rather we dwelled on the danger of not supporting fossil fuel expansion than the far graver danger of a world that is four, five or even six degrees warmer due to the carbon released by the fossil fuels. Read more at  “A Half Truth or a Suppressed Truth”.

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The Top Salesman for our Tar Sands!

Stephen Harper visited New York where he spoke at a meeting of the Council of Foreign Relations, a group of influential businessmen and financiers, on the need for the U.S. to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to transport tar sands bitumen to U.S. refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.

In its study the US State Department concluded that tar sands oil will get to markets whether Keystone goes ahead or not.   Some of the output from the tar sands is now being transported by rail to the U.S for refining.    Still Keystone XL is necessary as it has the capacity to handle the future output of the tar sands in a way that railway transport cannot.

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“We don’t go along to get along”!

“We don’t go along to get along”! Those were the words used by Canada’s Prime Minister to explain why Canada took the bold step of withdrawing from the Kyoto Treaty on Climate Change. Canada took a calculated risk in departing from  the  policy of “nice guy” diplomacy practiced ever since the United Nations was founded after the …

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