Thursday, January 04, 2007

Time To Take The Environment File Seriously

... and that means no longer putting up with the outrageous media bias and completely partisan bull being put out there by the environmental pressure groups.

Driving home tonight I listened to an interview with Beatrice Olivastri of Friends of the Earth Canada. I'll use this as an example, because it's typical. She grudgingly acknowledged that the appointment of John Baird to Environment (which I privately predicted about three weeks ago; how I wish I'd put that on the blog!) shows the government is placing greater importance on the file. However, the greater part of her remarks was made up of accusations agains the government:

  • They are not working with anyone on the environment; FOE and other groups are being ignored.
  • The government needs to meet the international commitment of Kyoto.
  • The government needs to meet the international commitment of Kyoto.
  • The 'Dirty Air Act'
  • The government needs to meet the international commitment of Kyoto.
  • Did we mention Kyoto?
  • er....
  • That's it, except for Kyoto.
Now, that's all fine and dandy, except that the only words she had for the Liberals were words of praise for the election of Stephane Dion - a man who has placed the environment front and centre. She didn't mention 13 years of inaction. She didn't mention that the Liberals signed up to the Kyoto accord and then did nothing about it; instead allowing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions to rise by 30%. No, according to Beatrice Olivastri, if Canada misses the Kyoto target it will all be the Conservative's fault.

This is complete rubbish. If (when) Canada misses the Kyoto target it will be down to the Liberal's 13 years of inaction. From where the Liberals left us there is no way to meet the goal. It simply isn't possible. It's like having an income of $100 a month and a goal of saving $10,000 over 10 years. If you spend all the money in the first 9 years, you can save everything you can in the last year and you'll still only have $1,200. The Liberals spent our entire environmental opportunity and then some.

Unless and until the environmental groups start acknowledging Liberal failings instead of only berating the Conservative government, their arguments have no substance. With John Baird at Environment, this hypocrisy will hopefully be exposed, and the cosy partisan duo of national media and environmentalists will get blown open.

Can the government do more than the Clean Air Act? No doubt, and they should do so. But it's time for some honesty about this file. John Baird might just be the man to bring that honesty to bear.