[3rd in a Series is presented as an item for education and research on the topic of fantasy global warming and man-made climate change]
Terence Corcoran: Canada’s brand new climate Boy Scout joins countdown to Paris
Third in a series
As the Paris climate summit approaches activists are gearing up for the final push through November and into December, although the movement suffered a bit of a downer over the weekend.
Hurricane Patricia, building as a major hurricane of unprecedented proportions, fizzled as a climate mega-disaster into a mere tropical storm, leaving behind no opportunities for media and negotiators to use it as a pre-Paris PR bonanza.
As news of Patricia reached Europe at a climate change negotiating session in Bonn on Friday, the head of the Mexico delegation, Roberto Dondisch, said Patricia was evidence the frog was already in the boiling water. A reporter for Climate House quoted Dondish saying “I don’t think I need to say more about the urgency to get this deal done.”
When the total death toll is near zero, the climate angle is also near zero. But the climate machine kept rolling. Reports from the negotiation front are garbled and inconsistent, but a major session held in Bonn ended last Friday without any clear proposals for the final Paris sessions. In all, 196 nations will try to come up with a plan to reduce carbon emissions over coming decades so as to keep the world from slipping into what the UN predicts will be climate catastrophe.
A so-called draft text of an agreement, now up to 55 pages, is an unreadable mash of clauses, options and parentheses. They are fighting over carbon targets, temperature targets and – above all — cash transfer targets, in recognition of the fact that the major objective of climate change policy makers has always been to orchestrate a massive transfer of wealth from rich nations to poor nations.
On Monday, Catholic bishops from “every continent on earth” (in the words of the official announcement) appealed to nations meeting in Paris to adopt a “legally binding” agreement to “strongly limit” temperature increases. To control the weather, forget prayers and get on with the business of “complete de-carbonization by mid-century.” Major new funding transfers will be necessary to develop new models of economic development “to put an end to the fossil fuel era.” The bishops, along with Pope Francis, are apparently unaware that fossil fuels are the source of most of the energy that has helped generate the world’s current level of economic development.
And now comes Canada, suddenly transformed from climate embarrassment under Prime Minister Stephen Harper to environmental Boy Scout under a new Liberal government headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. One of his first Boy Scout moves is to invite Green Party Leader Elizabeth May to join him and provincial leaders at the Paris meeting. How long can that last?
The Trudeau game plan in Paris and at home is roughly equivalent to a moon shot. Canada aims to land on the surface, but has no idea how to get there or even where the moon is.
The Liberal election platform called for a price on carbon (set by the provinces) under national emissions targets to be determined by reference to the global objective of holding the world temperate increases at the Papal-instructed level of 2 degrees Celsius. Within 90 days of the Paris summit’s mid-December end, a provincial First Ministers meeting will be held “to work together on a framework to combat climate change.”
At the same time, the Trudeau Liberals promised to work with the United States and Mexico to develop an “ambitious North American clean energy and environment agreement.” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, in recent media interviews, also supported negotiation of a major North American climate deal.
This Boy Scout flight to the moon is now gathering media attention. Reporters are busy describing how the provinces can be brought on side and how the various regions — despite different economic, carbon and energy-consuming structures — can be herded into a cohesive fight to help rid the world of fossil fuels.
Trudeau and the provinces will go to Paris, pretending the world can be rid of fossil fuels
Some say the provinces are already mostly onside. British Columbia has a carbon tax in place and Quebec has a cap-and-trade emissions regime that Ontario is set to join. The fact the B.C. carbon tax nor Quebec’s emissions trading system has had no impact on carbon emissions in those provinces is conveniently ignored. [Yes, conveniently ignored because when you belong to the fundamentalist evangelical global warming religion, you MUST never let the facts get in the way of massive socialist money transfer schemes.] Both schemes are essentially demonstration projects that so far demonstrate that at current price levels nothing is accomplished by these carbon-price regimes.
B.C. fossil fuel consumption for transportation has not declined since its six-cent carbon tax was first imposed in 2008. Under Quebec’s cap-and-trade system, which gives a free ride to big industries, providers of gasoline and other fuels must purchase emissions permits on a carbon market. At current prices (about $16 a tonne) the price of gasoline in Quebec is hypothetically higher by three cents a litre. But since the price of gasoline has fallen dramatically, nobody notices the carbon price increase.
Complicating matters is the uncertainty over whether higher gasoline prices brought on by carbon pricing will actually promote a reduction in gasoline use. Much evidence suggests consumers will keep on driving as prices and/or taxes increase—unless, of course, the burden is raised to some astronomically destructive level.
How will it be possible for carbon pricing schemes, in a small country like Canada, to achieve the ultimate UN climate objective, a fossil-fuel free country in a fossil-fuel free world within North America? It’s not possible, but Canada and the world will be spending the next few weeks and all of the next decade pretending it can be done.