Thursday, December 06, 2007

Daily Digest December 6, 2007


The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN'S to VICTORIA.

EDITORIALs

ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - He who pays the pollster ...
http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=86872&sc=80

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Supporting our national memorial print this article
Ontario's willingness to restore its support to the Confederation Centre is an encouraging gesture.
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=86964&sc=103

HALIFAX NEWS - Health-care reality
http://www.hfxnews.ca/index.cfm?sid=86811&sc=90

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - Get the feds off pogey
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/996368.html

AMHERST DAILY NEWS - Towards a safer world for women
http://www.amherstdaily.com/index.cfm?sid=87060&sc=61

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Tories should pay for their own polls
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=c2c2516a-7de6-43cc-85ef-0a2edceecc50

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Health care needs a cure
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/editorials/story.html?id=f4a5b8db-f970-46a0-bcbb-f511306b47ae

         Supporting Iran's reformers
         http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/editorials/story.html?id=269edbe7-e641-4058-a73f-b0ad392ca221

TORONTO STAR - Canada's absent Afghan partners
http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/282958

         Latimer deserved parole
         http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/282957

         Licence for nonsense
         http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/282960

NATIONAL POST - Stay the course in Afghanistan
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=147191

        Iran: Still a threat
         http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=147188

WINDSOR STAR - Roadside tests
Convicting the innocent
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=81e23bd3-48c2-4c0a-a551-c9f3fe30969b

SUDBURY STAR - Tax breaks don't promise safe practices
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=807556

         Latimer has paid enough
         http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=807557

        Why did U.S. attack?; Reasons for invasion of Iraq are still unclear, but goals haven't been reached
         http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=807559&auth=Dyer%2c+Gwynne

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - A right and two wrongs
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/editorial/story/4088971p-4687577c.html

REGINA LEADER-POST - Saskatchewan Generosity
As we celebrate the holiday season in the midst of an economic boom, we mustn't forget those who are still in need.
http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/viewpoints/story.html?id=9c54c108-6946-4694-9b34-d9a7d6a01918

CALGARY HERALD - Streamlining the process
Newly engineered Bill 46 will be judged on respect for fairness
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=3f56c5f6-7f30-4e07-9570-21641149c370

        It's concern, not censorship
         http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=b4251121-30d5-401d-a4d3-c3bf613db672

GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE - Eyes in the skies and our right to privacy
http://www.dailyheraldtribune.com/Editorial/359970.html

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Bush races to the bottom
http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/opinion/story.html?id=c26058b6-7e78-4ffb-8238-8db990c3d6e4

        Harsh decision on Latimer parole 
         http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/opinion/story.html?id=f60b5446-f06f-4501-9a43-4ed61205be57

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - A shotgun approach to fact-finding
http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/article_9048.php

PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN - Calling bluffs
http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=107143&Itemid=592

VANCOUVER SUN - Politicians see nothing wrong in cash-for-influence culture
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=b93847fa-160e-4214-92df-0af82529b75d

         University is too late to worry about juggling gender equality
         http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=d4a4fe1a-67ff-4420-90ef-207401cb3f09

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - Let's all work hard to stop thieves from stealing Christmas
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/editorial/story.html?id=a3847dde-7462-47cd-8f4f-757519bac908

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Health waits cruel and unnecessary 
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=2600cced-f4ef-452f-bfea-146ac7405742


ISSUES

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS
Deal A Step Forward For Quebec Inuit
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=147179

Inuit hunters demand that scientists change ways they study wildlife
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/071206/n1206146A.html

Businesses take aim at natives' settlement money
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071206.wresidential06/BNStory/National/home


CANADIAN FORCES
Tories downplay Taliban strength, think-tank says
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=6675c0d5-aa8d-4be6-a3c7-806ab7443165


CANUSA/USACAN
Ivison: U.S. climate bill would hurt Canada
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=147168

Trade ties that bind U.S., Canada unbreakable
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/996370.html

Officials struggle to finalize cross-border re-entry demands, suggest preparedness
http://www.swtexaslive.com/node/5599

New licence to have 6 security features: Source
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/283330


ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
BP finally gets back in oilsands
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=59dce95c-3e0b-4ee1-a342-dcf42667e3cc&k=29853

$5.5B deal sends bitumen south
Critics want oilsands refined in Alberta
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=732e1214-033e-449f-b0ed-e20ac5f8452e

