Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Layton's Environmental Balls of Steel

Originally posted on Prairie Wrangler

True to form, Layton seems to have thrown down the environmental gauntlet, and outlined the minimum standards which any new environmental legislation would have to meet in order to get his approval. I think that the standards which Layton demands, namely meeting Kyoto targets and a hard-cap on emissions, are fantastic, with the minor qualification that Layton would need the balls made of bi-carbonate steel to propose them...

Here's the story:

"NDP Leader Jack Layton says any deal with the Tories to pass the Clean Air Act will have to include a commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and a hard cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

Layton’s statement sets a clear bottom line for any negotiations on the government’s flagship green bill, and could have a bearing on how long the Tories stay in power.

In an interview Monday, Layton rejected rumours that he might trade off Kyoto for other concessions from the government in other areas.

“We’ve always supported Kyoto, it’s fundamental, and it’s essential that Canada stay part of that Kyoto program,” he said.(...)

However, Layton is also supporting a bill proposed by Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez that would force the government to respect its Kyoto commitments, and says Kyoto should be reaffirmed in the Clean Air Act.

“It should be included as part of any legislation that’s dealing with climate change.”

The obvious sticking point is Kyoto, and as predicted, Layton is unwilling to compromise on the Protocol one bit, and supports the Liberal's wildly audacious bill that would somehow force the current government to do 10 times more within the next 5 years than the Liberal government managed to accomplish in 13. (Does anyone else find it weird how the Liberal government had 3 consecutive majority governments, and yet didn't pass legislation compelling the government in power to meet its Kyoto targets? Just me? Nevermind, then.)

So, Layton is demanding that Canada commit itself by law to meet it's Kyoto targets, in order to receive the prestigious Layton seal of approval. Let's imagine that Layton expects the current government to accomplish this lofty objective by adopting the NDPs Green Plan in full, which includes a 5 step program. Cumulatively, by the NDPs always conservative estimates, the plan would reduce GHG emissions by 210 megatons by 2013-14.

Two things immediately spring to mind: first, the Kyoto targets are to be met, at the latest, by 2012 in order to be considered "in compliance"; second, according to Suzuki's stats, Canada would need to reduce GHG emissions by 270 megatons, not 210, in order to be "in compliance". How being 60 megatons short, 2 years late, is being "in compliance" with Kyoto targets, is beyond me.

"Did you get all of your homework done on time, little Billy?" "Sure did, Pa. But I didn't finish it all. Oh, and it wasn't on time. But otherwise, I got it all done on time."

And yet, Layton proposes the passage of a bill which would commit the government to accomplish something which even his comprehensive plan could not, and he seems willing to set a standard for cooperation that even, in the case of hell freezing over, he as PM would not be able to accomplish. That's balls, folks.

Please note: My mathematics skills have been rightly impugned in the past. Plus I'm in a rush. So if you can prove that I've misrepresented things here, I'll gladly change the post and include a mea culpa.

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