Thursday, April 16, 2009

Something you won't read on DeSmogBlog.

(Given that DeSmogBlog has clearly thrown its support behind the BC Liberals, come what may.)

Still, we can rely on the good folks at the Progressive Economics Forum to give a more even-handed analysis. Full thing is here, but here's a highlight:
In the big picture, BC emissions in 2006 were a total of 1.5 Mt higher than in 2001, an increase of 2.5%. That means other sectors of the economy stayed flat or even decreased their emissions slightly, while fossil fuel emissions surged. So yes, the carbon tax is nice and deserves applause, alongside other good initiatives. But the notion that the BC government is green is a large stretch, and new emissions from planned expansion will dwarf any beneficial impacts of the carbon tax.

21 comments:

Ian said...

Well I generally agree with you, the conclusions of that article are bullshit. They can't conclude anything about the carbon tax without post 2008 data (i.e. when the tax was implemented). It is worth pointing out that the BC Liberals are shit on the environment and the tax is their attempt at appeasement, but it's equally valid that the NDP only wants to use the tax as a scapegoat to get themselves in. Hopefully they'll do better on the environment than Campbell, but only time will tell.

ADHR said...

I think the conclusion does follow. The argument runs like this: from 2001 to 2006, emissions have increased, largely due to fossil fuel extraction; despite the carbon tax, the BC Liberals plan to continue (and increase!) fossil fuel extraction; hence, fossil fuel extraction and associated emissions will continue to increase. At best, then, the BCL plan is a zero-sum game on emissions; at worst, the gains associated with the carbon tax will be eliminated by increased fossil fuel development.

I know the NDP are scapegoating the tax, but their broader climate plan seems more reasonable than the Liberals, whose plan seems to consist of nothing but the carbon tax.

janfromthebruce said...

And desmog is just another "shell pretend progressive org" (like votefortheenvironment - same guys) covering their liberal ties.
So declare that you are liberal insiders, always have been, but pretending to be non-partisan, well it's just more liberal crap.

ADHR said...

voteforenvironment.ca was hilarious. It's still up, if you want to amuse yourself by, say, looking at their recommendation for Central Nova -- a seat which the NDP could have won, but the Greens had no chance of taking.

If they want to be partisan, they should just admit they're Liberals. They should also, though, learn the difference between the BC Liberals and the Liberal Party of Canada. Not the same organization, not the same platform.

Scruffy Dan said...

It is worth noting that the tax at it's current level isn't going to do anything. It is slated to increase every year until 2012, but even at that level it will remain to small to make much of a dent. What is needed is to increase the tax well beyond 2012. Of the two parties I see the Liberals being more likely to do that than the NDP... but that would also likely depend on what happens elsewhere on the issue of carbon pricing.

Another thing to remember is that this election is being viewed as a litmus test of sorts for the political viability of a carbon tax. What happens here may have much wider repercussions than most other BC elections.

Scruffy Dan said...

One more thing, I think Desmogblog's recent post does an admirable job of explaining their stance on the BC election.

http://www.desmogblog.com/standing-principle-explaining-desmogblogs-position-bc-election

Alison said...

1)I am a Liberal supporter : Suzuki Foundation chairman and De Smog Blog site owner

2)Public Eye Online's Exchange with Littlemore on his article

Ian said...

I found this expose interesting. I guess Hoggan, head of DeSmogBlog is also head of the David Suzuki Foundation, and also a several thousand dollar donor of the BC Liberals. Classy.

ADHR said...

Alison, Ian,

Thanks for the links. Nice to see I was right to suspect a tie to the BCL.

Dan,

Wait, now I'm confused. The BC NDP plan is supposed to be bad because it will take 3 years to implement. Now the BC Liberal plan isn't really going to be effective until... 3 years from now. So, on this point, they seem to be equal -- aren't they? (Granted that the NDP's plan does exempt too many emitters.)

Given the links Alison and Ian have provided, no, I don't think DeSmogBlog has effectively explained their position. If you have partisan ties and won't admit to them, protestations of principle -- particularly when bookended by calling others partisans -- just won't wash.

Scruffy Dan said...