Credit crunch could get worse: Dodge
http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=149510

1,800 jobs lost in the last month
B.C.'s forest sector takes two more hits
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/business/story.html?id=cbf94ac0-2b85-4e52-b80f-794b321e2aed&k=68080


HEALTH CARE RELATED
Controversial chemical found in infant formula
http://www.thestar.com/living/Health/article/283101

Psychologist studies fatigue of new fathers
http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/bodyandhealth/story.html?id=ce55e182-b8d3-4236-957b-0dbeac4855a8


JUSTICE SYSTEM
Disclosure rules a problem in terror cases: RCMP
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071206/disclosure_rules_071206/20071206?hub=Canada

Men accused of terror links come out against proposed new law
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/071206/n1206193A.html


MIGRATION
The safe-country dilemma: why offering asylum is an obligation
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071206.wcomment1206/BNStory/National/home


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES
John Tory turns to Harper for help in keeping job
Conservative leader keen to fight back as some plot his overthrow
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/283078


POLITICS
Outsiders doing work of elected politicians
http://www.thestar.com/columnists/article/283062

                         L'affaire Schreiber

Most voters tuning out Mulroney-Schreiber affair, Canadian Press poll suggests
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/071206/n1206152A.html

Mulroney-Schreiber affair
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/mulroney/index.html

Schreiber testimony ties Mulroney to Airbus deal
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071206/Schreiber_Mulroney_071206/20071206?hub=Canada

Schreiber points finger at Mulroney's former chief of staff
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/12/06/schreiber-mulroney.html

Doucet denies he asked that Airbus money be funnelled to Mulroney
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2007/12/06/4711499-cp.html

Commons committee draws up a long wish list of witnesses
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20071206.SCHREIBER06/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/

Committee to examine if Mulroney broke rules
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=147170

Mulroney lawyer asked for cash for Airbus, Schreiber tells ethics committee
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=149513

Mulroney aide asked for Airbus cash transfer: Schreiber
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071206.wschreibertestimony1206/BNStory/National/home

Smearing Mulroney - And The Companies He Serves
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=147264

Back to the start
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071206.WBwbradwanski20071206152945/WBStory/WBwbradwanski/

Who will be villain in this drama?
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/283090

The latest verse in the ballad of Brian and 'son Luc'
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20071206.RYAKA06/TPStory/Business/columnists

Caught in a bind-er
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Weston_Greg/2007/12/06/4710302-sun.php


PROGRAMMES
Government adviser on Schreiber inquiry hires legal help
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/story.html?id=43c68fe0-a56b-46ba-b0bc-8c3b453fac94


PRESSURE POINTS
Politicians exaggerate the threat of terrorism
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=6af224f0-b3d4-4e9f-8376-95e3691af18c

HARPER: LEAD, FOLLOW OR GET OUT OF THE WAY ON CLIMATE ACTION
http://www.vueweekly.com/articles/default.aspx?i=7612

Ottawa gains key allies to 'move beyond Kyoto'
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071206.wbalimain06/BNStory/International/home

REAL Results-based Environmental Leadership
http://www.opinion250.com/blog/view/7657/1/report+from+parliament's+hill:++december+6th

Get rid of gas guzzlers, get rewards: Baird
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=147134

Native leader will use Bali to shine global spotlight on tiny pine beetle
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/071206/n1206118A.html

REAL Results-based Environmental Leadership
http://www.opinion250.com/blog/view/7657/1/report+from+parliament's+hill:++december+6th


OPINION AND INFORMATION
Just who is buying all that Afghan opium?
Recent gyrations in supply of opium from Afghanistan, with no corresponding difference in supply of illicit heroin on our streets, suggest an unknown customer snapping up the bulk of it http://www.republic-news.org/archive/177-repub/177_potvin_opium.html

`Tough-on-crime' policies actually make us less safe
http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/282969

End violence against all women
http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/282959

The treadmill of poverty
System penalizes people who attempt to get ahead, study finds
http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/283114

RCMP Is in dire need of an overhaul
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=870df3c5-8a45-4b84-b1e0-1c6bd9403fef&k=73222

It's nonsense to appease China over Taiwan pins
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=3aa1b43f-2c64-415d-824e-07982b8d39a7

Census figures slay the two great nationalist bogeymen
The myths of spreading English and stubborn immigrants are dashed
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=1ceaf87f-6d37-4ccf-8fe8-a31031319fba

