From socialist conspiracy to economic apocalypse
The framing of the Kyoto Accord by the Harper government, that is. I suppose this is progress for Harper, who had essentially dismissed climate change a year ago, but as the polls moved he has had to follow.
I’m not as pessimistic about the economic fall-out if we are creative in developing just transition strategies for affected workers and are aggressive in using public policy to shift behaviour. We do need a transition period, and Kyoto’s 2012 target is a mere five years away. But we can do a lot in five years, and we should press to meet the target â€“ even if we miss by a bit we will be on the right track. We should think of this as a war we need to win, and that means some shared sacrifices, lots of creative solutions, and government-led direction through fiscal measures and regulatory approaches that lead us forward â€“ that type of effort would be good for the economy.
This latest salvo from the Canada’s New Harperment seems like pure electioneering: the Tories framing themselves as a sensible and responsible alternative who will save the planet without destroying the economy. Probably smart politics, too, if they can convince voters that they are sincere about climate change and that the plan being worked up by other parties is going to be the Big Hurt. It reminds me of another big debate we had back in in the late 1980s, but back then it was the Tories and big business who were pushing for a major structural change to the Canadian economy, and the Liberals and the NDP who were pressing the doom-and-gloom button. The issue: Canada-US free trade.
Globe and Mail Update and Canadian Press
OTTAWA â€” Environment Minister John Baird has delivered a drastic vision of economic breakdown if Canada were forced to comply with the Kyoto Protocol.
… He had earlier said that 275,000 Canadians would lose their jobs, gasoline prices would jump 60 per cent and natural-gas prices would double if the government adopted Bill C-288.