Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rona, the how-not-to person

As the smoke clears from the federal Tories' non-announcement Tuesday about their upcoming environmental legislation , it is increasingly clear that when we actually do see details of their alternative to Kyoto, it will do three things: a) repeat pollution control measures that already exist in federal law, b) steal from the much-maligned former Liberal Kyoto plan (except the stuff that would actually reduce net greenhouse gas emissions), and, c) instead of decrease them, actually increase emissions.

Oh, yeah, and CBC radio reports that although Ralph Klein hasn't seen the "plan" yet, he apparently has no concerns about its potential impact on the Alberta oilpatch whatsoever. Wow. No shit.

It's all just tickety-boo for the former Alberta government official, now environment minister, isn't it?

Well, maybe not. Thanks to Greg Weston and the Sun papers we find out that when the hugely-maned, power-dressed Ayn Rand fan appeared before a House of Commons committee recently about her "plan", she, um -- well, how shall we say? -- lied like a two-bit rug all over the place.

Some of the nose-stretchers she told the committee -- on the parliamentary record -- included:

- Misrepresenting non-Kyoto-related aid as part of an attempt to discredit emissions trading: "at least $100 million of money that was used to purchase international (carbon) credits" -- aid that went to developing countries to do environmental work like cleaning up pollution. (In fact zero dollars has been spent on emissions trading by the federal government to-date, although the Martin government had intended to spend some $20 million.)

- Misrepresenting a consultants' study in order to make the erroneous claim that electricity costs would rise 65% in Ontario and 40% in British Columbia if Canada tried to meet its Kyoto protocol commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 6%.

She also got a Washington-based think tank actually saying they were "horrified" that Ambrose misrepresented their statements outlining shortcomings with emissions trading as a good reason why Canada should not live up to its Kyoto commitments. (They were actually saying emissions trading doesn't go far enough. Though that was kind of missing from Ambrose's comments.)

When the Sun chain can't stand the stink of the baldfaced lying of their ideological sisters and brothers, you might think the Harperites could have a little problem coming their way.

Ah, well. How bad could it possibly be when the future of our planet is in the hands of a Fountainhead aficionado like Rona? After all, we can't let petty concerns like climate change and the environment get in the way of freewill, and all, can we?

So it gives us no pause in our confidence in her when it was reported Ambrose felt that although BC's Spotted Owls number just 17, she does not feel they are threatened and therefore they do not merit any special protection.

These sorts of views should come as no surprise, for as Ayn herself wrote: "[O]bserve that in all the propaganda of the ecologists—amidst all their appeals to nature and pleas for "harmony with nature"—there is no discussion of man's needs and the requirements of his survival. Man is treated as if he were an unnatural phenomenon. Man cannot survive in the kind of state of nature that the ecologists envision—i.e., on the level of sea urchins or polar bears."

Watch out, polar bears. Rona's coming.