For once, good news for both anglos and francophones
StatsCan figures give both groups good reasons to cheer
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=7817563b-87af-4c5f-ab35-204e19abc5de

Safety first online
http://money.canoe.ca/Columnists/Harston/2007/12/06/4710582-sun.html

A 2010 deadline for prostitution
Decriminalization and a sex worker cooperative in time for the Games would provide safety and equal rights
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=a2f0a70a-8945-4dd1-8bda-71d2a4b3ce63

Constitutional rights must be protected
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=02a2999c-f366-47b5-846d-2c0d6e378502

Rhetorical cover
http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/viewpoints/story.html?id=12ae9bec-ad87-434c-86a8-e396f1878f00

Make peace with growth, prosperity
http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/forum/story.html?id=a25c7024-8863-4d9d-9d1c-5efdcf5c738d

Harper missteps begin to mount at wrong time
http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/forum/story.html?id=753ca8a9-cd25-4fc3-9515-6832decf902a


INFOS

Schreiber mêle les cartes
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2007/12/06/006-Schreiber-jeudi.shtml

Afghanistan - Sains et saufs
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2007/12/06/005-afghanistan-stpierre.shtml

Protocole de Kyoto
Québec fait la leçon à Ottawa
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/environnement/2007/12/06/003-quebec_kyoto.shtml

Conférence de Bali
Les scientifiques lancent un cri d'alarme
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/environnement/2007/12/06/002-unep_emplois-verts.shtml

Schreiber fait un lien entre Brian Mulroney et Airbus
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/071206/N120636AU.html

Après-Kyoto: Jean Charest demande à Stephen Harper d'en faire plus
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/071206/N1206135AU.html

Réactions favorables à Québec qui bonifie son plan pour réduire les GES
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/071206/N120660AU.html

Bachand critique l'"à-plat-ventrisme" de l'ADQ devant le gouvernement Harper
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/071206/N1206107AU.html

Mulroney ne convainc pas
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20071206/CPACTUALITES/712060815/1025/CPACTUALITES

Plus de 20% des libéraux fédéraux du Québec préfèrent... Harper
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20071206/CPACTUALITES/712060813/1025/CPACTUALITES

Pas de «guerre froide» dans l'Arctique
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20071206/CPACTUALITES/712060824/1025/CPACTUALITES

Schreiber associe Mulroney à l'affaire Airbus
http://www.ledevoir.com/2007/12/06/167484.html


BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)
        
THERE WILL BE NO Daily Digest December 7, 2007
        
        December 7th is a special day.  For some in a positive way in that it is when the Conservative Party of Canada came into existence in 2003.

        For others it's when as Reformers or Progressive Conservatives a new entity unrepresentative of what their Party had been came into being.
        
        Consider, if you will, what you see as the continuing influence of your "legacy party" within the now four year old CPC - or what has been lost.

                  Joe (who is off to make shortbread in Burlington come the morn.)

«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»

From: "Andy Rutherford" <andyr@mts.net>
Subject: Fw: Watch this and please forward

        It's sad that we have reduced Canada to this!  All police officers should
        be outraged.

            Watch this video clip and forward this mailing to others so a
            great injustice can be fixed!!

            Every now and then something decent comes out of the CBC.  Mark
            Critch of This Hour Has 22 Minutes dropped this F-bomb on the
            air with good cause.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGi7Ns3fMhw

            After you watch it you will find the accompanying
             petition at...  http://www.petitiononline.com/05142004/petition.html

===================================
From: "Rosalie Piccioni" <rosypic@telus.net>
Subject: BELOW (30) December 6, 2007

Hi Joe,
   Re:  From: "Andy Rutherford"
                    Subject: Fw: Bank interest is it not interesting?
 
I am indeed interested in what is happening in this
area.  Perhaps my reason for not writing about it is
what is keeping others from broaching the subject -
we don't understand it, although there's always the
uneasy feeling that things are not as they should be. 
For instance, why would our dollar keep fluctuating
to the extent that it is.  It is supposed to be because
of national commerce, but  someone must have
made a lot of money a  week or so ago - and I
don't think it was the average person.
 
Perhaps you/someone can explain it in a way that
we can understand what is going on.

