Saturday, February 24, 2007

Prediction Updates

I made five predictions at the end of the Liberal Leadership Convention in December:

So here are some predictions as I suspect more than a few Liberals will be contemplating their futures over the Christmas Holiday:

Bob Rae will not run. Arlene will put a stop to it.

Bill Graham will be pushed aside to give Gerrard a safe seat.

Michael Ignatieff will not run. He lost the leadership this time around, and would have to compete with Justin next time.

Justin will run. duh!

Belinda will run. Daddy owns Aurora.

Bill Graham is not running.

Justin is running.

I love my crystal Ball!

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Do As I Say

David Suzuki says his Climate Tour is "Carbon Neutral"

That's right. They keep track of all the greenhouse gases they emit, put a dollar value on it and invest in a corresponding amount of "clean power" -- like windmills -- in developing countries.

With all due respect to Dr. Suzuki and his “carbon neutral” activity, that is not what he and his Kyoto message is about. Canada’s commitment to Kyoto requires a 30% reduction in green-house gas emissions from 1990 levels.

Is Suzuki suggesting that it is acceptable for him to pursue carbon “neutral” activities, but the rest of us will be required to meet significant carbon “reduction” targets, including additional targets that cover his “neutral” stand as part of the reduction?

How very noble of him!

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Monday, February 12, 2007

When Two Plus Two Equals Three

The Valentine's Day bouquet — the gift that every woman in Britain will be waiting for next week — has become the latest bête noire among environmental campaigners.

Latest Government figures show that the flowers that make up the average bunch have flown 33,800 miles to reach Britain. In the past three years, the amount of flowers imported from the Netherlands has fallen by 47 per cent to 94,000 tons, while those from Africa have risen 39 per cent to 17,000 tons.
Environmentalists warned that "flower miles" could have serious implications on climate change in terms of carbon dioxide emissions from aeroplanes. Andrew Sims, the policy director of the New Economics Foundation, said: "There are plenty of flowers that grow in Britain in the winter and don't need to be hothoused.

"Air freighting flowers half way round the world contributes to global warming.

"You can argue the planes would be flying anyway but the amount of greenhouse gases pumped out depends on the weight of the cargo."

Vicky Hird, of Friends of the Earth, said: "We don't want to be killjoys because receiving flowers can be lovely but why not grow your own gift?"

The figures also revealed that imports of roses from Ethiopia have grown from zero to 130 tons a year since 2003. Kenya is the second biggest exporter of flowers after the Netherlands, followed by Colombia and Spain.

In total, Britain imports more than £315 million of flowers, with the typical Briton spending £39 a year on them. "That's very little when you think what we spend on CDs, coffee and even lipstick," said a spokesman for the Flowers and Plants Association. He said the boom in Third World flowers would help poorer countries to build schools and boost the economy.

First they came for the DDT. Now they want the flowers. What is a poor African to do?

Someone made a simple mileage mistake. Nirobi to Heathrow would be closer to 3380 miles, not 33800.

Even with an almost 50% drop in Dutch imports, African imports, Kenya included, are still less than 20% of the Netherlands. The largest importer remains to be identified, or people in Britain have actually stopped buying imported flowers. That would be without this Green-Guilt® message.

It is clear the New Economics Foundation cannot add, subtract, divide, or multiply. If they cannot do basic math, why would we trust them for environmental science.

That , of course, assumes that the errors in question here belong to the Foundation. The assumption is based on well accepted scientific evidence that journalists and mathematicians are twins separated at birth.

h/t to Rantburg

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Tequila Watching

Sheila Copps complains today about Bev Oda and indirectly Stephen Harper not supporting the Canadian Television Fund

As the Conservatives work to attract new support, they cannot afford random alienation of existing interest groups. While Harper is priming the election pump, his heritage minister, Bev Oda, seems to be doing her best to derail him.

When cash is flush, why is his minister balking at the rules governing the Canadian Television Fund?

Oda’s first mistake was agreeing to review fund “problems” raised at a private meeting with major cable providers Shaw and Videotron (a subsidiary of Quebecor, which owns Sun Media). Both are resisting making their longstanding annual payments — together more than $70 million a year — to the fund. That contribution initially replaced most of the CRTC-approved community cable television funding required from both monopolies.

Combined public/private investments, including $90 million from other private providers and the government’s annual $100 million commitment, lever about $700 million into Canadian television programming every year. A seven to one return on government investment is unheard of. So what does Oda want to fix?

