Monday, June 11, 2007

Kyoto and only Kyoto

I should know better than to try to engage Liberals in an honest debate about climate change, particularly young Liberals. The ultimate futility of debating with Stéphane Dion's young kool-aid drinkers is amply demonstrated in the exchange below on YouTube.

BalancedApproach (1 week ago) marked as spam

Ha ha ha! A tax credit on life preservers! Typical idiotic conservative thinking. Genius! The Young Liberals really hit the nail on the head. What a sharp crew. Awesome commercial. Well done.

comfyfur (4 days ago) marked as spam

Ha ha ha! One tonne challenge! Spend a bundle on advertising and wait for people to voluntarily cut carbon emissions. Absolutely brilliant. Only problem is our GHG emissions went up 27%. The Liberals were never serious about climate change. In contrast, CPC policies might actually work. Will we hit Kyoto? Not a chance. It was never possible. But now, at least, we are putting in place policies that will lead to real cuts in GHG emissions in the coming years. The Liberals should be embarrassed.

BalancedApproach (4 days ago) marked as spam

Nice try. The reality is that the Liberal plans on the environment were very progressive, but were put in place in 2005. So while they were very progressive, the tories cut them before they were able to do much.
As for the tories, they have little place suggesting others should be embarassed. After all, this is the party led by a man who called Kyoto a socialist scam and who has continually denied the existence of climate change. He might as well deny that the sky is blue.

comfyfur (2 days ago) marked as spam

Progressive? WTF? Liberal climate change policies were all rhetoric. Moreover, Chretien sabotaged Kyoto by agreeing to hugely unrealistic targets given Canada's population growth, climate, large land mass and resource-based economy. Add to that the fact that they wasted a dozen years consulting to defer any substantive action. It is really not surprising that industry did nothing while waiting for the government to get its act together.

BalancedApproach (2 days ago) marked as spam

Nice try, comfyfur. There's just a little something standing in your way: the facts. Look up Kyoto sometime before you trot out unresearched Conservative rhetoric. The Kyoto protocol was ratified by Canada on December 17, 2002 and came into force in February 2005. So the Liberals couldn't have wasted 12 years as you claim. Heck, the protocol wasn't even in effect for 12 months before the Conservatives took office! Sorry to expose your argument using the dirty trick that is Historical fact.

comfyfur (2 days ago) marked as spam

BA, hardly a dirty trick. For someone purportedly "balanced," you seem to have chosen sides. The Liberals had loads of time to show their cards on climate change. They were talking of it well before Kyoto was signed. Negotiations began in 1997. Since that time, all we got was rhetoric and snoozefest consultations. I sat through enough of them. The important thing is that we now appear serious about taking action. It is the right thing to do, whatever your political stripe.

BalancedApproach (2 days ago) marked as spam

I am glad that you agree that my exposing your partisan lie for what it is using historical fact is not a dirty trick. My saying it was of course meant tongue-in-cheek. That said, the fact remains that the protocol was not signed until 2002 and didn't come into force until 2005. The Tories took power 11 months later and have yet to do anything. I agree it's time to something. Now tell Harper that.

comfyfur (2 days ago) marked as spam

Ah yes. Don't debate ideas. Call people liars, or bullies. With a bit of googling I found a Sierra Club report card on Liberal climate change policy. Here are the Liberals' grades:

1993 Grade: D,
1994 Grade: C+,
1995 Grade: D+,
1996 Grade: D-,
1997 Grade: F.

Climate change is not Kyoto. The Liberals have been pretending to deal with the issue for a long time.

BalancedApproach (2 days ago) marked as spam

What is about Conservatives that whenever they get called out on their inaction and their lies, the only thing they can say for themselves is "But the Liberals did/didn't do this!!!!". Guess what, the Cons are in government now and they have been for the majority of time Kyoto has been in place. Either do something substantive (which they haven't yet) or get out of office for someone who will (Dion).

comfyfur (2 days ago) marked as spam

It all comes down to following Kyoto, no matter that that is unattainable. There is no other course of action. Dion says he will do it nonetheless. All aboard Dion's green train. He will deliver us unto Kyoto.


The issue is a lot more complex than that.