Rosie

===================================
From: "John Dowson"
Subject: Re: Daily Digest December 3, 2007

Thanks to Karlheinz Schreiber Canadians now understand what a dishonest, deceitful career politics really is. After listening to him is it any wonder why citizens from the democratic countries are disillusioned and believe that ALL politicians are corrupt. If they are not corrupt when they run they are soon converted after they are elected. It's disgusting to see that an honest person after election to the parliament of Canada, or a provincial legislature, is quickly given a lesson in crime or else the rest of the politicians will look foolish.  I and the rest of the volunteer campaign workers  have just been used for the politicians own personal greed. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHO PAID PETER MCKAY'S PC  LEADERSHIP $800,000 CAMPAIGN EXPENSES, AND WHY DIDN'T HE RUN FOR THE LEADERSHIP OF THE NEW CONSERVATIVE PARTY?? John Dowson

===================================
From: Ron Thornton
Subject: Re: BELOW(30) December 6, 2007

*Hi Joe:

I came oh so close to being able to go through the Dec. 6 edition of Below 30 without comment, then I came across Michael Watkins' recitation dealing with Greenhouse Gas emissions.  Why does anyone bother ranking emissions based on per capita and what value does such a statistic have?  I mean, if this be the case, then I'm thinking the Vatican produces a hell of a lot of emissions based on their 900 person population (I don't think tourists and visitors get included in per capita stats).  I'm pretty sure the emissions produced by the 1000 non-temporary residents of Antarctica must be right up there...if tallied on a per capita basis.

**On the world stage, Canada produces 4.9 tons per capita.  That makes some sense, as we are the world's 6th leading oil producer, despite being 36th ranked by population (0.5% of the world total).   What would be more meaningful is a measurement of the identified levels of GhG produced by specific manner, be it oil production, automobile emissions, or factories, and detail how those numbers are arrived at.

**The only meaningful stat should be based on land mass, on square miles or whatever.  In doing so, you will find that both Nova Scotia and PEI belch more carbon emissions into the atmosphere, per square mile, than oil producing Alberta, with New Brunswick right behind in fourth.  That is like discovering Alberta catches more fish, per capita, than Atlantic Canada.

Nationally, our carbon footprint based on land mass is 43.54 tons per square mile.  Compare this to the 5000 tons produced per square mile by the Netherlands, or the totals of Belgium (3250), Italy (2800), Japan (2000), Germany (1750), the United Kingdom (1600), Czech Republic (950), Poland (720), France (500), USA (450), Ukraine (440), Spain (425), South Africa (200), Indian and China (175), Mexico (137) or Russia (55).  

Even if you removed 2/3 of our nation from the equation, we still come in behind Mexico.  It would be interesting to discover how much those nations ranked ahead of us have reduced their carbon footprint and by how much in recent years.

What about the total amount of emissions produced, regardless as to population or land mass?  Canada produces 155 million tons.  You know, there are a few nations that produce a bit more than Canada.  You can include the USA (1600 million tons), China (636), Russia (392), Italy (322), Japan (304), Germany (240), India (206), and the UK (240), at least according to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change.

By showing Kyoto to be the flawed bit of fluff it is, and insisting that if this is a real problem then it requires real attention to it by all nations, Canada has shown itself to be a world leader, not a follower, in this area.

Ron.

===================================
From: Marjaleena Repo
Subject: The return of David Orchard's funds

Mary-Sue,

We did eventually receive the full amount owed to us in June 06, over two and half years after we were promised and entitled to get it. From it we had to pay some legal costs and the final amount was minus the interest that we should also have gotten. By dragging out the return of the funds that were donated to David Orchard's leadership campaign, the ConservativeReformAlliance Party  (falsely claiming the name "Tory") created huge problems for us, as the monies were owed to supporters who had lent us short term personal loans so we could carry on. We were forced to spend a lot of time and energy to borrow from Peter to pay Paul, instead of being able to clear our debts by early 2004, as we had planned. It is clear that the very purpose of that action of wrongfully hanging onto David's funds, was to punish and harass him for his active opposition to the takeover.

Marjaleena Repo
(Senior advisor and Chief Financial Officer for the David Orchard Campaign in 2003

===================================
From: Caleb Making
Subject: Re: BELOW(30) December 6, 2007

Joe I feel I must respond:
 
First of all I am a Canadian married to an immigrant.  And let's get some things clear I have heard the Canadian National Anthem sung in MANY languages.  Cree, French, English, American Sign Language, and several languages that I don't speak and every time it makes my heart swell with PRIDE that I live in a nation that celebrates everything that each of us is. 
 
