Harper claims that should the world follow Canada’s lead and adopt intensity based emission targets that the world community would be half way towards tackling global warming. Listening to Harper you would think that no progress has been made in this regard, but you would be wrong. Harper is lying by omission yet again. Since 1990 intensity of Canada’s emissions has fallen by 18% and they plummented since 1996. This puts Harper in something of a bind. He can abandon his tract of blaming the Liberals for everything and in the process give some much needed meat to his laughable claim that the Conservatives are for individual responsibility. In other words, he can give them credit for doing what his government now aims to do. Alternatively, he can claim that these reductions occurred despite the Liberals and not because of them and in the process reveal that by setting intensity targets and not absolute targets he is offering Canadians more of the same on the global warming front, viz., nothing. In either case, Harper is open to the charge that reductions in intensity do not amount up absolute reductions. After all, under the Liberals intensity went down by 18% and overall emissions went up by 25%.
It goes without saying that the chutzpah this government is capable of knows no bounds; rather than showing leadership on global warming, the Harper government intends to capitalize on technological innovations born of the Kyoto Accord’s regulatory framework to meet its intensity based emission targets. The worst of it all is that Harper will no doubt claim victory not for aiming high and succeeding, but by knocking the bar down and stepping over it.