Weakly constituted as I am when it comes to tolerating disingenuous and dishonest political theatre, I was unable to watch the Chief Prevaricator, a.k.a. the Prime Minister, while his chief courtier and media enabler, the most Reverend (and reverent) Peter Mansbridge, performed what Michael Harris described as his Yuletide foot massage
during their year-end chatfest
However, I was able to muster up the strength to watch this snippet, after which follows a critical analysis
on the CBC website of Mr. Harper's claims:Harper Whopper Number One:
"We’ve got more work to do, but our emissions are falling," Harper said on Wednesday.
"Other countries’ emissions for the most part are going up. World emissions are going up. Canada’s have not been going up."
But the government's own report suggests emissions will go up dramatically by the end of the decade because of oil and gas production, Canada's emissions will be 22 per cent higher than its Copenhagen target of reducing greenhouse gases by 17 per cent below their 2005 levels by 2020.Harper Whopper Number Two:
Harper says he'd be open to using a carbon-pricing system like Alberta's for the entire continent, a concept he's previously opposed.
"I think it’s a model on which you could, on which you could go broader," Harper said in Wednesday's interview.Says David McLaughlin, an adviser at the University of Waterloo’s school of environment,
... emissions continue to rise under Alberta's system of carbon pricing.
"The price of $15 a tonne is too low to actually get the emissions reductions we want from these big emitters. So it would not do the job of reducing emissions in Canada."Harper Whopper Number Three
The prime minister also took credit for getting tough on coal.
"We are phasing out in Canada through regulations, we are phasing out the use of traditional dirty coal. It’s going to go to zero in the next 15 years or so," Harper said.Alas, as with most pronouncements by the Prime Minister, there is less here than meets the eye:
New federal coal regulations apply to new plants built after 2015. Existing plants built in the last 50 years are grandfathered, meaning they would have up to 2030 to close or introduce carbon capture and storage technology to reduce emissions.And Ontario's Environment Minister Glen Murray points out an inconvenient truth:
...the province closed coal plants with no help from Ottawa.
[I]"f the federal government wants to start taking credit for provincially funded initiatives, they could at least have the decency to make a commitment to support those initiatives in the future."Thanks for taking a few moments to see through the Emperor's diaphanous attire.