It is easy to say every immigrant should learn the language of the county because it is our tradition.  But historically it's not true.  The tradition in Canada is to try and kill the Aboriginals.and kill their language.  We have always had communities (Italian, Japanese, Polish, Irish (Celtic), German, Portuguese, Greek) where lots of people who lived productive  lives without learning a second language.  The tradition of forcing everyone to learn English is an American thing.
 
I am a proud Canadian proud that when I walk through Chinatown that I live in a country that celebrates democracy and individuality, or when I walk through parts of Montreal and hear Yiddish that I live in a country that celebrates it's history.  I am a Canadian and proud of the right to disagree with a racist when I meet them and point out how illogical their argument is. 
 
Finally as long as our national anthem says "in all our SONS command" it doesn't matter what language it's sung in it offends all female soldiers and should offend all Canadians. 
 
Caleb Making
Sarnia

===================================
From: "Anne Dickinson" <annedickinson@sympatico.ca>
Subject: Re: BELOW(30) December 6, 2007

Suan-
 
I was surprised to see you write that our national anthem "Oh Canada" was written in
English. I had understood that it was originally written in French and then adapted to English.
I may be wrong, perhaps someone could clarify...
 
And Rosie-
 
I agree we must all guard against hate, no matter how and where and under what guise it  appears.
 
Anne Dickinson

===================================
From: "John Halonen"
Subject: Re: Daily Digest December 5, 2007

North American Union / Just Politics in General
 
   Canada these days does not appear to be hearing the TRUTH.  Have politicians in our Country of Canada decided that CITIZENS mean nothing and they know best.
    Perhaps it would be more positive if CANADA had a Lou Dobbs personality to listen to and for the middle class.  The MIDDLE CLASS actually still represents most CANADIANS doesn't it?  Or should we continue to look for that SUPERHIGHWAY to nowhere as our PM continues to promote?
 
John Halonen

===================================
From: Bob Taubman
Subject: Compass book reinforces first commandment (Ottawa Citizen, 06 Dec 2007, Page A13)

Thought this might be of interest to those who have already contributed negative reports on this picture.  I wonder if those who have condemned this picture have read any of the books or had a sneak preview of the picture?  If not, how does one rail against it?

Anyway,  for what it's worth.

Bob Taubman


[]   Compass book reinforces first commandment

===================================
From: Caspar Davis
Subject: [NS2/CNS2] Monbiot: We must end the carbon economy

Thanks to Martin for this article and the follow up, which I am sending separately:

What Is Progress?
Posted December 4, 2007
http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/12/04/what-is-progress/

The numbers show that this should be the real question at the Bali talks.
By George Monbiot.  Published in the Guardian 4th December 2007

When you warn people about the dangers of climate change, they call you a saint.  When you explain what needs to be done to stop it, they call you a communist.  Let me show you why.

There is now a broad scientific consensus that we need to prevent temperatures from rising by more than 2°C above their pre-industrial level.  Beyond that point, the Greenland ice sheet could go into irreversible meltdown, some ecosystems collapse, billions suffer from water stress, droughts could start to threaten global food supplies(1,2).

The government proposes to cut the UK's carbon emissions by 60% by 2050.  This target is based on a report published in 2000(3).  That report was based on an assessment published in 1995, which drew on scientific papers published a few years earlier.  The UK's policy, in other words, is based on papers some 15 years old.  Our target, which is one of the toughest on earth, bears no relation to current science.

Over the past fortnight, both Gordon Brown and his adviser Sir Nicholas Stern have proposed raising the cut to 80%(4,5).  Where did this figure come from?  The last G8 summit adopted the aim of a global cut of 50% by 2050, which means that 80% would be roughly the UK's fair share.  But the G8's target isn't based on current science either.

In the new summary published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), you will find a table which links different cuts to likely temperatures(6).  To prevent global warming from eventually exceeding 2°, it suggests, by 2050 the world needs to cut its emissions to roughly 15% of the volume in 2000.

I looked up the global figures for carbon dioxide production in 2000(7) and divided it by the current population(8).  This gives a baseline figure of 3.58 tonnes of CO2 per person.  An 85% cut means that (if the population remains constant) the global output per head should be reduced to 0.537t by 2050.  The UK currently produces 9.6 tonnes per head and the US 23.6t(9,10). Reducing these figures to 0.537t means a 94.4% cut in the UK and a 97.7% cut in the US.  But the world population will rise in the same period.  If we assume a population of 9bn in 2050(11), the cuts rise to 95.9% in the UK and 98.3% in the US.

