Saturday, July 26, 2008

With a Straight Face

I wonder what it is going to take for someone to actually confront this guy when he spouts off his bafflegab. In fact, when is someone going to credibly question his Climate Change Hoax?

It's incredible really to witness the daily attacks by right-wing opinion writers on the Green Shift, yet none them explain the Conservative plan, but then again, most of them don't believe in Climate Change so perhaps they don't support their master's plan either.

More important though than the opinion writers, are the journalists. They report on the Green Shift and Dion's tour which is good in terms of publicity, but in general they speak to it being a 'tough sell'. Why? Because the Con interpretation of it seems to be the base from which they operate. Does anyone remember such scrutiny and reporting on the Con plan? I surely don't.

Here's the thing. Baird is running around saying things like:

"A company could simply buy their way out of the problem by simply paying the tax and continuing to go forward, putting carbon into the atmosphere," Baird told reporters in Vancouver on Friday.

Note, he told this to reporters, more than one. Why wouldn't at least one of them refer to the Con program that says this:

Making contributions to a technology fund. Firms could meet part of their obligations by contributing to a fund that will be used to develop and deploy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now and in the future.

Domestic emissions trading. Firms that do better than their targets will receive credits that could be sold to those who are unable to meet them. Credits could also "banked" for future use.

Offsets. As part of the domestic emissions trading, firms could acquire credits by purchasing emissions reductions from activities that are not regulated (e.g. emissions from agriculture). This is a way to engage other sectors of the Canadian economy to make greenhouse gas reductions.

Aren't those ways to buy your way out of actually changing behaviour?

The other thing that Baird and others often spew is how the cost to consumers will increase as a result of industry passing on increased costs to their customers.

Why don't journalists refer to another point in the Con plan?

Canada's New Government understands that Canadians are concerned about climate change and air pollution on a local, national and global scale. But Canadians cannot expect others to act unless they are prepared to share the responsibility and take significant action at home.

We have developed a plan to implement mandatory reductions in emissions and which targets all of the major sources of greenhouse gases and air pollution: industry, transportation, and consumer and commercial products. It will deliver significant emissions reductions but it can also lead to noticeable price increases for consumer products such as vehicles, natural gas, electricity, and household appliances.

The economic costs associated with this initiative are real but manageable.

It truly is astonishing that the two major points being criticised by the Con's are also a part of their plan, yet no one in the media is speaking to that fact. Why?

One final point about this Canadian Press piece. When speaking to the Green Party the journalist was told this:

Adriane Carr, deputy leader of the federal Green Party, was skeptical about both federal parties' plans.
She said the best solution is a combination of taxes and emissions caps.


"We need both," she said. "He's making it sound like it's one or the other."

Who's he? Baird or Dion? The journalist doesn't tell us but implies through the sequence of preceding quotes that he/she means Dion. Why isn't it pointed out that the Lib's agree completely and intend to implement a cap and trade system as well. Is the journalist schooled enough in the Green Shift to be asking questions about it?

The lack of scrutiny into the NDP plan is equally pathetic. Their plan will also increase prices obviously, but that is never mentioned.

So every one's plan will increase prices for consumers and only one will mitigate that reality for Canadians, the Liberal plan. Have you seen that written in any newspaper? I haven't.

Wouldn't it be nice to have the full story once in a while?

17 comments:

ottlib said...

In general journalists do not do deep.

They are usually hopelessly uninformed about the topics they are talking about with those they are interviewing. Few take the time to inform themselves well because the focus changes so often.

When folks like Newman and Duffy do not ask the "right questions" of their interviewees despite having all of the resources of their staffs, it is not difficult to see why line journalists do not have the backgroud to ask them.

Incidentally, politicians know this which is why they lie with such ease. They know that they are not going to called on it by most journalists. On those occasions when they are they say a platitude and head in the other direction.

knb said...

We deserve better ottlib.

Your point about Newman and Duffy is interesting. Both seem more consumed with the past and drawing parallels to today. I like Newman, though I often wonder about his depth of knowledge on contemporary issues.

I thought it was great that he had Kady on, but in the end he became dismissive of blog views.

It's a fair position to take, but it's not very contemporary. Instead he seem's to have embraced the new News. That being the time restrictions they are all given.

Oh I don't know. I'm frustrated though. Maybe I'm just getting old and would like honesty and fact included in the equation.

What a quaint idea.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Incidentally, politicians know this which is why they lie with such ease. They know that they are not going to called on it by most journalists. On those occasions when they are they say a platitude and head in the other direction.
That sums up my knowledge also.
You can always arm a journalist with facts and research but many will not go any further - they don't want to rock the boat lest they don't get informed of a scoop.

Other journalists are so friendly with politicians that they will only publish the other side of the story when you challenge their journalists integrity.
I'm looking at you Jim Duff.

We once had a local journal ask us not to publish the fact that one of her journalist was going out to lunch with a local politician at the taxpayers tab...

The rare journalists that do have integrity, are often held back by the legal department.

My opinion is that journalist are nothing more than lazy stenographers.

knb said...

Is there a way to change this cwtf?

It's wrong, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

"Straight"

Nothing straight about Baird.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Is there a way to change this cwtf?

It's wrong, plain and simple.


I agree that it's wrong.
As for changing it, you end up playing the game....

I wish I had solutions. Politicians will use spin doctors (and I'm talking about small town).
I wonder why a small town like Notre-Dame-de-l'Île-Perrot hired the communication firm used by the city of Montreal (amongst other) and hired an ex-Quebec prime minister's press agent.... Just to say that people are getting hoodwinked and don't even know it.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Is there a way to change this cwtf?