With the exception of HNinC, I'm guessing, Sheila, that about as many folks are watching Canadian television as read this blog. Maybe less. On a scale of issues affecting Canadians, this one rates down with snow in winter. The cable companies are tired of being charged for programming nobody watches. Bev Oda wants to stop spending taxpayers money to produce programming that nobody watches.

Besides, her return on investment arguement is a false. The taxpayer gets nothing back. This is a subsidy, pure and simple, to program producers who resell the product to TV distribution through advertising.

Apparently nothing good in Canada can survive on it's own. Back to the Margeritas.

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Waste Not Want Not

In response to the Christina Bizzard article regarding liquor bottle deposits in todays Toronto Sun, I sent her this email:

You are perfectly correct in your tax grab assesment. This is environmental optics at it's best.

Is this a "return" or a "recyle" program?

I always though the purpose of the blue box was to "recycle" products of economic value. If aluminum, steel, glass, or plastic could be reused at a cheaper cost than obtaining the raw material.

The current BRI bottle program is "return" program that requires several components:

1. Centralized return facilities
2. High volume
3. A 2-way transportation system
4. Reprocessing (bottle cleaning & inspection) facilities at the production point.

The liquor bottle program appears to have been established with only step #1.

The sheer variety of spirit and wine bottles makes step #2 questionable.

Virtually all alcohol, especially the offshore brands, only ship one way.

Nobody in the alchohol production business is set up to handle bottle returns. While some of the larger companies may be able to consider new washing lines, the little wineries all over the world will not.

Alcohol is sold not directly to the LCBO by the producers, but generally through brokers, who negotiate pricing. Raise your price to cover return shipping and processing, and your product is no longer brokered.

So do we "return" liquor bottles so that the Beer Store "recycles" them?

How are they more efficient in this than the original blue box? I now have to return the bottles to the nearest Beer Store instead of the end of my driveway. That alone, in my rural experience, costs more than the deposit value. If you start taking recyclable product out of that program, you also reduce the economic value of what is left.

I await the introduction of the pop container "return" program. One that I would think holds far greater ecological and economic promise. Outside of downtown Toronto, I suspect the volume of soft drink containers far exceeds that of liquor bottles.

Brewers Retail must see they can make money on all the bottles will end up in the Blue Box as usual.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

U.K. annual parking fee penalizes gas guzzler owners

Suburban Londoners to pay emissions fees

LONDON (AP) - Residents of a suburban London district will soon pay annual parking fees based on how much carbon dioxide their cars emit, penalizing owners of gas guzzlers.

Richmond council west of the capital agreed on Monday to levy a sliding scale of charges based on emissions, meaning the biggest polluters will pay 300 pounds (almost C$700) a year for the privilege of parking outside their homes.

Do they not  realise that a parked car emits no emissions? Whether you own a Hummer or a Prius, they both emit the same level of pollutants when parked. Zero.

The best way to reduce emissions would be to encourage the owner of the Hummer to stay parked. Pushing him with a regressive tax to trade it off only results in someone else driving the Hummer. Now you have just doubled the number of emitting vehicles.

Secondly, you are penalizing the owners of large vehicles retroactively.  Parking fee increases were probably not a factor in the original purchase decision.

Eventually though, the amount of emission from either the Hummer or the Prius is entirely dependent on the number of miles each vehicle is driven. Every three miles on a Prius will be the same as one mile in a Hummer. We need to encourage the owner of the Hummer to keep it parked whenever possible.

When you understand this, you realize opportunistic politicians are only using Green-Guilt® to raise taxes.

Coming soon: You will have to justify your need for a specific vehicle to the local review committee before you can purchase. Thank you, komrade.

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Friday, February 02, 2007


Retirement looks good on me, don't you think?

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Chicken Little

Panel: Global Warming 'Very Likely' Caused by Humans

PARIS — International scientists and officials hailed a report Friday saying that global warming is "very likely" caused by man, and that hotter temperatures and rises in sea level "would continue for centuries" no matter how much humans control their pollution.

Now don't you feel guilty? Because you are the cause and it is too late to do anything about it. So give us your money, because we are the only ones who can fix your problem.

The old joke about the New York Times headline rings true: World Ends Tomorrow, Women and Children Hit Hardest

See, whether you are a climate heretic or not, stand behind Kyoto or not, climate change is Inevitable and because you are "very likely"the reason, we will have to spend your money to mitigate the problem. (We are talking to you, George Bush!) Of course, only the UN can rescue you from the disaster that you in the decadent West has perpetrated on the World. You are so chained to "Big Carbon LLC (Division Of Haliburton Inc)" that you will never be able to see above the problem.

We even know better than the Creator:

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

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