The IPCC figures might also be out of date.  In a footnote beneath the table, the panel admits that "emission reductions … might be underestimated due to missing carbon cycle feedbacks".  What this means is that the impact of the biosphere's response to global warming has not been fully considered.  As seawater warms, for example, it releases carbon dioxide.  As soil bacteria heat up, they respire more, generating more CO2.  As temperatures rise, tropical forests die back, releasing the carbon they contain.  These are examples of positive feedbacks.  A recent paper (all the references are on my website) estimates that feedbacks account for about 18% of global warming(12).  They are likely to intensify.

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From: Eugene Parks
Subject: For the digest; Harper Government Cannot Account for $1.5 Billion

A committee exchange between Minister Baird and the Liberal Environment critic, David McGuinty:
Mr. David McGuinty: Has any money been disbursed?

Hon. John Baird: As much money as the provinces have asked for.

Mr. David McGuinty: Has any money been disbursed of the $1.519 billion?

Hon. John Baird: As much money as the provinces have--

Mr. David McGuinty: How about a straight answer.

Hon. John Baird: That's the answer I've been getting.

Mr. David McGuinty: Can I ask the deputy minister? Has any money, deputy, left the trust fund into provincial hands?

Mr. Ian Shugart (Associate Deputy Minister, Department of the Environment): The way the trust fund mechanism works, Mr. Chair, is that when the trust fund is set up it is out of the hands of the Government of Canada and is drawn down by the provinces. That is essentially a private matter between the individual jurisdiction and the manager, the trustee of the fund.

Mr. David McGuinty: You put over one-and-a-half billion dollars into a fund and you're telling us you can't tell us whether any money has been drawn down?

Hon. John Baird: I can tell you that any province that wants the money it's there.

Mr. David McGuinty: You can't tell us whether any of the money of the $1.5 billion put into a trust fund has been drawn down. Is that right?

Hon. John Baird: You can ask the question 10 times. I've already answered it.

Mr. David McGuinty: So you don't-- For example, are there any firm targets or conditions with respect to a cost to greenhouse gas reduction ratio involving drawing down this money?

Hon. John Baird: One of the things that your premier and my premier has been particularly strong on is that the government of Ontario, my premier says, is not accountable to the federal government. It is accountable directly to the people of Ontario. That was the position of Mr. Martin and it's certainly our position as well.

Mr. David McGuinty: Are you aware, Minister, of what the Auditor General, Sheila Fraser, said just two weeks ago in reference to your eco trust?

Let me quote what she said from the accountability perspective. She said:

We are deeply concerned about very large transfers being made purportedly for certain purposes. But when you look at the actual agreements there are absolutely no conditions requiring the recipient to use the moneys for the purposes being announced

Can you help us understand what your position is with respect to the Auditor General's concerns?

Hon. John Baird: The accountability regime-- You know, I have a background in the government of Ontario, in the legislative assembly of Ontario as well. I know it best. That's the riding I also represent. The way federalism has worked in this regard is that the government of Ontario, the provincial government, is not accountable to the federal government, it's accountable to the legislature and the people of the province of Ontario. In this regard, I can tell you, I have no reason to doubt the integrity and the management of my premier to deal with these funds.

Mr. David McGuinty: Minister, why are public expenditures at the federal level--these are federal taxpayer dollars--why are these considered to be private matters? What's the point of public accounts and public estimates if our expenditures can be private and you can't even tell us what's happened to $1.5 billion?

Hon. John Baird: There's only one taxpayer, so it's not the federal taxpayer, a provincial taxpayer or a territorial taxpayer, or a municipal taxpayer. There's only one taxpayer and each level of government is accountable to the people that collect it. The government's accounting treatment was acceptable because the government had entered into the agreements with the appropriate authorities, had authorization from Parliament to make the payments to trust with the passing of the budget implementation act before the financial statements were finalized, had not included in the trust agreements or letters to provinces and territories any condition to be eligible to receive these funds that would have been met by the provinces or territories subsequently and that had known the amount to the transfer. This is the way it worked under the previous government, and I think we particularly feel strongly about it, a different kind of federalism, where the provinces do not work for the federal government. They're elected by people in their jurisdiction and they're the people with whom they're counted.

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