BalancedApproach (1 day ago) marked as spam

The simple fact of the matter is that Kyoto is not unattainable. That's a fairy tale the Conservatives under the disgraceful "leadership" of Stepher "Der Fuhrer" Harper have been spinning. Sorry buddy, but that dog won't hunt. The facts and the science is against Harper, just as it was against him when he tried to deny climate change. It's time he stopped dragging his feet. Dion and his Liberals are willing to do the job. If Harper won't do it, he needs to step aside for some real leadership.

comfyfur (1 day ago) marked as spam

You are absolutely right BA. Technically, Kyoto is not unattainable. But no politician in his right mind would attempt it. At this point, you'd have to shut half the economy down to achieve it.

Now, if Chretien had committed to only an 8% increase in emissions, rather than a 6% reduction, to reflect Canada's unique circumstances, we might have had a chance. However, the folly of his commitment totally paralyzed the government. The Liberals didn't do the job. Is anyone really surprised?

BalancedApproach (22 hours ago) marked as spam

More Conservative fear mongering followed by blaming the Liberals. Once again, the fact remains, Harper is in government now. Either he puts up and does something or he shuts up and lets a real leader like Dion do the job. Green economics can be insanely profitable, especially if we get in the game early. As ususal Harper isn't interested in losing his big oil, cowtown base. Canada includes 9 other provinces and 3 territories though. Time he learned that.

comfyfur (12 hours ago) marked as spam

You simply cannot reduce the amount of heating oil you use by half overnight unless you are willing to freeze. Similarly, to improve your gas mileage, or to switch to a public transit alternative, requires you to invest in new, more efficient equipment. That takes time.

Unfortunately, we have lost precious time, under both the Liberals AND the Conservatives. Now, at least, it looks like most people are on side with the need to do something.

BalancedApproach (10 hours ago) marked as spam

The potential solutions to the problem are more various and more involved than simply reducing heating oil and improving gas mileage. It is through making use of this varied response that we can indeed reach Kyoto. While time may have been lost in the past, it is the Conservatives that continue waste time now and deny that Kyoto can be met at all. We cannot as a nation accept this defeatist attitude. Either they get on it or they let the Liberals do it. It just makes sense.

comfyfur (6 hours ago) marked as spam

Reducing GHG emissions is about changing the way we do everything: heating and cooling our homes, how we get to work, the food we eat, the products we consume.

For much of what we do, we have been locked in by previous choices. To evolve to a less-profligate, GHG lifestyle means reorganizing how we live and eventually replacing most of what we have now. You cannot snap your fingers or pass a law to change things overnight. You know that. Dion knows that. So get real.

BalancedApproach (5 hours ago) marked as spam

More basless attacks on Kyoto instead of action. Typical Tory. Kyoto has never been about trying to change over night. Nice try, though. It's about incremental, but meaningful change and looking toward green technologies. Closing your eyes won't make the problem go away. It's time to act. Stop blaming the Liberals. Stop dragging your feet. Stop saying it can't be done. Just DO it!

comfyfur (59 minutes ago) marked as spam

I give up BA. There is no need to attack Kyoto. It is already dead. But I do question how you have framed your argument about climate change to be Kyoto and only Kyoto. That is not moving anything forward. It is pointless rhetoric.

We missed the target. To hit it now (i.e., cut average GHG emissions by 2008-12 by more than 30%) is virtually impossible. It is simply delusional to think we could achieve that. We would not be any further ahead if the Liberals had stayed in power.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Model of diversity?

Apparently not.

He's a tall white guy and I'm a short brown girl, but our experience of diversity at Woburn Collegiate and Toronto as a whole is similar: in his words, “There's an idea of a multicultural paradise, but it's unenforced.” Or, as I'd put it, this city is home to a lot of people who look different and speak different languages, but don't intermingle in a meaningful way.


Geographic diversity is crucial in sprawling Toronto. More and more, the outer suburbs are increasingly marginalized, home to the newest Canadians. Whole groups of Torontonians never bump up against each other – and so have no understanding of each other's basic needs.


It's time for diversity to become a real goal, and that means talking about things that can make us feel icky.


My Toronto can include you, white guy – if yours can include Etobicoke, strip malls and events where you stand in an audience that looks nothing like you, cheering for a stranger with whom you have nothing in common.