It's wrong, plain and simple.


I agree that it's wrong.
As for changing it, you end up playing the game....

I wish I had solutions. Politicians will use spin doctors (and I'm talking about small town).
I wonder why a small town like Notre-Dame-de-l'Île-Perrot hired the communication firm used by the city of Montreal (amongst other) and hired an ex-Quebec prime minister's press agent.... Just to say that people are getting hoodwinked and don't even know it.

Cherniak_WTF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wilson said...

' ..but in general they speak to it being a 'tough sell'. Why? '

Because people and businesses are being hit hard by high fuel prices. They see no reason for the government to pile on more hurt.

Because most people don't fall into the 'poverty' category so thusly do not believe they will be recipients of any windfall of cash from a government.

Because those who bought into the Kyoto thing, do want Canada to reduce ghg's,
and they find it bizarre that the Green Shift is 'wishfull' of ghg reduction, but no targets (Kyoto was all targets) or estimates.
To those Canadians it looks like social engineering with a tax, called and enviro plan.

Sir Francis said...

To those Canadians it looks like social engineering...

...when it is, in fact, economic engineering, insofar as it is any kind of engineering at all.

More to KNB's point, though, how would you describe the CPC plan, given that it contains those elements that Harperoids seem to find so distasteful in the Green Shift?

Omar said...

Is there a way to change this cwtf?It's wrong, plain and simple.

Participatory democracy has been on the wane in this country for over a generation and we are now reaping the consequences of our comfortable malaise. The intellectually petite and forwardly narrow neoconservative ideal is the unfortunate result of that malaise. Who is to blame? We all are.

Anonymous said...

KNB: Harper and Baird don't have much of an environmental plan - no surprise there. They talk bafflegab about intensity-based targets and hope that no one bothers to look at what that really means. They have not proposed a cap on emissions.

The problem is that no where in Dion's carbon tax plan are there hard caps on emissions either. When Dion was Enviro Minister he didn't try and implement hard caps, and now his 'green' policy has no hard caps. Dion himself (and several other MPs) have said they have no idea by how much emissions might be reduced under the plan. Setting aside the impact of the Con message machine, any wonder why the press questions how green this plan is?

It was Jack and the NDP that were able to pass Bill C377 which requires the federal government to be accountable and to report to Canadians what they have accomplished when it comes to GHG emissions.

It is the NDP's Better Plan that has hard caps on industrial polluters that are in line with climate science http://www.ndp.ca/betterplan.

Gore recently challenged the US to strive for zero emissions in the energy sector (specifically electricity generation). Like Jack who has been calling for an east-west electricity grid for Canada, Gore called for an east-west grid for the US.

Why is Gore saying that government should focus foremost on industrial emissions? Because he knows that it is doable (if hard), and will have a huge impact. Gore, who supports BOTH cap and trade and carbon tax on consumers is saying that government prioritize industrial polluters. Gore's logic makes sense to me and dovetails better with the NDP plan than with the Liberal plan.

Carbon pricing is what is needed. We simply need to choose a plan that will work to help the environment and that will mitigate any harm to the economy. Gore's challenge does this and so does the NDP plan.

ottlib said...

*Sigh*

Anonymous, The Green Shift puts a price on carbon. $40 dollars a tonne by year 4 of the plan. Indeed it does it in the most direct manner possible, a tax.

So, the Liberals are doing exactly what you and Mr. Gore want them to do. Unfortunately, you seem to believe that the NDP way is the only way. What tripe.

I will tell you how to reduce ghg emissions. Carbon tax, combined with cap and trade, combined with carbon sequestration (when the technology is perfected) combined with new green technologies.

There is no method of reducing ghg emissions that is better than the other. All of them have their pros and cons and I would suggest it will take all of them to make a real dent in our ghg emissions.

However, the biggest pro of a carbon tax is it can be implemented by a jurisdiction quickly. All of the other methods have the big con of being years away.

So, I guess the question anonymous is what do you care more about, reducing ghg emissions or partisanship?

Anybody who cares more about the former should embrace The Green Shift Plan because it is the most comprehensive plan that has been produced by any political party in this country. As well, it will begin producing results quickly.

Anybody who cares more about the latter are, well, partisan hacks who can be safely ignored.

ottlib said...

Oh yes anonymous corporations and "industrial polluters" do not pay for the price of carbon. Their shareholders and their customers do.

The biggest hole in the logic of folks who demand that big polluters should be paying is the denial of the fact those big polluters will pass those costs on to someone else.

So, in the end, whatever method is used to put a price on carbon, it will be THE CONSUMER who will pay for it and not the corporation.

To believe otherwise is naive in the extreme.

Cherniak_WTF said...

So, in the end, whatever method is used to put a price on carbon, it will be THE CONSUMER who will pay for it and not the corporation.
That is a reason why I don't like the green shift.

knb said...

cwtf, consumers include those who buy, including corp's, the raw product.

The tax is applied at the wholesale level and will have little noticeable impact on 'we' the consumer, but there is a price to paid, no question.

If that is what you hate about the Green Shift and recognising that the NDP and Con plan will also cost most of us, why wouldn't you welcome the relief in tax that it and no other plan delivers?

ottlib said...

So, cwft, how would you reduce ghg emissions if you seem to be against consumers paying a price?

After all consumers are at the bottom of the business pyramid. Every other organization in that structure has the organization below it to pass along any costs. Consumers do not have that ability.

So, logically, if we put a price on carbon, consumers will ultimately pay that price.