"The BC NDP plan is supposed to be bad because it will take 3 years to implement"

No the BC NDP plan is bad because it exempts more than 2/3 of the provinces emissions form any sort of carbon pricing.

"I don't think DeSmogBlog has effectively explained their position."

Desmogblog's position has always been that carbon pricing needs to include as many emissions as possible. Given that it shouldn't be a surprise that they support the Liberal plan and not the NDP plan.

Donating money to parties which put forward policies which you agree with doesn't imply partisanship.

ADHR said...

Dan,

One of the objections raised by DeSmogBlog -- which started this whole thing off -- was that the NDP plan will take too long to implement. So, you agree that this is not a good reason to fault their plan?

Donating money to parties you agree with is the definition of partisanship. A partisan is someone who supports a particular party. Donations are a form of support.

Scruffy Dan said...

"the NDP plan will take too long to implement"

That may or may not be relevant. It really depends on how quickly we can expect to see the effects of the plan.

The NDP plan may take 3 years to implement (I just made that number up so don't fret about it), but when can we expect results? And how large will those results be? Are they enough to make the drastic cuts that are needed?

"Donating money to parties you agree with is the definition of partisanship."

I would disagree. I would say a partisan is someone who blindly follows a particular party/policy, no matter what. But really a debate on partisanship is besides the point here. We now know the relationship between desmogblog and the libs. It really doesn't matter what we call it, it is what it is.

I will say that desmogblog should probably have been more forthcoming, about any ties they have to any party.

ADHR said...

I think it's reasonable to worry about the extent of the NDP plan. I think it's also reasonable to worry about the extent of the BC Liberals' plan. I don't think there's really much basis to say that the latter are "greener" than the former; and the former can probably be pushed further.

I agree -- the fundamental problem with DeSmogBlog's position is their continuing unwillingness to admit their connections to the BC Liberals. That suggests, to me at least, that there connection probably goes deeper than what's been uncovered. If it's a few donations and a few contracts, why not admit as much?

Scruffy Dan said...

One more thing. I take issue with your opening line.

DSB have clearly stated that if they improve their GHG reduction policies they will let up (even applaud) the NDP, 'saying come what may' isn't justified.

ADHR said...

I don't believe them. See here for a few reasons, but the "mad as hell" at the NDP bit seals the deal for me.

Scruffy Dan said...

Not sure how the 'mad as hell' comment is of any importance. Obviously they are mad at the position the NDP is taking, but that doesn't mean they wont back down or even applaud the NDP if they change their tune.

My issue with your opening line still stands.

ADHR said...

My response still stands, then. But, let me explain.

If they had said "We're disappointed in the NDP", or "we're angry about this decision", or "we're going to keep up the pressure until they see what's right", I'd agree. But they didn't. Instead, they made it personal.

Now, this might be rhetorical exaggeration. That's certainly the charitable way to read the comment. Given that they have not extended similar charity to the NDP (for example, their laughable inability to actually read a Hansard transcript to find out why the NDP voted the way they did), I don't see any reason to extend it to DSB.

Scruffy Dan said...

Again, given the importance of the issue, and the fact the the NDP has traditionally been the ennviro-friendly party, mad a perfectly normal response. You could even describe my reaction to the NDP is a similar fashion. I see no reason to question them when they state "As long as they attack the carbon tax... they can count on our continued opposition."

In fact the only time an argument can be made that they crossed the line is their NDP cap and trade post. Everything else, including the 'mad as hell' comment has been perfectly apportionment.

ADHR said...

Mad at the policy, yes. Mad at the NDP, no. The latter makes it personal, which is simply not appropriate. This policy is not a personal attack on the members of DSB; for them to take it that way suggests that they are not capable of dealing with the issue objectively. Which suggests that the NDP is perfectly right to dismiss them -- they cannot be persuaded to alter their view. Such is what happens when one takes something personally; persuasion drops out of the picture.

Scruffy Dan said...

You are reading far to much into the 'mad as hell' comment. And your interpretation contradicts what they have said elsewhere.

ADHR said...

I don't follow what it is to read "too much" into something, as opposed to reading something incorrectly.

And I know I'm contradicting other things they've said. Those are things I don't consider honest. Not everything everybody says is true, after all.