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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Suicide is painless

Lorrie Goldstein asks a few pointed questions of the current leadertm of the Liberal Party:

If implementing Kyoto is painless, why didn't they [the Liberals] do it?

C'mon Mr. Dion, Your party signed Kyoto in 1998, ratified it in 2002 and promised in 1993 to cut emissions by far more than Kyoto requires. Don't tell us the Liberals never did any costing studies. Where are they?

We know the Liberals earmarked $10 billion over seven years to fight climate change in 2005, but was that the full price of implementing Kyoto, or a down payment?

Yesterday, the National Post said the Liberals had studies in 2000 estimating that complying with Kyoto would result in a loss of $4,400 of disposable income for a typical family, close to Baird's numbers. Is that true?

What about post-Kyoto, since the science Dion cites to make the case for combating global warming also tells us that to be effective, future emission cuts will need to be 12 times those called for in Kyoto?

Many politicians (and journalists) don't understand Kyoto takes effect next year, not 2012.

Kyoto requires Canada to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to an average of 6% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. We don't have until 2012, we have to hit that average starting in 2008.

Say we miraculously reduced our emissions next year to 4% below 1990 levels for 2008, 2009 and half of 2010 -- impossible without wrecking our economy because we're 35% above our Kyoto target now.

Under Kyoto, even if we achieved that target -- and we can't -- we'd still have to cut deeper -- down to 8% below 1990 levels for the last half of 2010 and all of 2011 and 2012. That's just to hit our target of an average 6% cut below 1990 levels from 2008 to 2012.

If we miss -- and we will, big-time -- Kyoto requires us to make up the difference, plus a 30% penalty, while achieving deeper cuts post-2012 that have yet to be negotiated, going on for decades.

Policy makers are faced with a dilemma because Canadians are saying two contradictory things.

First, we tell pollsters, by about two-to-one, that we favour Kyoto. Then we say we're two-to-one against paying significantly more for fossil fuels (Suzuki fans notwithstanding). But you can't have the first, without the second.

Dion, and others, have been getting away with asserting Kyoto will be all but painless. Dion has claimed we'll make "megatonnes" of money by cutting "megatonnes" of emissions without being challenged.

Last week, Baird called his bluff. About time.
The Liberals didn't get it done because they knew Kyoto is suicide. And it won't be painless.

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