Politicians are always critical of the media for printing misinformation.’
Quite often the government distaste stems from the fact the media doesn’t blindly disseminate government misinformation.
There is no doubt the Conservative government and Environment Minister John Baird are fuming over the media’s treatment of the announcement last week that the sky is falling when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Baird trotted out an economic impact report obviously tailored for a political result rather than a scientific one and announced that meeting Kyoto commitments would cost Canada 275,000 jobs – plunging Canada into a recession.
The report, however, did not take into account emerging technologies or economic opportunities arising from a move to meet our commitments.
Another similar economic report, taking these factors into account, pegged the job losses, stemming from meeting our Kyoto commitments at just under 40,000.
That’s still not great, but hardly the recession that Baird has predicted.
The silly part of Baird’s announcement is the suggestion that the economy trumps the environment.
First, to be just as alarmist, a job means nothing if you can’t breathe.
Second, reducing greenhouse gases does not have to be an either/or situation.
People like Baird like to perpetuate that nugget of misinformation.’
This is not a job versus the environment situation.
We need only to look at the emerging technologies and the opportunities created to realize that our economy may change, but it doesn’t have to be destroyed.
We need only to look at industry itself to realize that it is already miles ahead of dinosaurs like Baird.
For example, we still love our gas-guzzlers but that is changing and the auto industry is leading the way.
Every major auto dealer is now offering hybrid cars and more models are available every year.
The province has unveiled its first hybrid school bus.
Baird is worried about the economy, and he should be, but what he fails to realize that a free-market economy is a fluid and flexible thing.
It will adapt to changing market conditions.
The market is demanding that we deal with greenhouse gases and industry is responding.
That’s how it works.
Government can facilitate that change and speed it up, but it can’t stop it.
The insidious aspect of Baird’s announcement is that it really has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with politics.
Liberal leader Stephane Dion secured the Liberal leadership running on a green’ platform.
Baird’s announcement was all about trying to discredit Dion and the Liberals, not informing Canadians about climate change or global warming.
That type of politicking is despicable.
Just as Canadians are demanding more from industry, in terms of the environment, they are also demanding more from their politicians.